When Is Lifetime Supervised Release Proper for Sex Offender?
In 2009, Crowder was arrested and later convicted in Montana for failing to register under SORNA. In merits mention, as it obviously was of some influence to the sentencing court in Montana, that in a separate federal proceeding, Crowder pleaded guilty to knowingly possess a firearm and ammunition in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(i), which prohibits a convicted felon from having such items.In a Nutshell: When convicted sex offender violates terms of his initial release from prison, court may impose lifetime of supervised release.
In sentencing, the Montana federal court sentenced Crowder to thirty-three months’ imprisonment and imposed a term of lifetime supervised release. One of the terms of supervised release was that Crowder report to the probation office within 72 hours of release from prison.
When Crowder was released from prison, he failed to report to his probation officer. Crowder also committed a crime in Montana in violation of Montana law, which is what led to his arrest.
In sentencing in federal court on his violation of supervised release, the federal judge ordered that lifetime supervised release was appropriate and sentenced him to fourteen months of prison in connection with failing to register under SORNA.
Crowder then filed an appeal, challenging the lifetime term of supervised release. The issue for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was whether 18 U.S.C. § 3583(h), which authorized an additional term of supervised release, permits imposition of a lifetime term of supervised release.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in United States v. Kevin Leroy Crowder (2013 DJDAR 16797) looked to the Second Circuit of the federal court, in United States v. Cassesse (2d Cir. 2012) 685 F. 3d 186, 191, and the Tenth Circuit of the federal court, in United States v. Raush (10th Cir., 2011) 638 F. 3d 1296, 1302-3. In both of these cases, the courts found that a lifetime term of supervised release could be imposed under 18 U.S.C. § 3583(h).
Crowder’s argument was rather academic. It was that the term of supervised release could not last a lifetime because the statute contemplated the term being at the most a lifetime, “less any term of imprisonment that was imposed upon revocation of supervised release.”
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