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January 22, 2009

Split First Circuit opinion addressing broad sex offender supervised release conditions

An opinion released yesterday by the First Circuit, US v. Perazza-Mercado, No. 07-1511 (1st Cir. Jan. 21, 2009) (available here), covers the (now often litigated) issues surrounding broad conditions of supervised release placed on a federal sex offender. The start of the majority opinion sets out the basic issues:

This case requires us to address the validity of two conditions of supervised release imposed on a defendant convicted of unlawful sexual contact with a minor. The first condition prohibited the defendant from having any access to the internet at home during the fifteen-year supervised release period. The second condition prohibited the possession of pornography generally.

The start of the partial dissent (per Judge Howard) provides a basic summary of what the majority decided in Perazza-Mercado:

I agree that the supervised release condition banning all home internet use is too broad.  I dissent in part, however, because I believe the second supervised release condition -- prohibiting Perazza-Mercado from possessing "pornographic materials" -- survives plain error review.

January 22, 2009 at 04:41 PM | Permalink


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