7.28.2006

D.C. Circuit Notes Split Re Probationary Internet Restrictions for Those Convicted of Sex Crimes

Per United States v. Sullivan, 451 F.3d 884 (D.C. Cir. June 27, 2006):

This circuit has yet to decide whether individuals convicted of sex crimes may have their Internet usage conditioned on Probation Office approval, and our sister circuits are divided on the issue. Compare United States v. Rearden, 349 F.3d 608, 621 (9th Cir.2003) (upholding Internet restriction), and United States v. Zinn, 321 F.3d 1084, 1093 (11th Cir.2003) (same), with United States v. Crume, 422 F.3d 728, 733 (8th Cir.2005) (reversing Internet restriction), and United States v. Sofsky, 287 F.3d 122, 126 (2nd Cir.2002) (same). This division among the circuits, coupled with the indication in the Sentencing Guidelines that some measure of Internet restriction is appropriate in cases like this one, commands our conclusion that the trial court committed no plain error [in holding that indictment of defendant for possessing child pornography should not be dismissed, because Congress acted within its authority under Article I, ยง 8 of the Constitution when it criminalized certain activities relating to material constituting or containing child pornography].

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