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Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Sex Offender Registration. The Second Circuit, in United States v. Rosario, decided the issue of whether a condition of supervised release requiring registration as a sex offender violates the Tenth Amendment. The sentence that Rosario was serving was not related to a sexual offense, but he had previously been convicted of rape of a seven-year-old girl. The Court held that because Rosario was already required to register under state law, conditioning his release on registration was not an undue intrusion into a state's regulatory scheme.

A second issue addressed by the Court was whether modifications to the oral pronouncement of sentence in a subsequent written judgment are valid. The general rule, the Court acknowledged, is that they are not. The basis for this rule is that a criminal defendant is entitled to be present at all critical stages of his trial, including sentencing. However, as to modifications of the terms of supervised release omitted from the oral pronouncement, the Court has permitted the inclusion of mandatory or standard conditions of supervised release contained in subsections 5D1.3(a), (c) of the Sentencing Guideline, conditions recommended by subsection 5D1.3(d) of the Guidelines and basic administrative requirements that are necessary to supervised release. Here, the Government agreed that a provision requiring Family Court approval before Rosario could see his son, which was not imposed in the oral pronouncement, should be removed, and the Court remanded the case to delete that provision.

The Court did note, in dicta, that in some circumstances, it would afford the sentencing judge an opportunity to reimpose the provisions of the written sentence in the defendant's presence.

The decision can be found here.

This case was decided on October 8, 2004. I am trying to catch up on some cases that I had pulled for inclusion in this blog, but had not had the opportunity to write about. Sorry for the delay.

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