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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Oscar Humberto Garcia-Mejia, a Mexican national, was deported July 25, 1997, after being released from state prison. He was later found in prison in the United States on April 13, 2000. Upon his release from this term, he was found to have been in the country illegally, without permission from the attorney general to return to this country. Charged with illegal re-entry by a previously deported alien subsequent to a conviction for an aggravated felony, Garcia-Mejia pleaded guilty on Oct. 29, 2002. A year later, he was sentenced to 77 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Among the terms of his supervised release was a prohibition against Garcia-Mejia possessing “a firearm, destructive device , or any other dangerous weapon.” On appeal, Garcia-Mejia argues that this term is both impermissibly broad and vague. HOLDING:Affirmed. Garcia-Mejia says the “dangerous weapon” portion of the supervised release term is overly broad because it concerns punishment that is a greater deprivation of liberty than is reasonably necessary in light of the need to protect the public and prevent recidivism. Garcia-Mejia says the “dangerous weapon” prohibition is also vague because he cannot reasonably ascertain exactly what sort of conduct is prohibited. The court refers to its ruling in United States v. Paul, 274 F.3d 155 (5th Cir. 2001), where implicit in a review of conditions of supervised release was the distinction between unavoidable situations that arise as a part of regular, daily life, and avoidable situations that arise as a result of deliberate conduct plainly at odds with the what the condition seeks to preclude. The court applies a common sense approach to interpreting the “dangerous weapon” ban, finding that the ban would not prevent Garcia-Mejia from “using the restaurant’s steak-knife to cut the meat he was eating there, but it would prevent him from carrying a steak-knife in his pocket for protection.” The common sense approach the court advocates here strives to balance Garcia-Mejia’s interest in leading an unencumbered life with the public’s interest in being protected from people with a history of violent crime (Garcia-Mejia’s past two convictions were for burglary). OPINION:Per curiam; Garwood, Jolly and Clement, JJ.

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