Monday, September 13, 2021

US v. Green, No. 20-50257 (9-8-21)(Callahan w/Hurwitz; partial concurrence and partial dissent by Paez). In a Supervised Release (SR) revocation appeal, the 9th holds a defendant violated one of his SR conditions when he “patronized” a website offering free pornography. The defendant had pled guilty to a CP charge. One of his condition was not to “patronize any place” where sexually explicit materials or entertainment are the primary materials. The defendant clicked on a free porn website. He argues on appeal he had to purchase goods or services for patronization. The 9th rejects this argument, given the court’s oral instructions and the common understanding of the digital world.

Paez, dissenting, finds the panel’s opinion overbroad. The district court had prohibited viewing images or videos depicting sexually explicit conduct. The defendant violated that condition. The panel did not need to conclude that clicking on a website is patronizing it. Further, to Paez, the approach is wrong. The condition is not sufficiently clear. The definition of “patronize” does not support a mere clicking. The district court could have prohibited visiting any website; it didn’t. The panel should not rewrite the condition.

The decision is here:


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