HELENA -- Two federal judges have again denied Shawn Jackson's motion to hear an appeal of his conviction and 75-month prison term on child pornography charges, effectively ending his legal battle.
Jackson, who had owned an ambulance company, was convicted in April 2008 of receiving and possessing child pornography. He's steadfastly maintained his innocence, claiming that federal investigators never were able to put him behind the keyboard of the computer where the child pornography was found at the time that it was being viewed.
However, the Clancy resident was found guilty by a jury after a four-day trial in U.S. District Court in Helena.
Federal agents testified that they tracked down Jackson through subscriptions that he bought to child pornography websites, using a personal debit card and a company credit card. That tracking was part of a national undercover operation begun in 2006.
An agent testified that he found 340 still images and 13 videos, one of which was an hour long, on Jackson's computer. One video had been downloaded to a thumb drive and was watched three times.
Jackson's trial attorneys argued that he may have accidentally gone to websites containing illegal pornography while searching for legal adult porn, but that, as soon as Jackson realized he was viewing child pornography, he deleted the images.
After his conviction, Jackson sought to get it overturned by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, but in 2009 that court affirmed the jury's decision.
In his most recent attempt to clear his name, Jackson claimed that his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures was violated and that his Sixth Amendment right to effective counsel also was violated. He sought a new trial.
Jackson's attorney in the latest appeal, Chad Wright, wrote that the federal government didn't have probable cause for the search of his office and that his trial counsel should have filed a motion to suppress evidence gathered through that search.
However, the two judges who reviewed Jackson's request for a hearing denied that petition.
"So he can't even present his issues," Wright said. "I'll probably ask them to reconsider, but he's exhausted all his remedies."
Jackson is serving his sentence at the Oakdale Federal Correctional Institution in Louisiana.