Wednesday, January 10, 2018

U.S. v. Hullen (9th Cir. - Jan. 10, 2018)

Andrew Hulen failed to register as a sex offender, so he was sentenced to a year in federal prison.  He did his time and got out.  After he was out, he had a five year term of supervised release, and was required to undergo sex offender treatment.  Which he did.

Two months into that treatment, however, he volunteered to his treatment provider that "he was not doing all he could to progress in treatment."  Clearly, he felt bad about that.  "Hulen’s provider told him to write down everything he had done in violation of his treatment program, which he did."  The resulting list was pretty long; he was sexting, having contact with (presumably adult) women, going to bars, etc.  Things he definitely shouldn't be doing.

So, on the basis of Hulen's forthright admissions, his provider promptly terminated Hulen and tturned over his list to his probation officer.  Who in turn revoked Hulen's supervised release, and Hulen was forced to spend another six months in prison.

Hulen says that this violated his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, because he was required to be truthful in his treatment program, and he was, and that's precisely what got him in trouble.  But the Ninth Circuit holds that the Fifth Amendment doesn't apply to revocations of supervised release.  So there.

Okay.  That's the way we view things, apparently.  It is what it is.

But I will say this.  If that's the law, and I'm Hulen, I'm definitely going to start lying to my treatment provider (e.g., my doctor).  Every.  Single.  Day.  I'm not going to feel bad about the stuff I'm doing; or, at least, I'm not going to tell him about that stuff in an attempt to get better.  Because, apparently, rather than try to help me, he's just going to get me thrown back in prison.  And, after today, he can clearly do that, and I'm utterly without recourse.

And if I'm anyone advising Hulen (e.g., his lawyer), I'm going to make darn sure to tell him that this is the law.  Because I don't want him thinking, even for a second, that he can be honest with the guy who's trying to make him better.