Lifetime Internet Ban Overturned
Posted Jun 11, 2007 7:28 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A federal appeals court has overturned a lifetime ban on Internet use imposed on a man who pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography.
The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in Philadelphia ruled the sentence violated a statute that requires post-prison restrictions on defendants to be narrowly tailored, the Legal Intelligencer reports.
"The lifetime ban on all computer equipment and the Internet is the functional equivalent of prohibiting a defendant who pleads guilty to possession of magazines containing child pornography from ever possessing any books or magazines of any type during the remainder of his/her life," Judge Theodore McKee Jr. wrote for the three-judge panel.
The opinion also took U.S. District Judge Alan Bloch of Pittsburgh, Pa., to task for imposing the sentence after the appeals court twice vacated a similar sentence he imposed.
The June 5 opinion is United States v. Voelker (PDF).