United States v. Morin, No. 15-50197 (5th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Defendant pleaded guilty to failing to register as a sex offender as required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), 18 U.S.C. 2250(a). On appeal, defendant challenges two special conditions of his supervised release. Determining that the court has jurisdiction to exercise its discretion to consider defendant's argument, the court agreed with defendant that Condition No. 4 constitutes an improper delegation. In this case, Condition No. 4 vests a private therapist with the ability to impose “lifestyle restrictions” that are potentially unnecessary to the treatment process and could remain in force throughout the term of supervised release. The Government concedes, and the court agreed, that the district court’s failure to rule on defendant’s objection to Special Condition No. 1, - which requires defendant to abstain from alcohol and other intoxicants - coupled with the district court’s silence on the Condition during its oral pronouncement, creates a conflict, not an ambiguity. Accordingly, the court vacated Special Condition Nos. 1 and 4, and remanded.