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Fourth Circuit Strikes Bans on Internet, Legal Pornography For Sex Offender

[fd.org – 1/10/21]

The Fourth Circuit held (link is external) that conditions of supervised release banning legal pornography and internet access are too restrictive and cannot be sustained as “reasonably related” under 18 U.S.C. 3583(d)(1) and are overbroad under 18 U.S.C. 3583(d)(2). The court explained that the district court abused its discretion in imposing an outright ban on defendant possessing legal pornography or entering any location where it may be accessed.

The circuit stated that pornography use was not the basis of any violation. Further, when defendant lied about watching pornography during a polygraph exam at the outset of his sex offender treatment, the violative conduct was dishonesty, not pornography consumption. Finally, the pornography restriction impermissibly restricts more liberty than is reasonably necessary.

The case is United States v. Ellis (link is external), No. 19-04159 (4th Cir. Jan. 8, 2021).

Read the full article

 

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In this opinion, the 4th Circuit summarily said the PO can’t prohibit the internet, legal porn, or locations where they may be available (which is nearly everywhere) without an individualized assessment that using it would result in an increased risk of committing another sex crime; purported “common sense” doesn’t establish that. In my opinion (for what it’s worth), if the defendant’s (whose original offense was CP possession) circumstances as found by the court doesn’t justify prohibiting legal porn or the internet, I would think there are NO circumstances that would support such prohibitions. An excellent opinion. I would only add… Read more »

Contrary consideration.

Re: Through it all, I’ve never heard of one single occasion where porn use was a factor in any sex crime whatsoever.

Are you an expert on this? I think that so councilors would disagree that something along the lines of addition isn’t set off by watching.

No, I’m not an expert. I was referring to my extensive research on this very subject matter (porn use leading to sex crime) when I challenged the assertion made by my former “treatment” provider. I was unable to find a criminal case where porn use contributed, and my claim that it was encouraged in treating actual, competently diagnosed sexual disorders comes from being told by two different psychiatrists. Neither could recall a clinical case to support the notion, either. When I brought this to the “treatment” provider, she changed tactic to claiming that the concern is that one who watches… Read more »

Yes, the probation officers and sex treatment providers go overboard. My sex treatment provider said seeing a bra commercial on TV was porn. And seeing adult females in bikinis on TV was porn. She accused me of watching porn on tv and wanted to ban me from watching tv. So I brought my tv and along with my rabbit ear antenna to the treatment group. I turned on the TV and flipped through the stations and the guys in the treatment group said none of these stations, NBC, Fox, CBS, ABC, KERA were porn. (I had no cable TV or… Read more »

Same thing, my treatment provider said watching any movie that has a sex scene is porn, I was even made to sign a contract that if I’m caught with porn I could be violated by my PO. So one day I was in treatment and they had a PO visit he grabbed everyones phone and went through it. I had a message from my brother that was considered porn, the next day my PO called me and said bring my laptop and phone and that I’m going to be violated. So my attorney said go ahead, the contract is BS,… Read more »

While I was convicted of a violation of conditions because I had adult porn on my computer in a different district, this case can be used as persuasive, right? I have hopes in it can be and I can get my violation dropped meaning I could then petition the court to de-register and get off CSL.

@LPH

Yes, persuasive.

Wow, what a flippen’ nightmare. She makes Nurse Ratched sound like Mother Theresa.
Protected government jobs are the last hope for people like her who couldn’t maintain gainful employment in the private sector. What a miserable human being sue must be and I’ll bet her pets dread her return home everyday when they feel her wrath.

How did an atty let a polygraph get used in a case when it’s supposedly inadmissible in the first place? Junk science…

Every little victory is one more crack in the dam.

Polygraphs were invented in the 1920s to get false confessions. The first time a suspect took one, he passed it, the administrator told him he failed. He was so shaken by this, he confessed to a murder he didn’t commit.

Wow.

The court is saying you can’t make a non-criminal (legal) act a criminal act, nor prevent it. You can substitute other things for porn such as living restrictions, presence restrictions, …

Hmmm… isn’t the IML preventing free travel. Sure, the other country is banning you, but it’s the USA that’s providing that information to ban you!

While the court case only focuses on probation, we can query why is being a citizen no longer under custody have fewer right than being under custody.

“…..the [pornography] restriction impermissibly restricts more liberty than is reasonably necessary.” 🤔
It could certainly be argued that many restrictions Registrants face impermissibly restrict more liberty than is reasonably necessary.

Decisions, decisions, decisions, seems like we all make decisons or do we make choices in these legal battles. In this porno issue do people make the choice or the decision to watch or look at pornography material. Porn is not good or who told you were naked. This article that Janice has brought up gives some very enlightening view to those who have an ounce of understanding. See police enforcing is all about correction and in many ways much of this sex offender registry is either justifable or unjustifable or abusive in these behavior matters. Sure people have a right… Read more »

I don’t have anything that has to do with the internet. But at my polygraphs thay ask if I’m using acomputer or if I’m watching porn how is this law going to be implemented

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