The purpose of this Essay is to explore the various legal approaches to the sexting phenomenon through an analysis of a decision by the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, which granted a temporary restraining order enjoining the prosecution of sexting teens on constitutional grounds, and an examination of current and pending legislative attempts to deal with the sexting phenomenon. Section I describes the facts leading up to the district court decision and its subsequent holding. Section II examines the approaches to sexting prosecution and legislation taken by other states. Section III analyzes the legal issues implicit in prosecuting teens for sexting. Section IV concludes that prosecution of teenagers for sexting is a tremendous waste of judicial resources: jail is not the place for children who have used modern technology to engage in the time-honored adolescent practice of "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" or, as often happens in sexting, "I'll show you mine and you show mine to everyone else in cyberspace."
Robert H. Wood,
The Failure of Sexting Criminalization: A Plea for the Exercise of Prosecutorial Restraint,
Mich. Telecomm. & Tech. L. Rev.
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mttlr/vol16/iss1/4