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IN: Justices to decide if sex offender’s internet restriction unconstitutional

After being convicted of incest with his teenage niece, a Tippecanoe County man’s sentence contained several probation conditions, including a prohibition on accessing websites “frequented by children” and a prohibition on internet use without prior approval. Those conditions are the subject of an appeal now under review by the Indiana Supreme Court, which will decide whether the conditions, as applied, are unconstitutional.

During oral arguments Thursday in Kristopher Weida v. State of Indiana, 79S02-1711-CR-00687, Brian Karle, counsel for Weida, argued against the constitutionality of the probation conditions, telling the justices the conditions can be viewed as the equivalent of a complete internet ban. That’s because there’s no guarantee Weida’s probation officer would approve any requests for internet use, and because there are no parameters defining what a website “frequented by children” is. Full Article

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  1. Sam

    Google is another site commonly used by everyone even though it’s tnc has age restrictions in it

  2. Chris F

    The guy is on probation.

    Deal with it.

    He can arrange to have his PC internet monitored by his PO like many of us do while on probation.

    I find it hard to believe a simple motion to modify conditions wouldn’t have sufficed and have the judge accept monitored internet access with reports going to the PO.

    This shouldn’t even be newsworthy and the judges should tell him to suck it up and get through probation. He wouldn’t be having this discussion if he just served a jail sentence instead of being granted the luxury of probation.

    • I get it

      @ Chris,

      I do see where you are coming from, but to be fair the article doesn’t actually state wether or not the man went through the normal appeal process or not. He may have.

      Second, you are right that while on parole or probation one must deal with a lot, but here in California they continue to extend our parol dates. When I was released I had agreed to 5 years of parole, a year later I was told that due to new legislation I now have 10. What’s to stop them from changing it to 20, or life? What good will it be to fix the rules only for those off supervision if they simply keep all the rest of us on supervision for life? We are all in this together. Every single time they treat us severely based only upon our charge, they are hurting us all. We are all categorized the same in this system. He is fighting a battle that will be good for everyone if he wins, every win is a good thing.

      • Lovecraft

        They can not legally extend your parole/probation no matter what they tell you unless you have gotten more charges since then or in some cases been incarcerated on a violation. When you were sentenced or plead out you were given a specific punishment, prison and parole or probation for x number of months/years. They can not go back and change those terms unless you get an appeal. I know of several people in California that had that same thing told to them and once they got a lawyer the time magically changed to what they were sentenced to originally.

        Where I live (not in California) they changed parole for all rc’s from 9 months to 5 years in 2011. Anyone found guilty of a sex crime after whatever date it went into effect in 2011 automatically got 5 years parole and those that were convicted before stayed on 9 months.

      • Chris F

        You need a lawyer. It’s an ex-post facto violation to extend the agreed punishment after the fact without a trial to show you did something additional wrong to deserve it.

        We need to fight the right fights, not just anything we don’t like. If this guy made a deal to avoid jail to be on probation he should know certain restrictions are possible. It even said this guy used the internet to research his type of crime. The article does not say he was denied monitored internet access, or even if he tried to get that. He just doesn’t want any internet restriction at all and that isn’t justifiable.

        • I get it

          You think it’s an ex post facto violation but you are wrong. Supervision is not considered punishment, it is a priveledge. I have spoken to attorneys about this. You can fight it but the CDCR holds all the cards. In Kern County many of us have had our parole extended for no reason than the law has changed. I am a perfect parolee. I have done everything right and been in no trouble. I am a full time student. My parole went from 5 to 10 years based on new legislation.

          Don’t think for a minute that this country cares about our constitutional rights or about protecting them. Unconstitutional laws are passed every day.

          I’m glad those on supervision are fighting for our rights.

      • Bob

        I recall this kid (19-20?) in Sharper Finger’s class… he had 5 and his PO said it was a new law changed to 10 ! Imagine that friggen ankle tag… 10 years…

        I think lame parole did it cause they were loosing $$ of keeping your cdcr # active because they cant throw you in prison for a year at a time for a violation… its all about the $ on parole and the lame cdcr.
        Luckily I only had 3 yrs on lame parole and they got me a extra 5 mos for violations some that werent even a VIOLATION of conditions… THE CDCR IS A CORRUPT ENTITY !! Like when they do surprise compliance checks at 5pm on a SATURDAY… 10 of them just for the OVERTIME !!!

    • John

      Agreed here. When I was on probation in Florida (5 years probation), I had internet restrictions. After 2 years into probation, I motion to modify my conditions to have access to the internet/computer for basic necessities like work and banking ..etc. etc. As long as I wasn’t on any social media app/site ” The court made that VERY clear ” . The motion was granted and my probation officer knowing how I was with her for 2 years already trusted me. She never even checked and believe me she was a tough one including on sex offenders. I was able to work administratively because of it… 3 years into probation, I motion for early termination and it was granted.

      Anyhow, you can ask the lower court for modifications to your probation conditions within reason. This really shouldn’t be a big deal, especially since you’re still in a sentence. Now post sentence, yes, that’s a big deal.

  3. stephen

    Probation Can do almost anything they want, but it’s still good to challenge them.

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