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February 5, 2006

The challenges of child porn sentencing

This extended article from the Louisville Courier-Journal discusses the post-Booker challenges in achieving fair and consistent sentencing in federal child pornography cases.  Here are some snippets:

The three cases [from Kentucky discussed in the article] highlight the struggle that judges are having with recent increases in federal punishments for child pornography offenses when there is no evidence the offender directly harmed a child -- as well as the latitude judges now have to sentence outside the guidelines, which once were mandatory....

The local cases are part of a national increase in federal child pornography cases. In Kentucky and Southern Indiana, the number of such cases doubled in two years to 55 last year.  Officials attribute the growth to an explosion of child pornography on the Internet, and increased efforts by local, state and federal law enforcement to apprehend offenders.

Suspects arrested by state and local police agencies in Kentucky are being prosecuted in federal -- rather than state -- courts because federal laws carry much stiffer punishments, and because offenders must serve at least 85 percent of their sentences.

February 5, 2006 at 08:51 AM | Permalink

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