First Circuit - Supervised Release

United States v. Colon-Maldonado, 953 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2020). Neither aggravated abuse nor attempted abuse under Puerto Rico law are always crimes of violence that constitute Grade A violations under §7B1.1(a)(1)(A)(i) because the abuse statute includes psychological abuse that causes emotional harm. The court committed clear error when it used unsubstantiated allegations in a complaint to find that the defendant had used physical force.

United States v. Garcia-Cartagena, 953 F.3d 14 (1st Cir. 2020). A hybrid approach is used to classify the grade of a violation under §7B1.1(a). The first step involves classifying the grade of a violation using the categorical approach to determine whether an offense is a “crime of violence” or “controlled substance offense.” The second step involves using a conduct-based approach to determine if the defendant committed the offense. In the second step, the court can look beyond Shepard documents to any other reliable evidence.

United States v. Benoit, 975 F.3d 20 (1st Cir. 2020). In a possession/distribution of child pornography case, it was not an abuse of discretion to impose supervised release conditions prohibiting contact with children, including the defendant’s minor son, and prohibiting the defendant from going to places with children. The defendant had sexually abused his sister when she was four, and while an expert opined that the defendant’s risk of recidivism would be low with treatment, the defendant had not started treatment.

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