United States v. Ackell, No. 17-1784 (1st Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The First Circuit affirmed Defendant’s conviction of one counts of stalking in violation 18 U.S.C. 2216A, holding that Defendant’s constitutional challenge was unsuccessful, there was no error in the district court’s jury instructions, and sufficient evidence supported the conviction.
On appeal, Defendant brought a First Amendment challenge to the federal anti-stalking statute, arguing that section 2261A(2)(B) is facially overbroad and a content-based restriction on speech that does not survive strict scrutiny. The First Circuit disagreed as to this issue and the remaining issues Defendant raised on appeal, holding (1) Defendant’s First Amendment challenge to the statute was unavailing; (2) the district court did not err in denying Defendant’s request for a unanimity instruction or in giving jury instructions that precisely tracked the statute’s wording; and (3) there was sufficient evidence to support Defendant’s conviction.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on November 13, 2018.