Articles Tagged with Sex Offender Registration

On 20 March 2012, NMCCA decided United States v. Jones; and in doing so they have answered a question that was not unexpected, but took a little while to come.

In United States v. Miller, 63 M.J. 452 (C.A.A.F. 2006), CAAF decided prospectively that defense counsel must advise a client about the DoD sexual offender registration requirements when negotiating a PTA.

The question is how detailed must the advice be and what about additional state law requirements.  There any number of offenses not listed in the current version of DODI 1325.7 where states now require registration.

Thanks to LawProfsBlog here is a link to an interesting article:

Regulating the Plea-Bargaining Market: From Caveat Emptor to Consumer Protection

Stephanos Bibas, University of Pennsylvania Law School, U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 10-33, California Law Review, Vol. 99, Forthcoming

Danger Will Robinson.

United States v. Parker and Woodruff

In these consolidated appeals, the Government challenged the district court’s orders dismissing its 18 U.S.C. § 4248 (2006) petitions for civil commitment of Lonnie Parker and James Woodruff, who were both convicted of various sex offenses and sentenced in military court-martial proceedings, but are currently housed within a Bureau of Prisons facility. The district court dismissed the Government’s petitions because it found that "§ 4248 does not apply to military prisoners [since] they are not `in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons’ pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4248(a)." In so holding, the district court relied on its order in a related case, United States v. Joshua, No. 5:09-hc-02035-BR (E.D.N.C. Jan. 13, 2010), which was recently affirmed by this court. See United States v. Joshua, 607 F.3d 379 (4th Cir. 2010) (holding that an individual convicted and sentenced by United States Army court-martial but housed within a facility operated by the Bureau of Prisons is not "in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons" under § 4248(a)). The Government concedes that these appeals present the same issue addressed in, and that the disposition of the appeals is controlled by Joshua.

Swinging a Sledge: The Right to Effective Assistance of Counsel, the Law of Deportations, and Padilla v. Kentucky, August 31, 2010, Joseph Ditkoff

In Padilla v. Kentucky, the Supreme Court decided that the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of the effective assistance of legal counsel requires that counsel inform his client whether his guilty plea in a criminal case carries a risk of deportation. The Court’s decision significantly expands the reach of the traditional Sixth Amendment constitutional protection afforded criminal defendants via the long-established rule of Strickland v. Washington, and, concomitantly, significantly alters the landscape of what courts will consider to be adequate representation in criminal proceedings. The precise contours of the right, thus expanded, will be left to the vagaries of the common law in both state and federal court to map out. This short article will discuss Padilla and some of its forebears and foreshadowings. As will be seen, the Supreme Court has again left prosecutors, defense counsel, and judges with a somewhat muddy decision that leaves the hard work for later, and for others…

In light of the discussion ongoing about Denedo’s end, I thought this might be an interesting read.

Here is a piece from Kitsap Sun:

A doctor who is being expelled from the Navy was charged by Kitsap County prosecutors Thursday with failing to register as a sex offender, according to attorneys familiar with the case.

State law requires people convicted of certain sex crimes to register as sex offenders within three days of arriving in a new state.

In United States v. Eyster, decided by the 3rd Cir. on 14 July 2010, the appellant claimed he was improperly sentenced because the court considered a 1988 court-martial conviction for rape.

On appeal, Eyster argues that the District Court erred by increasing his criminal history from Category II to Category V, because his 1988 conviction under the UCMJ was not a qualifying prior "sex offense conviction" as defined by § 4B1.5.. . .

The Government concedes, and we agree, that Eyster’s 1988 conviction under the UCMJ was not a qualifying "sex offense conviction" for purposes of § 4B1.5. Therefore, Eyster’s advisory Guidelines range should have been calculated using criminal history Category II, not Category V. This was error[.]As explained, however, the applicable Guidelines range was the same—360 to 840 months—under either criminal history Category. Because this mistake did not result in the calculation of an incorrect Guidelines range, we conclude that it did not affect Eyster’s substantial rights.

Here is an unpublished opinion in United States v. Jones, No. 09-15005 (11th Cir. 17 June 2010).  I’ve commented before about how nuanced sex offender registration issues can get.

Christopher Martin Jones appeals from his sentence imposed following his conviction for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. On appeal, Jones argues that the district court erroneously found that his 1992 conviction by a special court-martial for sodomy, in violation of United States Military Justice ("UCMJ") Article 125, 10 U.S.C. § 925, constitutes a sex offense that requires registration under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, 42 U.S.C. § 16901 et. seq. ("SORNA"). Accordingly, he argues, the court abused its discretion in ordering that he register as a sex offender under SORNA as a special condition of his supervised release (special condition 5). In addition, Jones also argues that the court abused its discretion in imposing special conditions 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7 of his supervised release, which are targeted toward preventing future sexual misconduct. Relying on 18 U.S.C. § 3583(d), Jones contends that, in light of the fact that his criminal history includes only one conviction for a sex offense, and this offense occurred in 1992, these special conditions are not reasonably related to the sentencing goals set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a).

For the reasons set forth below, we vacate and remand.

The U.S. Supreme Court decided City of Ontario v. Quon today.  Quon is a case about searching pagers and cellphones.

Our clients convicted of child pornography offenses and certain other offenses in which the internet is case related are restricted in computer access post-release.  I mention Quon because of an interesting comment at Sentencing Law & Policy. 

I recently had to deal with the Federal Probation Service and the Air Force Clemency & Parole Board about a former now paroled client alleged to have improperly used computers to search for employment.  Employment is necessary for parole, and most state funded employment offices, and many employers require applicants to use computers to search for a job or to apply for a job.  We resolved the case in the client’s favor and parole was not revoked.  The parole and FPS rules do allow computer use in limited circumstances related to seeking employment.  The rules are bureaucratic and subject to misunderstanding.  Basically the rules require a new “permission” to use a computer each time.  So going to Home Depot in the AM and Lowes in the PM requires two permissions.  So, here is the SL&P comment on an aspect of Quon.

Army Times reports:

A federal appeals panel says sex offenders convicted in military court but housed by the Bureau of Prisons are not eligible for civil commitment.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the ruling Monday in the case of former Army officer Benjamin Barnard Joshua, who pleaded guilty in military court to sexually molesting children. He was transferred to a federal penitentiary because of military prison downsizing.