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July 26, 2010

Notable discussion of federal child porn sentencing in Connecticut

The Connecticut Law Tribune has this notable new piece on federal child porn sentencing headlined "Discretion Debate: Study, attorneys note inconsistent sentences in child pornography cases."  Here are excerpts:

The arrests and convictions are in the news every week, and often the details make us cringe.  In most cases, the bottom line is that some guy has been caught with child pornography on his computer.  Just last week, David Besaw, of Newington, was sentenced to 32 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill for possessing child porn.  Earlier in the year, Kevin Davis, of Putnam, was sentenced to just under four years by Chief U.S. District Judge Alvin Thompson for possessing the graphic sexual images involving children.

In April, Judge Vanessa Bryant sentenced William Golia, of New Haven, to five years in prison for the same crime. A month earlier, Judge Janet Bond Arterton sentenced an Old Saybrook man, Joseph Rock, to 6 ½ years behind bars for child porn possession. And last year, Judge Robert Chatigny sentenced Roger Chapell of Manchester to 14 months for possessing the child porn.

This is but a small sampling, but it makes two things clear: Child porn convictions are distressingly common.  And sentences are not very consistent.

Such sentencing disparities – especially when it comes to child porn and white-collar financial crimes – have prompted the U.S. Department of Justice to call for “a comprehensive review” in its most recent report to the U.S. Sentencing Commission....

Longtime New Haven defense attorney William F. Dow III, of Jacobs, Grudberg, Belt, Dow & Katz, handles many of the child porn cases.  He’s noticed sentencing disparities in Connecticut, and said it may reflect a change in thinking on the part of some judges.

“I think what’s happened is judges have realized that looking at child porn does not equate to an action of molesting children,” said Dow....

To be sure, all federal child porn cases are not alike.  At the low end is possession of child pornography, where the sentencing guidelines are voluntary and judges’ discretion most often comes into play.  For more serious charges, Congress has instituted mandatory minimum sentences, which were not affected by the 2005 Supreme Court ruling....

But in cases where judges have options, Hartford attorney M. Hatcher “Reese” Norris, of Butler, Norris & Gold, said there’s often a good reason why one child porn defendant is sentenced more harshly than another.  “Some of the sentences may have involved a different number of images and different types of images…sadomasochistic…that obviously has an impact… so it’s hard to put them all in one category,” explained Norris....

“The guideline sentences are certainly astronomically high and just way out of proportion to the criminal charge,” said Dow.  “That’s not to say this is pleasant stuff or children aren’t being exploited but child pornography standing alone is a disquieting quest that is inevitably pursued by people who have some emotional or mental health deficits.”  Dow described the typical child pornography defendant as “sad sacks, lonely and despondent people.”...

The issue of discretionary sentencing has been in the political spotlight in Connecticut, where Judge Chatigny has been accused by some conservatives of handing out light sentences in sex crime cases.  This came to light after Chatigny was nominated for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals....

Norris said lawyers aren’t sitting around strategizing as to how to get on a certain judge’s docket in the federal child pornography cases because one is perceived as so much more lenient than another.  But Dow admitted: “Yes, a particular judge can make a difference in terms of sentence,” but said that’s the case with all sorts of crimes, and not just child pornography.

Some related prior federal child porn prosecution and sentencing posts:

July 26, 2010 at 05:20 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Lawyers, running the government, a wholly owned subsidiary of the criminal cult enterprise (CCE), are so stupid and irresponsible. Government exists to protect the public, and to prevent harm from coming to it. The lawyer dumbass has it doing the opposite.

Example. Legalize cigarettes and alcohol. These highly addictive substances kill 400,000 and 100,000 people respectively, most in middle age at height of skill and responsibility. Marijuana, a mildly addictive substance that kills a few hundred people, by car accidents mostly, is illegal, and its buyers and sellers crush the justice system by their volumes.

Example. Legalize and indeed honor, protect and promote in schools, butt banging, a homosexual act that led to the assassination of 40 million people around the world. Possession of pictures by pedophiles, that cannot be shown to cause harm to children except by fanciful, tortured logic, those result in long prison sentences.

I have patience. At some point the public will have had enough of extremely stupid government and clean the house of the dumbass lawyer. Here, dumbass is a lawyer term of art and not an epithet. It refers to the effect of the CCE indoctrination in law school turning modern students with high IQ's into cult zombies believing in supernatural doctrines, idiotic, Medieval methodologies. That is a real dumbass. He is such a dumbass, he does not even know an indoctrination has taken place.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 27, 2010 12:04:00 AM

Hiii

Posted by: jonathan | Jul 27, 2010 2:06:30 AM

THE JUDGE IS EXCELLENT IN HIS VIEW AND ALL CHILD PORN VIEWING WILL BE DECRIMINALIZED. I AM THE WORLD LEADER ON THE MATTER AND WILL BE RELEASING MY REPORT FOR THE WORLD TO BEHOLD. ALL THOSE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THIS ISSUE WILL LOOK INSANE AND MADD. I AM NOT SAYING THIS AS A JOKE.

Posted by: C | Dec 1, 2010 8:05:41 AM

My son is incarcerated awaiting trial for possession of child pornagraphy. Need help with defence.

Posted by: kaye labrosse | Dec 1, 2010 3:55:16 PM

Already convicted of child pornography , federal judge , gave 15 years ..because of integration with Russian website , lawer took our money and was horrible , didn't try ! Ist offence ..prosecutor said he was used as a example , never in trouble , we as parents are sick. Can someone help , it evolves manditory minimum ..in ct .

Posted by: Sue | Oct 10, 2014 2:15:46 PM

Mother

Posted by: Sue | Oct 10, 2014 2:17:00 PM

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