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January 5, 2011

"Porn sentencing rules puzzle"

The title of this post is the headline of this new article from the Knoxville News Sentinel. Here are excerpts:

Longtime Claiborne County educator Joseph Wayne Jennings faced more punishment for looking at pictures of child rape victims than he did for trying to lure a child to be raped.

His case highlights a sentencing disparity long claimed by defense attorneys and increasingly questioned by federal judges nationwide, including some in East Tennessee, as the average sentence for suspects caught with child pornography has jumped 443 percent over a 10-year period....

In recent years, judges across the nation have been balking at the punishments recommended not after careful review by the sentencing commission but as a result of Congressional decree.

U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer echoed that sentiment Tuesday as he pondered Jennings' fate.  "The guideline ranges in child pornography cases are the result of a Congressional directive, not by … sound and empirical data," Greer said.  "It is not entitled to the significant weight generally given to the guideline ranges (for other crimes)."

The debate continues, but it didn't help Jennings.  Greer smacked him with a 25-year sentence, opining he was no mere child pornography collector but a dangerous pedophile.

January 5, 2011 at 08:57 AM | Permalink

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Comments

thanks to the internet more child abusers are being caught whether it's through honeypot sites or online chat, more busts means more press more press more public outrage which of course leads to higher sentences.

Posted by: Pattaya Girls | Jan 5, 2011 9:11:29 AM

to really put in perspective how insanely silly the guidelines are for this icky perv case, read this related article to see what this extremely icky perv did in his "attempt to lure a child":

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/jan/04/judge-sentences-25-year-term-child-porn-predator/

Posted by: virginia | Jan 5, 2011 12:03:27 PM

Maybe the answer then is to increase the sentences for attempted and actual child molestation rather than to reduce the penalties for possession of child porn. Wouldn't that take care of the stated objection just as well?

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Jan 5, 2011 3:36:22 PM

Sentences, like laws, do nothing to deter crime. I can't understand why it is most people can't see that. All your feel good, do-gooder laws did nothing to stop that nutbag from shooting a dozen people in AZ.

Lame.

Posted by: Huh? | Jan 11, 2011 10:03:51 PM

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