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United States of America v. Mark Allen Youngs

July 23, 2012

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, APPELLEE,
v.
MARK ALLEN YOUNGS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Droney, Circuit Judge:

10-4501-cr

United States v. Youngs

Argued: March 23, 2012

28 Before: LIVINGSTON, LYNCH, and DRONEY, Circuit Judges.

30 Appeal from a conviction for production and possession of child pornography following 31 a guilty plea. Appellant argues that his plea is constitutionally invalid because the district court 32 (Siragusa, J.) did not apprise him of the possibility of civil commitment as a sexually dangerous 33 person at the end of his prison term. We hold that due process and Rule 11 of the Federal Rules 34 of Criminal Procedure did not require the district court to advise him of that possibility. We 35 accordingly AFFIRM the conviction.

13 Defendant Mark Allen Youngs ("Youngs") appeals from his judgment of conviction. On 14 August 27, 2008, Youngs waived indictment and pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the 15 Western District of New York to a two-count Superseding Information that charged him with 16 producing child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a) ("Count One"); and possessing 17 child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(5)(B), (b)(2) ("Count Two"). Youngs 18 argues that his plea was defective because the district court did not advise him of the possibility 19 of civil commitment as a sexually dangerous person at the end of his prison term. We hold that 20 the district court was not required by due process or Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal 21 Procedure ("Rule 11") to advise Youngs of the possibility of civil commitment and affirm the 22 conviction.

23 BACKGROUND

24 I. The Plea

25 Youngs pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement that set forth the possible sentences 26 for each count of the child pornography offenses in the Information: Count One carried a 27 mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years' imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of 1 30 years' imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, a mandatory special assessment, and a term of 2 supervised release of up to life; and Count Two carried a maximum sentence of 10 years' 3 imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, a mandatory special assessment, and a term of supervised 4 release of up to life.

5 At his plea hearing, the district court reviewed in detail the plea agreement with Youngs 6 and the various rights set forth in Rule 11. As a part of this review, the court described the 7 minimum and maximum sentences of imprisonment, the supervised release term that Youngs 8 faced, the forfeiture of his computer equipment, and his obligations under the Sex Offender 9 Registration and Notification Act*fn1 following his release from incarceration. Youngs responded 10 that he understood all of these consequences. He waived his right to indictment and pleaded 11 guilty to both Counts of the Information. The court accepted his plea. 12 On October 15, 2010, the court sentenced Youngs to concurrent sentences of 13 imprisonment for 240 months on Count One and 120 months on Count Two, and 40 years of 14 supervised release with numerous conditions. The court also imposed the special assessment for 15 each count.

16 II. Civil Commitment Under the Adam Walsh Act

17 On appeal, Youngs disputes the validity of his guilty plea because the district court did 18 not inform Youngs that by pleading guilty, he faced the possibility of civil commitment under 19 the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (the "Act") following the completion 20 of his incarceration. See 18 U.S.C. § 4248(a) (2006).

1 The Act permits the Attorney General or the Director of the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") 2 to certify an individual in the custody of the BOP approaching the end of his period of 3 incarceration as a "sexually dangerous person." Id. The inmate is provided a hearing in the 4 district court, and his release from incarceration is stayed. Id. If, at the hearing, the Government 5 demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that the inmate is "sexually dangerous," the 6 inmate is committed to further custody until the court determines that he is no longer sexually 7 dangerous. Id. ยง 4248(d)-(e). A "sexually dangerous person" is defined as a person who (1) 8 "has engaged or attempted to engage in sexually violent conduct or child molestation" and (2) 9 "is sexually dangerous to others" in that he "suffers from a ...


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