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January 9, 2009

Notable long child porn sentence upheld by split Sixth Circuit

The circuits have already issued a number of notable sentence decisions today, but the one that struck me as most blog-worthy is the Sixth Circuit's affirmance of a within-guideline child porn sentence in US v. Paull, No. 07-3482 (6th Cir. Jan. 9, 2009) (available here). This first paragraph of the dissent by Judge Merritt in Paull spotlights some (of many) reasons why the decision is notable (and likely worthy of a serious cert petition):

As a recent October 23, 2008, Wall Street Journal article by Amir Efrati points out, our federal legal system has lost its bearings on the subject of computer-based child pornography.  Our “social revulsion” against these “misfits” downloading these images is perhaps somewhat more rational than the thousands of witchcraft trials and burnings conducted in Europe and here from the Thirteenth to the Eighteenth Centuries, but it borders on the same thing.  In 2008 alone the Department of Justice has brought 2,200 cases like this one in the federal courts.  Some trial and appellate judges are sending these mentally ill defendants like Paull to federal prison for very long sentences.  But the 17-1/2 year sentence for Paull may be the longest yet.  He is a 65-year-old, psychologically disabled, former minister with Type 1 diabetes with many complications.  How could this sentence be “not greater than necessary” to punish this crime?

Some related recent federal child porn prosecution and sentencing posts:

January 9, 2009 at 12:54 PM | Permalink

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Comments

"How could this sentence be “not greater than necessary” to punish this crime?"

Ends justify the means. A child's genitalia is the most important thing in the universe. There is no sacrifice that is too great. 17 1/2 years just shows our compassion as a rational society. We should have killed him.

Posted by: Daniel | Jan 9, 2009 1:14:24 PM

"A child's genitalia is the most important thing in the universe. There is no sacrifice that is too great."

Once again, shock value confused with erudition.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 9, 2009 1:45:44 PM

I'll wait until I can read the entire decision to form an opinion on it, but judging just from the contents of this post, this seems like a great vehicle to ask the Supreme Court to review when a within Guideline sentence can be substantively unreasonable.

Posted by: DEJ | Jan 9, 2009 2:06:19 PM

federalist. Sardonic. adj. characterized by bitter or scornful derision; mocking; cynical; sneering

But I bet you don't like Swift either. Go eat some babies.

Posted by: Daniel | Jan 9, 2009 2:29:04 PM

thanks for the information ...!!!

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Posted by: James | Jan 9, 2009 2:51:12 PM

Daniel, your comment will never be mistaken for the genius of Swift.

Posted by: | Jan 9, 2009 3:11:54 PM

"A child's genitalia is the most important thing in the universe."

I'd never let you come within 1000 yards of my children.

Posted by: BruceM | Jan 13, 2009 8:07:11 AM

I had never considered that incarcerating a man was the equivalent of burning a woman to death.

Posted by: thebewilderness | Jan 14, 2009 12:53:02 AM

The judge's analogy to witch hunts seems apt.

I suppose we've evolved to the extent that we don't burn those who download illicit images; we just lock them up for a decade or so and then torment them as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

We've advanced all the way from homicidal superstition to bogus outrage and sentencing guidelines.

Posted by: John K | Jul 18, 2009 4:57:58 PM

great idea.. thanks..

Posted by: erotic video | Aug 2, 2009 11:33:37 AM

i have no sympathy for anyone that is aroused by children. i know some of you people on here love to defend the bad guy so bring it on. i could care less if they stoned these pieces of shit to death. there's people in prison for longer terms because of drugs. the law has implicated that it's worse to do drugs than to molest/get off/masturbate to children. weak!

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Posted by: buy viagra | Jan 11, 2010 4:34:02 PM

Downloading child pornography is the same as stating that you support the issue at hand and an Honorable Judge has a job to do and that job is to ensure society is safe from known predators. When child pornographers are not caught in time, the situation almost always escalates and it results in a child being physically abused. It is safer to remove these people (long term) from society than it is to risk having them hurt a child. Anyone who downloads child pornography has serious mental health issues.

Posted by: Starving Student | Jan 21, 2010 10:24:48 PM

An interesting read to say the least. Glad I dont have kids.

Posted by: Jerry Westwood | Jan 22, 2010 12:09:05 AM

nice blog about Notable long child porn sentence upheld by split Sixth Circuit thanks!!

Posted by: Tadalafil | Feb 10, 2010 8:04:43 AM

I was using limewire and I was looking for some teen porn, girls my age! I put in "teen porn 19 y.o" into my search and searched and downloaded the top 20 or 30 and left to play playstation for a few hours. I come back and I see that some files included was child pornography. I was petrified. I immediately removed it and some was still downloading! I cancelled everything and now I'm just extremely paranoid that the FBI or whoever is going to show up at my door and send me to jail for 20 years or so for some silly accident.

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Posted by: Johnny | Mar 16, 2010 3:26:03 PM

I suppose we've evolved to the extent that we don't burn those who download illicit images; we just lock them up for a decade or so and then torment them as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

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Posted by: pandora jewellery | Nov 5, 2010 4:06:59 AM

The penalty for child pornography should be much more severe than it currently is. I say that the people of the United States push for a more severe penalty of life in prison. It's wrong, immoral, and disgusting. Also, they should find a better way to prove whether the accused predator intentionally received it via internet. Some people can get it by downloading a file that they think is something else.

Posted by: ihatepredators | Dec 17, 2010 4:15:54 AM

Looking at an image on a comuter screen is not comparable to molesting a child. There is no evidence to prove that those who download child pornography will go on to rape children. None. At. All.
And yet the penalty for looking is greater than it is for physically molesting a child. Is this logical?
Furthermore, people tend to howl about how "disgusting" child pornography is and yet they don't mind a bit when the nightly news shows pictures of people who have been blown to bits. We can go on the internet and look at pictures of children being autopsied and that's no biggie but look at child porn and you risk going to jail for decades.
Something is very wrong here.

Posted by: Jill | Sep 2, 2011 10:26:03 AM

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