Friday, October 30, 2009

Supervised Release Violation Based on Failure to Complete Program Upheld

U.S. v. Metzener, 2009 WL 3366308 (10/21/09) (Published) - The district court reasonably interpreted the supervised release condition that the defendant "participate in a sex offender treatment program" to mean that the defendant had to substantially participate for the entire length of the program. After doing fine for almost 3 years of supervised release, 4 days before it was over, the defendant admitted to having viewed adult porn and having lied about it, which conduct violated his contract with the treatment program. That conduct was bad enough to justify revoking supervised release. The rule of lenity does not apply to the interpretation of supervised release conditions. The 10th concluded with a suggestion that district courts be more specific as to what they mean by "participate," e.g. by requiring that the defendant successfully complete the treatment program.