Monday, February 27, 2017 08:06 AM


In 2010, Lester Packingham was convicted of having a Facebook account. That's a crime in North Carolina, which bars registered sex offenders from "accessing" certain social media sites, including Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on whether that law violates the First Amendment guarantee of free speech. Packingham contends the statute, instead of being narrowly targeted, encompasses a "vast amount" of speech that is protected by the Constitution.

New York Bans Registered Sex Offenders From Pokémon GoALL TECH CONSIDEREDNew York Bans Registered Sex Offenders From Pokémon GoPackingham's case stems from the guilty plea he entered at age 21 for having consensual sex with a 13-year-old girl he says he was dating. He claimed he didn't know her age. He got a suspended sentence. Under North Carolina law, he was required to register as a sex offender — a designation that lasts for 30 years.

For seven years after his conviction, Packingham had no further sex offenses — until he signed up for the Facebook account. Indeed, even after his Facebook page was discovered and police searched his house, they did not find any evidence that he was abusing children or committing sex crimes. He was placed on ...

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See also: Davis & Hoss