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US v Crowder

9-1-2011 Washington:

US v Crowder
(656 F.3d 870 (2011)

In June 2007, Kevin Leroy Crowder was convicted of child molestation in Washington state court and sentenced to two years confinement, followed by three to four years community custody (i.e., probation). On June 22, 2007, he received and signed a certified copy of his judgment and sentence form, which informed him that as a sex offender, he was "required to register with the sheriff of the county of the state of Washington" where he resides, and that if he moved "out of Washington State," he had to "send written notice within 10 days of moving to the county sheriff with whom [he] last registered in Washington State," and then "register a new address, fingerprints, and photograph with the new state within 10 days."

Upon his release from prison, on May 28, 2008, Crowder completed a Washington state sexual offender registration form, registering at the King County Sheriff's Office. The registration form stated that if Crowder "move[d] out of Washington State," he had to "send signed written notice within ten days of moving to the new state or foreign country, to the county sheriff with whom [he] last registered." And if he "knowingly fail[ed] to comply with these registration requirements, [he would be] guilty of a . . . felony." One week later, he filed a change of address form.

In March or April 2009, Crowder left Washington for Montana without advising either state to that effect. After a short stay with a woman he met at a bus stop, Crowder set up a campsite in a national forest. He was arrested on September 29, 2009, at a convenience store in Bozeman.

In October 2009, a federal grand jury indicted Crowder for failure to register as a sex offender, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a). The indictment stated: "KEVIN LEROY CROWDER, a sex offender by reason of a conviction under Washington law for Child Molestation in the Second Degree, a Felony, and a person required to register under [SORNA], traveled in interstate commerce to Montana, and did knowingly fail to register and/or update a registration, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a)."

He entered a not guilty plea and opted for a bench trial. The district court rejected Crowder's argument that he did not receive "actual notice" of the federal sex registration requirements, relying on the Eighth Circuit's decision in United States v. Baccam, 562 F.3d 1197 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 130 S.Ct. 432 (2009), and found him guilty. Crowder timely appeals. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291.
Most important to note here is, that once a registrant signs ANY state form, which indicates that if they move to another state they must register there, ALL Courts (State and Federal) ignore the boundaries between state and federal law.

Here federal law (SORNA) commands that the USAG use a form to notify registrants of their registration requirements (Sec. 117(a) 42 USC 16917(a)) and to prescribe RULES to notify registrants convicted before SORNA of their registration requirements (Sec 117(b) 42 USC 16917(b)).

However, the USAG has FAILED to prescribe any RULE for the notification of registrants convicted before SORNA of their registration requirements. Courts are IGNORING that federal mandate (42 USC 16917(b)), if their is a signed state form which says something similar, and the registrant has signed the state form. In this writer's opinion that is clear trickery, and does not satisfy due process, but I am one person and not a lawyer or a court. It is what it is, be forewarned!

In Crowder's case all his dates are after SORNA was enacted, so this note is not applicable to him, except to show how the SIGNED FORMS are used years after they were signed. (Someday I'll find a case showing how courts are convicting some quite illegally)
We now apply this interpretation of § 2250 to Crowder's case. Although Crowder did not receive notice of the requirement to register under SORNA, the government did not have to prove that Crowder knew of this requirement in order to convict him of an offense under § 2250.

Crowder was required by the terms of his judgment to register in Washington as well as in any new state to which he moved. Indeed, his registration form advised him that he needed to update his registration in Washington before he moved to another state.

In short, there was ample evidence on which the district court could base its determination that Crowder knew that he was required to register and failed to do so. See Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307 (1979). Accordingly, we reject Crowder's sufficiency of the evidence challenge.

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