Sunday, September 28, 2008

Conditional Love

United States v. MacMillen, No. 07-3377-cr (2d Cir. September 23, 2008) (Hall, Livinston, CJJ, McMahon, DJ)

MacMillen pled guilty to possessing child pornography, and the court sentenced him to seventy-eight months’ imprisonment and supervised release for life. On appeal, he complained about two of the conditions of his supervised release: a prohibition on his being anywhere “where children are likely to congregate,” and his probation officer’s ability to address “third-party risk issues” with MacMillen’s employers.

The circuit found no abuse of discretion. The court found the first condition was not overbroad, because it was expressly limited only to places where children are likely to congregate; there is simply nothing in the condition that indicates that MacMillen is forbidden from entering areas where children are unlikely to be. Nor is the condition improperly vague; it gives adequate notice of what conduct is prohibited.

MacMillen next complained that the third-party risk condition delegated judicial authority to the probation officer, but the court disagreed. As written, the condition expressly identifies the particular concern - access to computers in the workplace. Thus, this is the only situation where the employer should be informed of MacMillen’s child pornography conviction.

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