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3rd Circuit Rejects Lifetime Internet Ban in Sex Offense

February 5, 2010

Sentencing Law & Policy: Third Circuit rejects lifetime limit on internet use as supervise release condition.

A Third Circuit panel has again struck down as substantively unreasonable a supervised release condition putting a lifetime limit on internet use. The opinion in US v. Miller, No. 08-4278 (3d Cir. Feb. 5, 2010) (available here), gets started this way:

“Appellant Donald R. Miller was sentenced to thirty months’ imprisonment and a lifetime term of supervised release following his conviction for possession of child pornography and possession of marijuana. The District Court imposed eight special conditions of supervised release, including a restriction on internet access, mandatory computer monitoring, and a limitation on association with minors. On appeal, Miller challenges the duration of his term of supervised release and four of the eight special conditions. We agree with Miller that the lifetime limitation on internet use is a greater restraint of liberty than is reasonably necessary and that the restriction on his association with minors is overbroad. Accordingly, we will vacate and remand to the District Court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, PA.

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