Sex Offender Sentencing Headed to High Court

     WASHINGTON (CN) — The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to take up a case where a sex offender is facing lifetime supervised release plus restitution.
     Marcelo Manrique received the sentence after pleading guilty to one count of possession of material involving a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
     Though Manrique argued that the life term of supervised release was substantively unreasonable, the 11th Circuit affirmed last year in an unpublished opinion.
     Manrique’s appeal had also challenged the sentencing court’s supposed failure to adequately explain the sentence and consider the required factors under Section 3553(a) of Title 18. He called the restitution amount erroneous as well.
     The 11th Circuit found it sufficient, however, that the sentencing court had “explained it did not think Manrique was a danger to recidivate and the sentence was sufficient but not excessive to perform a deterrent function.”
     Factors that the court should have considered under Section 3553(a) included “the nature and circumstances of the offense, the history and characteristics of the defendant, the kinds of sentences available, the applicable guidelines range, pertinent policy statements, the need to avoid unwarranted sentencing disparities, and the need to provide restitution to victims,” according to the ruling.
     Though the sentencing court did not lay out these factors “one by one,” the 11th Circuit found, it called analysis unnecessary to demonstrate consideration of them.
     “It specifically discussed the need for deterrence balanced with its belief Manrique was not a recidivism risk,” the ruling said. “Even if the court favored some factors over others, it was within its discretion to do so. Furthermore, the sentence imposed by the district court was within the Guidelines range, and was in accord with the Guidelines’ recommendation that the supervised release term be the statutory maximum, which indicates reasonableness.”
     As for restitution, the court dismissed this challenge because Manrique had failed to “file a notice of appeal designating the amended judgment setting forth the restitution amount.”
     Per its custom, the U.S. Supreme Court did not issue any comment in taking up Manrique’s case Monday. It did not that he can proceed in forma pauperis.

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