United States v. Serrapio, Jr., No. 12-14897 (11th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Defendant was sentenced to three years probation for threatening to shoot President Obama on defendant's Facebook page. Afterwards, defendant spoke to a reporter for his college newspaper, saying that his ordeal was "pretty funny," that he could not be imprisoned in his "own house," and that a lot of good had come out of his case, including his rock band because a "lot of people showed up [to one of his shows] to see the kid who threatened to kill the [P]resident." The district court, upon learning of these comments, modified the conditions of probation to include 45 days in a halfway house and one year of home confinement with electronic monitoring. Defendant appealed. The court concluded that defendant's appeal was moot to the extent that it challenged the district court's modification of the conditions of probation to include a 45-day term in a halfway house; the appeal was not moot with respect to the district court's modification of the conditions of probation to include an additional eight months in home confinement with electronic monitoring; where 18 U.S.C. 3563(c) permits modification when a defendant's post-sentencing conduct shows that the original conditions were not sufficient to accomplish the purposes of probation, the home confinement modification did not violate defendant's rights under the Double Jeopardy Clause; the home confinement modification did not violate the Due Process Clause where, assuming there was any error, it did not seriously affect the fairness of the proceedings; and the home confinement modification did not violate the First Amendment where defendant's post-sentencing comments were relevant to the conditions of probation because they indicated that defendant did not grasp the seriousness of his conduct and did not think much of the probationary sentence he had received, and defendant was not punished for any abstract beliefs. Accordingly, the court dismissed in part and affirmed in part.