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U.S. v Shannon

2-18-2014 7Th Cir:

U.S. v Shannon

While on supervised release for possessing child pornography, Ralph Shannon violated the conditions of his release by attaching a web camera to his computer without prior permission. He also viewed several websites involving sexually explicit images, purportedly of teenage girls.

Those actions led the district court to revoke Shannon's supervised release despite Shannon's contention that the websites contained disclaimers that the sites did not actually depict any minors.

In this appeal, Shannon contests the district court's imposition of a special condition for his life term of supervised release: a ban on the possession of any sexually explicit material. This ban was not restricted to material involving minors. Nor was it limited to visual depictions. And it was not discussed before or during the hearing, by anyone including the judge, before the judge imposed it.

In light of the lack of findings or explanation for the lifetime ban on the possession of all sexually explicit material, we vacate the condition and remand this case to the district court for further proceedings.

... ... ...

Here, in contrast, the district court did not at all explain the tie between the possession of any material containing sexually explicit conduct, even legal material depicting adults, and Shannon's conduct. And it gave no reason or explanation for the ban on even legal adult pornography. Cf. United States v. Perazza-Mercado, 553 F.3d 65, 78 (1st Cir. 2009) (finding fifteen-year ban on "pornography of any kind" plainly erroneous where there was no explanation or apparent basis in the record for a connection between lawful sexually explicit materials and the defendant's conviction for engaging in sexual conduct with a nine-year old girl).

In light of the lack of findings, we vacate Special Condition No. 10 and remand this case to the district court for further consideration. See Adkins, 2014 WL 325254 at *15; Goodwin, 717 F.3d at 524-25.


We VACATE Special Condition No. 10 of Shannon's supervised release and REMAND for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

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