United States v. Walker, No. 18–3529 (7th Cir. 2019)
Nature of Case: Appellant was convicted of sex offenses in 1998 and upon his release from prison was required to register as a sex offender. Federal SORNA imposed independent registration obligations on him for varying lengths of times depending on tier classification. In 2017, Appellant was indicted federally for failing to register pursuant to federal SORNA.
Appellant argued that the indictment should be dismissed because, as a Tier I offender under SORNA, his registration obligation had expired. The District Court disagreed, finding that he was not a Tier I offender. Appellant entered a conditional guilty plea, and sought review of his motion to dismiss.
Holding: 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed. The Court found that the trial court employed an erroneous methodology in determining Appellant’s proper tier classification. Employing a hybrid (part categorical and part circumstance-specific) approach, the Court found that Appellant was a Tier I offender.
Because Appellant was a Tier I offender, under federal SORNA his registration requirement was 15 years and had expired by the time of his indictment. Therefore, Appellant could not be convicted of failing to register as a sex offender under federal law when his federal obligation to register had expired per statute.
- 7th Circuit Opinion | view via Google Scholar
- Appellant’s Brief
- Appellee’s Brief
- Appellant’s Reply Brief