Child Porn Convict’s Conditions of Supervised Release Upheld

27 Jun

Yesterday, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (whose decisions become binding law on all federal district courts in Minnesota) upheld an Arkansas judge’s decision that a man convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography could be prohibited from possessing all pornography, from accessing the Internet, and from owning a computer as terms of his supervised release.

The convict, Justin Deatherage, was sentenced to 70 months in prison, followed by ten years of supervised release, one of the conditions of which being that he not “purchase, possess . . . or use any media forms containing pornographic images or sexually oriented materials…” At the sentencing, the judge stated that “We would just like to keep these sex offenders away from pornography.”

Deatherage appealed, arguing that the condition banning pornography, among others, was “a greater deprivation of liberty than necessary.”

In its decision, United States v. Deatherage, the Eighth Circuit stated that while “broad bans on possessing sexually explicit materials … implicate important First Amendment rights,” it ultimately concluded that “between the child pornography offense, Deatherage’s likely abuse of young children, and his sordid affair with [his mistress], the district court did not abuse its discretion by banning possession of all sexually oriented materials during his ten years of supervised release.”

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