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Case Profile

Docket Number 15-1194
Term 2016
Full Name Lester Gerard Packingham v. North Carolina
Short Name Lester Gerard Packingham v. North Carolina
Petitioner Lester Gerard Packingham
Respondent North Carolina
Date Argued (Reargued) Feb. 27, 2017
Date Decided

Question Presented

The North Carolina Supreme Court sustained petitioner's conviction under a criminal law, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-202.5, that makes it a felony for any person on the State's registry of former sex offenders to "access" a wide array of websites-including Facebook, YouTube, and nytimes.com-that enable communication, expression, and the exchange of information among their users, if the site is "know[n]" to allow minors to have accounts. The law-which applies to thousands of people who, like petitioner, have completed all criminal justice supervision-does not require the State to prove that the accused had contact with (or gathered information about) a minor, or intended to do so, or accessed a website for any illicit or improper purpose. The question presented is: Whether, under this Court's First Amendment precedents, such a law is permissible, both on its face and as applied to petitioner - who was convicted based on a Facebook "post" in which he celebrated dismissal of a traffic ticket, declaring "God is Good!"

Case Prediction Summary

- correct prediction - wrong prediction
Total Prediction Count 696
Votes for Justice Affirm 154
Votes to Justice Reverse 542
% Justice (A)ffirm/(R)everse
78 (R)
Votes for Outcome Affirm 5
Votes for Outcome Reverse 82
% Outcome (A)ffirm/(R)everse
95 (R)
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