Pennsylvania teens found delinquent of serious sex crimes might soon be part of a national sex-offender registry, says the Harrisburg Patriot-News. That would put the state in compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. State legislators are working out the details, but the idea is that the registry won't be accessible to the public, only to law enforcement.
District attorneys are noticing that juvenile court judges are holding back from certain rulings with the registry in mind, and defense attorneys are less amenable to plea deals for crimes that would require registration. The Pennsylvania bill is moving forward with support from Gov. Tom Corbett, the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association and the Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Judges Commission. That's partly due to the plan for limiting access to the registry to law enforcement. “We agree that [a] public notification website would have a lot of unintended consequences,” said James Anderson of the juvenile court judges group.