Summaries of Selected Opinions, 0718 COBJ, Vol. 47, No. 7 Pg. 78

Position::Vol. 47, 7 [Page 78]

47 Colo.Law. 78

Summaries of Selected Opinions

Vol. 47, No. 7 [Page 78]

The Colorado Lawyer

July, 2018


No. 17-5048. United States v. Adams. 4/26/2018. N.D.Okla. Judge Hartz. Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act—Registration Requirement—Transient or Homeless Persons.

Defendant was a convicted sex offender. One of the conditions of his supervised release was that he comply with the Sex Offender Registration and Notifcation Act (SORNA). His probation officer fled a petition alleging that defendant, who was homeless at the time, violated the conditions of his supervised release, including by failing to keep his SORNA registration up to date when he moved from Oklahoma City to Tulsa. The district court revoked his supervised release and sentenced him to a term of incarceration.

On appeal, defendant argued that there was no evidence that he had changed his residence to Tulsa for SORNA purposes. SORNA requires an offender to appear in person not less than three days after changing his residence to update his registration information. The Attorney General’s guidelines discuss the statute’s application to homeless persons and require a sex offender to register where he habitually lives. Homeless or transient persons are required to provide a more or less specific description of the place or places where they habitually live, such as a shelter, public building, restaurant, or library that the sex offender frequents. A person habitually lives in a place if he lives there for at least 30 days. Here, there was ample evidence that defendant was living with some regularity in Tulsa, and it was undisputed that he never registered as a sex offender there.

The judgment was affirmed.

No. 16-2170. United States v. Salas. 5/4/2018. D.N.M. Judge Kelly. Crime of Violence—Residual Clause—Unconstitutional Vagueness.

Defendant firebombed a tattoo parlor. He was found guilty of various arson-related offenses and of using a destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1). The bulk of defendant’s 35-year prison sentence resulted from a 30-year mandatory minimum sentence on the § 924(c)(1) count.

On appeal, defendant argued for the first time that § 924(c)(3)(B), the “residual clause,” could not be used to characterize his arson conviction as a crime of violence, because the definition was unconstitutionally vague. The residual clause provides that to qualify as a “crime of violence,” the underlying felony must “by its nature, involve a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.” The Tenth Circuit noted the similarity between the residual clause and similarly worded definitions of a “crime of violence” or “violent felony” found in other federal statutes that were held to...

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