Court reverses computer filter lifetime supervised release condition for sex offender

Jay Leiderman
By: Jay Leiderman
February 04 2015

Defendant was convicted of the federal crime of failing to register as a sex offender. 18 USC sec 2250(a). The terms of his sentence required him to install lifetime monitoring software on his computers. Indeed, the slip opinion at p.1 [click here for the whole opinion] says:requiring him to “install [computer] filtering software . . . block[ing]/monitor[ing] access to sexually oriented websites” for “any computer he possesses or uses”.

They reasoned, at p.4: special conditions must: “involve [ ] no greater deprivation of liberty than is reasonably necessary” to serve the purposes of [ ] deterrence [ ] protection of the
public[ ], and [ ] educational or vocational training, medical care, or other
correctional treatment[.]

rare: lifetime supervised release condition struck down

At p.8 they explain why they feel the condition was too extreme:

In the light of the facts at hand, the district court abused its discretion in
imposing the software-installation special condition provision at issue, when, inter
alia, neither his failure-to-register offense nor his criminal history has any
connection to computer use or the Internet. Similar to Tang, the special condition
imposed in this instance is related neither to the nature and circumstances of
Fernandez’ offense (failing to register as a sex offender) nor his criminal history
and characteristics.

For law nerds, this is an interesting read in that this decision is unusual for these types of cases.

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[Ventura County, California criminal defense lawyer and State Bar Certified Criminal Law Specialist Jay Leiderman provides defense of cases involving oppression leveled against activists and hacktivists. He does all types of cases involving the digital revolution, civil rights, political dissent, emerging tech issues in the courts, piracy, Search and seizure issues, freedom on the internet, fighting against unjust systems, governmental and prosecutorial overreach, medical marijuana, and overall injustice. Jay fights for the underdog. Jay is a lifetime member of the NORML Legal Committee. Jay is pro-privacy for hte individual and believes in transparency for hte state and large corporations. He is also a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), The National Lawyer’s Guild (NLG), The California Public Defender’s Association (CPDA) and is also a lifetime member of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ). He is admitted to practice in state and federal courts.]

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