collected by :EmyJakop
Indiana, Louisiana and Nebraska have similar laws regarding sex offenders’ social media use, so the implications of this case could be far reaching.
A North Carolina sex offender who used Facebook despite the state banning him from doing so is claiming that the restrictions violate the First Amendment.
Now it’s up to the Supreme Court to decide.
Lester Packingham is set to make his case to the Supreme Court on Monday.
While Packingham’s initial appeal resulted in the conviction being dropped, a 2015 ruling by the North Carolina Supreme Court reversed that, citing a plethora of other websites Packingham could use instead.
U.S. Supreme Court weighs law in N.C. banning sex offenders from social media
as informed in Feb. 26 (UPI) — The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday on whether a North Carolina law banning registered sex offenders from “accessing” social media sites, including Facebook, violates the First Amendment.
North Carolina appears to be the only state that currently prohibits all registered sex offenders from social media sites.
North Carolina argues the social media law protects children from sexual abuse.
An intermediate state appellate court overturned his conviction, but the state supreme court reversed that ruling and reinstated his conviction.
“It blinks reality to suggest that sexual predators do not use social media to further their crimes,” the state maintains.
Argument preview: Court to consider social media access for sex offenders
as informed in Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Argument preview: Court to consider social media access for sex offenders, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 24, 2017, 12:30 PM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2017/02/argument-preview-court-consider-social-media-access-sex-offenders/
Defending the law, North Carolina argues that it is an essential part of the state’s ongoing efforts to protect children from sexual abuse.
Instead, it just keeps them from accessing social networking sites.
But at least one mortal authority did: a Durham, N.C., police officer who had logged onto Facebook to see whether any registered sex offenders had been using the site.
It does not, the state stresses, prohibit sex offenders from visiting other sites, such as nytimes.com, that do not meet those criteria.
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