Unformatted text preview: Personal Views of Packingham v. North Carolina
Packingham v. North Carolina is a 2017 United States Supreme Court case in which the
court agreed to hear Supreme Court of North Carolina law banning the use of various websites to
registered sex offenders. Lester Packingham was indicted in 2002 by a North Carolina grand jury
on two counts of statutory rape. Under the terms of a plea bargain, Packingham pled guilty to a
single count of taking indecent liberties with a minor. As a result of the conviction, Packingham
was ordered to register as a sex offender.
In 2008, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted a law which prohibits registered
sex offenders from accessing any commercial social networking Web site where the sex offender
knows that the site permits minor children to become members or to create or maintain personal
Web pages on the commercial social networking Web site. Packingham was arrested in 2010
after authorities came across a post on his Facebook profile, thanking God for having a parking
ticket dismissed. He was arrested for violating North Carolina’s laws regarding convicted sex
offenders, which barred the offender’s access to social media websites.
After a grand jury indicted Packingham for violating the law, he argued that the law
violated his First Amendment rights. He was convicted in trial court, which found that the state
had an interest in keeping sexual predators off of social media websites for the protection of
minors. The North Carolina Court of Appeals reversed and held that the social media website
provision of the law was unconstitutional. The North Carolina Supreme Court reversed and held
that the law was constitutional by finding that the law was a limitation on conduct and not a
restriction of free speech. ...
View Full Document
- Winter '16
- Mr. Zarzicki