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May 10, 2006

Arizona Supreme Court upholds 200-year sentence for possessing child porn

As explained in this news report, though "some members of Arizona's highest court expressed unease," the Arizona Supreme Court today affirmed "a 200-year prison sentence imposed on a former Phoenix high school teacher for possessing child pornography" over the defendant's claim "that his sentence violated the U.S. Constitution's Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment."  The court's lengthy and interesting opinion in Arizona v. Berger, No. CR-05-0101-PR (Ariz. May 10, 2006), can be accessed here.  I may have some comments in a later post once I have a chance to read the majority opinion and the two concurrences.

May 10, 2006 at 04:48 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Totally unbelievable, especially since there was no evidence presented the Berger ever did anything but download child porn. On the other hand, remember that Arizona is the state where:

1. Bills are introduced every year to allow concealed weapons in bars,
2. The Maricopa County Attorney is charging a drunk driver with first degree
murder, and
3. Sheriff Joe is now arresting illegal immigrants and charging them with
felony conspiracy leading to long prison terms.

A great place to visit, but I would not recommend moving here.

Posted by: Jim | May 10, 2006 8:07:18 PM

Jim, I don't think that any illegals have actually been convicted of "felony conspiracy" yet. Perhaps you could provide citations. Thanks.

Posted by: S.cotus | May 10, 2006 9:14:41 PM

You are correct - no convictions yet, but over 140 illegals have been arrested under the new felony conspiracy law and Sheriff Joe is sending 250 deputies out into the desert to round up many more starting tonight! Talk about taking the law into your own hands....

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/nation/20060510-1932-wst-immigrationposse.html

But back to the real story - if 200 years is not cruel and unusual punishment what is? In Arizona, a person can only be charged with one count per child molested no matter how many times the child was molested. Berger was found guilty of 20 counts for pictures of 20 different girls resulting in 20 times the length of sentence - all with no possibility of parole. Wouldn't you think it would be the other way around?

Posted by: Jim | May 11, 2006 12:33:31 AM

Isn't this the state where the Governors son molested other boys anally at a summer camp with a baton and he was allowed to get away with it?

Posted by: Griffin | Sep 23, 2006 9:05:20 AM

HI,
DON'T KNOW WHO TO ASK A QUESTION. I HEARD EARLIER ABOUT THIS CHARGE AND THE SENTENCE.
IS IT TRUE?
HAS THIS CASE BEEN TRIED?
I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL, JUST AN INTERESTED CITIZEN.
CAN YOU REFER ME TO SOMEONE WHO CAN GIVE ME SOME INFORMATION?
MAHALO,
BARB

Posted by: No one in particular | Oct 22, 2006 1:19:54 AM

We are looking to see who has information on which attorneys had obtained successful judgements for their clients in criminal cases that have appeared before the Arizona Supreme Court. We are private citizens looking for possible legal representation for a case that may appear before the Arizona Supreme Court.

Posted by: Philip Miles | Feb 2, 2007 6:03:08 PM

The one that got away with molesting the boys is the son of a state representative not the governor. Our judicial system might be one of the best in the world, but it still caters to the rich, famous, and well connected.

former teacher and school counselor

Posted by: Esperanza | Aug 8, 2008 2:14:34 PM

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