United States v. Hunt, No. 20-1009 (1st Cir. 2021)
Nature of Case: In 2009, Appellant was one of the first people to be civilly committed under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (“Adam Walsh Act”) which authorizes the civil commitment of “sexually dangerous persons.” In 2012, Appellant was discharged from commitment under certain conditions, including that he receive mental health treatment and remain under supervised probation.
In 2018 Appellant moved for an unconditional discharge, which requires a showing that the committed individual would not be “sexually dangerous to others” if so released. The District Court concluded that Appellant had failed to make the required showing despite consistently compliant behavior.
Appellant is now seventy-five years old, partially paralyzed from a medical condition, and confined to a wheelchair.
Holding: The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s judgment denying unconditional discharge holding that deference would be given to the district court’s determinations. In so holding the Court noted “some concern” that the district court “gave seemingly little weight to [Appellant’s] physical impairments” but ultimately affirmed the ruling noting the difficulty of determining whether the Appellant’s “spotless record” was dependent in part on the conditions of supervision he sought to remove.