Submitted: November 12, 2018
from United States District Court for the Western District of
Missouri - Western Division
GRUENDER, KELLY, and GRASZ, Circuit Judges.
Carson pled guilty to the receipt, possession, and attempted
distribution of child pornography. The district
court sentenced Carson to 20 years of
imprisonment followed by a life term of supervised release.
Carson appeals, arguing the district court failed to explain
the basis for his life term of supervised release and erred
in imposing certain special conditions on his supervision. We
2013, an FBI officer downloaded child pornography from two IP
addresses assigned to a residence associated with Carson. FBI
officers executed a search warrant at the residence, where
Carson admitted to using a file sharing program to download
and share child pornography. He also admitted to using his
cellphone to take pictures of himself and a sixteen-year-old
girl having sex. The officers seized Carson's electronics
(a laptop, cell phone, and hard drive), on which they
discovered 593 still images and 99 videos mostly depicting
child bondage and bestiality, including a horrifying image of
a female infant being raped by an adult male. Carson also
later admitted to exchanging sexually-explicit photos with
five girls between the ages of fourteen and seventeen and
emailing child pornography to a sixth girl.
pled guilty to one count of receiving child pornography and
two counts of attempting to distribute child pornography in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(2), and one count of
possessing child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
2252(a)(4). The district court imposed the statutory maximum
prison term on each count but allowed them to run
concurrently, resulting in a total prison term of 20 years -
10 years below Carson's advisory range under the U.S.
Sentencing Guidelines Manual (the "Guidelines").
The district court also imposed a life term of supervised
release with 13 standard and 17 special conditions. Carson
appeals the life term of supervised release and three of the
argues the district court committed procedural error by
imposing a life term of supervised release without
considering the relevant sentencing factors under 18 U.S.C.
§ 3553(a) and without explaining the basis for so long a
term. Carson notes that while the district court considered
several § 3553(a) factors in imposing his term of
imprisonment, the district court failed to provide any
explanation for imposing a lifetime term of supervised
did not raise this objection before the district court, so
our review on appeal is for plain error. United States v.
Moore, 565 F.3d 435, 437 (8th Cir. 2009). "To
qualify for relief under the plain error standard, [Carson]
must show that the district court committed an error that is
plain, that affects his substantial rights, and that
seriously affects the fairness, integrity, or public
reputation of judicial proceedings." United States
v. Mayo, 642 F.3d 628, 631 (8th Cir. 2011).
argument overlooks the fact "[t]he term of supervised
release is part of a defendant's sentence."
United States v. James, 792 F.3d 962, 967 (8th Cir.
2015); see also 18 U.S.C. § 3583(a) (stating a
court may include a requirement of supervised release
"as part of the sentence"). Indeed, federal law
provides that in determining the length of supervised
release, a district court must consider many of the same
§ 3553(a) factors underlying a defendant's term of
imprisonment, including the nature and circumstances of the
offense, the history and characteristics of the defendant,
the need to protect the public, and the need to provide the
defendant with effective correctional treatment. 18 U.S.C.
§§ 3553(a), 3583(c). We therefore agree with other
circuits that have said "a single consideration of the
sentencing factors" can "embrace both the
incarceration sentence and the supervised release term,"
United States v. Presto, 498 F.3d 415, 419 (6th Cir.
2007), and "[o]ne overarching explanation often will
provide an adequate explanation for the duration of
supervised release," United States v. Moose,
893 F.3d 951, 960 (7th Cir. 2018).
the district court's consideration of the § 3553(a)
factors "applie[d] equally well" to both
Carson's terms of imprisonment and supervised release.
Id. The district court referenced the nature and
circumstances of Carson's offense, noting his offense
conduct included the "somewhat unique" aggravating
factors of distributing child pornography to a minor and
engaging in a pattern of activity involving the sexual
exploitation of minors. The district court discussed
Carson's history and characteristics, granting a downward
variance on the prison term because of Carson's lack of
criminal history, the fact he pled guilty, and the fact he
received a three-level reduction for acceptance of
responsibility. The district court's sentence mirrored
the recommendations it reviewed in the government's
sentencing memorandum,  which analyzed five of the §
3553(a) factors. See United States v. Gray, 533 F.3d
942, 944 (8th Cir. 2008) ("[I]n determining whether the
district court considered the relevant factors in a