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Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts

Abstract

In United States v. Wright, issued June 2013, the Sixth Circuit cited a supposed consensus among circuit courts that Internet bans are per se unreasonably broad sentences in electronic child pornography possession and distribution cases. This Article demonstrates that the Sixth Circuit’s claim of a consensus is mistaken. While some circuit courts of appeal have limited judicial sentencing discretion when it comes to imposing Internet bans, many more have not imposed this limit. Despite this lack of consensus, in cases where such bans are challenged, most courts make their decisions partly based on either the Internet’s pervasive importance in modern society or its capacity for rapid change. Though the claim of a consensus is incorrect, pointing to the Internet’s unique qualities, especially its pervasive importance, remains a compelling argument.

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