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March 7, 2011

Ninth Circuit thoughtfully rejects attack on lifetime supervised release for repeat sex offender

Based on "easy" facts, a Ninth Circuit panel today in US v. Williams, No. 10-30084 (9th Cir. Mar. 7, 2011) (available here) took the time to talk through thougthtfully its rejection of various challenges brought by a sex offender to his sentence to a life term of supervised release.  The facts made this case "easy" because the defendant had a prior state conviction of the sexual assault of children and because of [the defendant's] apparent obsession with child rape, as indicated by the pornography he possessed and his own statements."

I suspect even a more sympathetic sex offender defendant with better facts would not have prevailed with constitutional and statutory challenges to a life term of supervised release.  At the same time, because I do see some special potential risks and costs involved in the imposition of lifetime terms of supervised release, I hope that such terms do not become too common-place for all federal sex offenders just because they may often (always?) be legally permissible.  

March 7, 2011 at 04:57 PM | Permalink


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Posted by: Texas Citizen | Mar 7, 2011 8:54:52 PM

my only problem with it would be if it was applied AFTER the fact. as long as he knew about it going in then it's up to him to agree and plea out knowing it's coming or force the state or febs to take it to trial.

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 8, 2011 1:17:09 AM

While there are many dangerous sex offenders in the system that should rightfully be on lifetime supervision, I am concerned for the younger men (and women) convicted of felony sex crimes such as those involving events that anyone could be found guilty of. We know of numerous cases where a man in his early 20's, whether because of a mutual attraction or emotionally development issues has a relationship with with a 16-17 year old. Is a man who is involved in an event like this this, necessarily a danger to society?

Posted by: Johnny Exchange | Mar 8, 2011 4:41:34 PM

Lifetime Supervision is a band aid on a brain tumor. There are certain crimes in our society that mandate a "throw away the key" solution. Not, a GPS that may or may not work depending on the weather or the diligence of a "government employee". Only when the judicial actually come to terms with the very real fact there are those who wouldnt think twice about feeding off those who cant protect themselves will the victim count come down. Our "system" has conditioned the public to let these people "Live among us" for no other reason than money. That is a crime in itself. The women and Children of this country have been thrown to the wolves and the daily headlines only re-enforce it.

Posted by: Valerie Parkhurst | Mar 9, 2011 3:33:12 AM

well valerie that's one thing. My problem is when you take an old crime and keep changing the rules. At THAT point if your an election offical you have violated your oath of office to uphold and defend the CONSTITUION of this country and have basicly become a TRAITOR! that any other american has ever legal and moral right to remove anyway and with whatever force is needed to do the job!

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 9, 2011 4:35:39 PM

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