7th Circuit upholds lifetime supervised release

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday affirmed a federal judge’s findings and explanations were sufficient to support lifetime supervised release for 66-year-old man in poor health.

John Lewis was convicted of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, traveling interstate for the purpose of having sex with a minor, transporting child pornography, possessing child pornography and committing a felony sex offense involving a minor. He had several online conversations with police who claimed to be a minor and claimed to want to have sex with Lewis. Lewis traveled from out of state to Indiana to photograph and have sex with the minor, but was arrested when he got to where he thought she lived.

Lewis was sentenced to a statutory minimum of 35 years in prison, but realizing this was a de facto life sentence, Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson sentenced Lewis to a life term of supervised release. Lewis raised no objections in District Court but on appeal argues the judge did not explain why she thought a life term of supervised release was appropriate, she failed to explain her reasons for imposing 13 conditions on the release, and several conditions have substantive flaws.

The 7th Circuit said there were no surprises in the sentencing hearing related to the supervised release. Also, Lewis was a repeat offender who has been resistant to court supervision in the past.

Lewis and his attorney did not object to his sentence at trial, therefore waiving his right to this issue on appeal. Magnus-Stinson followed all the right steps in asking questions about the sentence and if Lewis and his attorney had any questions, and she asked very specific questions about every part of the sentence, the appeals court held.

The case is United States of America v. John Alan Lewis, 14-3635.


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