7th Circuit upholds conditions of release

An Indiana man seeking relief for the conditions placed on his supervised release was reminded by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that it matters what is said and done before a federal judge. 

Charles St. Clair was placed on supervised release in August 2017 after serving a sentence for unlawful possession of a firearm as a felon. However, before the end of the first month, he started violating the conditions of his release and by the end of year, the government had moved to return St. Clair to prison. 

At the revocation hearing in April 2018, St. Clair admitted to the violating his release. He told the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana he had received prior notice of the proposed conditions and had discussed them with his counsel. Moreover, when Chief Judge Theresa Springmann inquired, St. Clair responded he had no objections and no questions about the 17 proposed supervised release conditions. 

He was then sentenced to another year in prison followed by an additional year on supervised release.

On appeal, St. Clair challenged the discretionary conditions of the supervised released which he contended the court never justified. The government countered the defendant waived those arguments by not raising them during the revocation hearing.

The 7th Circuit agreed with the government and affirmed the defendant’s sentence in United States of America v. Charles D. St. Clair, 18-1933. 

“…the particular facts of St. Clair’s case make his waiver all the more obvious,” Judge David Hamilton wrote for the panel. “The same judge and defendant, joined by the same prosecutor and defense counsel, had faced essentially identical issues that just nineteen months earlier at St. Clair’s original sentencing. In the absence of objections or any indication of changed circumstances, the district judge did not need to belabor the obvious.”

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