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April 23, 2014

Round-up of some reactions to/reports on today's notable sentencing developments

My blogging cup runneth over today as I try to find time to read and process the Supreme Court's big child porn restitution in Paroline (basics here) and DOJ's new clemency guidelines (basics here).  Before I find time to share some of my reactions and perspectives (which may take a couple of days as I head on the road), I figured I can and should round-up here some of the reactions and perspectives of others of note:

Reactions to Paroline child porn restitution ruling:

  • From victim "Amy" here, "Disappointment at the Supreme Court – Amy’s Reaction"

  • From the National Center for Victims of Crime here, "Child Pornography victims need a roadmap to restitution, and Congress can provide it"

  • From the National Crime Victim Law Institute here, "Mixed Message From U.S. Supreme Court to Crime Victims"

  • From Paul Cassell at The Volokh Conspiracy, "The Supreme Court promises child pornography victims full restitution 'someday.' How long is that?"

  • From Rick Hasen at the Election Law Blog here, "Shorter Supreme Court in Child Pornography Case: Congress, Please Override Us"

Reactions to/reports on DOJ's new clemency guidelines:

  • From CNN here, "Rules change means more drug offenders eligible for clemency"

  • From Families Against Mandatory Minimums here, "Clemency Project 2014 Praises Justice Department for Breathing New Life Into Clemency Process"

  • From FoxNews here, "Krauthammer: Justice Department clemency initiative is 'lawlessness'"

  • From MSNBC here, "Justice finally comes to the pardons office and perhaps to many inmates"

April 23, 2014 at 10:05 PM | Permalink


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Paroline should have filed a cross claim against the Victim Notification System. Any trauma came from their notification.

Then he should have demanded a Daubert hearing on the proof of the proximity of causation between downloading and any trauma.

Finally, he should have sought to enjoin the prosecution since the legalization of child porn is associated with a marked drop in the rate of child sexual abuse in the real world. The law against downloading is causing a marked increase in the rate of child sexual abuse, of real children. There was a similar effect on the dropping rates of sexual assaults on real adult females after the legalization of adult pornography.

Both these historical, naturalistic experiments also make the point, the lawyer dumbass is toxic to crime victims.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Apr 24, 2014 7:31:07 AM

The new pardon attorney, Deborah Leff, is a very impressive woman. She is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Chicago Law School. her full background is summarized at www.justice.gov/atj/meet-counselor.html. looks like she is going to have a very busy 2 years.

Posted by: Jim Gormley | Apr 24, 2014 9:08:27 AM

"Finally, he should have sought to enjoin the prosecution since the legalization of child porn is associated with a marked drop in the rate of child sexual abuse in the real world."

So if snuff films (people actually killed during the production of a movie) prevented many other killings, should that be legal too?

Yes, I understand your direction, but the production of such material IS abuse, as well as the subsequent viewing of such material. Here's a non-criminal but highly pertinent example. Think of an embarrassing picture of you that you would not want shown to your current group of associates (or anyone for that matter). If that picture is seen, you would feel the shame.

Now project this to a hideous crime, and you can see that such a crime is not "victimless."

Now, I do advocate for the elimination of registration laws and their subsequent damages (which are not so "collateral"), but the huge difference is that registration creates criminal actions from a civil requirement, while child predation is child predation and needs to be addressed to its fullest intent.

I DO agree, however, that retributive monies should be proportional, and in fact I would discourage criminal court awards, as opposed to civil action. Civil attorneys and courts would more properly assess the real value of the destruction, including the ability for the money to actually be paid. Although the Supreme Court's ruling is not fully implemented toward a civil disposition, at least they approached proximity with good intent.

Posted by: Eric Knight | Apr 25, 2014 12:45:06 PM

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