Sentencing

Lifetime Internet Ban Overturned


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.

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).


We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.