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State v Packingham

8-20-2013 North Carolina:

State v Packingham
UPDATE 11-5-2015: North Carolina supreme court upholds ban on sex offenders using Facebook

Update 9-8-2014: NC Supreme court heard Oral Arguments this date. See article

Update 9-6-2013: See highlighted notes in this article

Update 8-28-2013: NC Sup ct issued a stay. Accordingly NC RSOs SHOULD NOT USE Facebook type social networks. Wait for next Sup ct notice! see HERE


Update 8-22-2013: North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper wanted the law but admits it may have to be rewritten, but he will try to appeal the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Lester Gerard Packingham (defendant), a registered sex offender, appeals from a judgment entered upon a jury conviction for accessing a commercial social networking Web site, pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-202.5 (2011). Defendant challenges the statute as unconstitutional. For the reasons stated herein, we agree. Accordingly, we vacate the judgment of the trial court.

... ... ...

III. Conclusion
In sum, we conclude that N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-202.5 is not narrowly tailored, is vague, and fails to target the “evil” it is intended to rectify. Instead, it arbitrarily burdens all registered sex offenders by preventing a wide range of communication and expressive activity unrelated to achieving its purported goal. The statute violates the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech, and it is unconstitutional on its face and as applied. Accordingly, we vacate the trial court’s judgment.

See Informational Post HERE and Article: North Carolina appeals court strikes social media ban for sex offenders



Note: Louisiana did modify its law following their unconstitutional ruling. see "New Louisiana law: Sex offenders must list status on Facebook, other social media." Absolutely absurd, registrants are supposed to punish themselves for merely being on a social media site? Esp. given there is no way to comply with the law for most social media sites. Where do we get lawmakers whose only thoughts are further punishment? Hopefully some registrant will challenge this in court....


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