Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2238125
 
 

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The Limits of Child Pornography


Carissa Byrne Hessick


University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

March 25, 2013

Indiana Law Journal, Vol. 89, 2014
University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 33

Abstract:     
Although the First Amendment ordinarily protects the creation, distribution, and possession of visual images, the Supreme Court has declared that those protections do not apply to child pornography. But the Court has failed to define child pornography. Providing a clear definition of the child pornography exception to the First Amendment has become increasingly important because recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the penalties associated with the creation, distribution, and possession of child pornography.

This Article proposes a clear definition of the child pornography exception. It argues that an image ought to fall within the exception only if a child was sexually exploited or abused in the creation of the image. That the circulation of an image might inflict privacy or reputational harm on the minor depicted should be insufficient to categorize that image as child pornography for constitutional purposes. This proposed definition would place tangible limitations on child pornography prosecutions; it would prevent prosecution in many cases where the minor depicted is above the age of consent, where the image was created through computer morphing, and where the image is the result of surreptitious filming or photographing of a minor.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 52

Keywords: Child Pornography, Criminal Law, Criminal Punishment, First Amendment, Sex Offenders

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Date posted: March 24, 2013 ; Last revised: August 8, 2013

Suggested Citation

Hessick, Carissa Byrne, The Limits of Child Pornography (March 25, 2013). Indiana Law Journal, Vol. 89, 2014; University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 33. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2238125

Contact Information

Carissa Byrne Hessick (Contact Author)
University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )
332 S. 1400 East Front
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States
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