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April 22, 2011

Third Circuit affirms child porn offender's sentence and restrictions over various objections

Though I do not believe it breaks much new ground, today's Third Circuit opinion in US v. Maurer, No. 10-304 (3d Cir. Apr. 22, 2011) (available here), covers lots of ground that arises in a number of child porn cases. Here is how the opinion starts:

Appellant Derl H. Maurer (“Maurer”) pleaded guilty to a single count information charging him with possession of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(5)(B).  The District Court imposed a sentence of sixty months of imprisonment and a five-year term of supervised release, which included special conditions restricting internet access and association with minors.   On appeal, Maurer challenges the procedural reasonableness of his sentence as well as the special conditions of his supervised release. For the reasons that follow, we will affirm.

April 22, 2011 at 01:04 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Given other sentences you've convered this guy ought to feel fortunate. 5 years in the pokey and another 5 of supervised released is far shorter than plenty of other cases you have highlighted.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Apr 22, 2011 2:15:38 PM

Hmmm....interesting reading through the entire opinion.

Indeed, I get the impression from this opinion that if someone from China created a worm to send the same images to 100 million recipients in the US, than all 100 million would, by strict liability standards, would all have to be charged with a Level 4 child pornography possession and distribution charge. Possession, for receiving the images, and distribution, for "distributing" the images to the next computer vie worm programming.

So with 30% of the country put in jail for 5 years, I guess our job situation would be solved, wouldn't it.

(I'm not being entirely satirical. I really would be interested in how receiving a worm would not involve anyone by the strict liability standards that the current statutes holds for.)

Posted by: Eric Knight | Apr 22, 2011 2:19:05 PM

Eric,
I haven't read the opinion, but I doubt the court imposes strict liability for a CONVICTION. Courts have held that some of 2G2.2's enhancements may be applied on a strict liability basis, but in order to be convicted under the statute, the possession must be done "knowingly."

Posted by: DEJ | Apr 22, 2011 2:26:51 PM

DEJ,
I would ask how do you prove you didn't know say 12 pics were on a computer in your family home? Especially when the prosecutor can not "prove" with any facts that it was specifically you or that you specifically knew it was on one of several computers in your home! Well, with the current laws written the way they are, the prosecutor doesn't have to. All he has to do is charge you with Receipt (MM of 5) and tell you to "prove you didn't know". Not possible! You can not prove you didn't know about something you didn't know about. It is insane. Then you get someone who has 100's of pics and charged and gets the same sentence. I find it hard to believe you didn't know about 100's of pics, but really does 12 pics equal 5 years in prison? Is that justice? Now taxpayers are paying for five years to take care of a (at the time) healthy, highly educated, moral father of three. They are also paying for the health care of three children and food stamps for a mother and three children! Not justice. Not even common sense. However, it is what our justice system has allowed prosecutors to take advantage of. Just because there are two ultimately identical laws that would be for two very different people, doesn't mean the prosecutors are picking the correct one or doing the correct thing!

Posted by: Fixnrlaws | Apr 22, 2011 4:47:30 PM

the people who make this pornography using children must be to jail so that they will get the right punishment for them..

Posted by: marietta dui attorney | May 9, 2011 3:12:46 AM

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