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October 23, 2008

WSJ reviews the state of federal child porn sentencing

Naat400_ljourn_ns_20081022202018 The Wall Street Journal has this new article discussing trends in federal child porn prosecutions and sentencing.  The piece is headlined, "Making Punishments Fit the Most Offensive Crimes: Societal Revulsion at Child-Pornography Consumers Has Led to Stiff Prison Sentences -- and Caused Some Judges to Rebel."  Here is how it begins:

Are people who download and view child pornography -- but aren't themselves molesters -- as much of a threat to society as rapists or murderers?   The question, being raised by federal judges in response to tough sentences meted out to consumers of child pornography, goes to society's view of repugnant behavior and the legislative response to it.

The average federal prison sentence for individuals who possess, receive or share child pornography jumped to roughly seven years in fiscal 2006 from about three years in 1994, according to Justice Department data. In federal cases, the mandatory minimum for downloading images is five years in prison without parole.  Defendants who download particularly lewd images, possess a large number of images or share some of them with others often get sentences of 15 or even 20 years.

Some related federal child porn sentencing posts:

October 23, 2008 at 08:02 AM | Permalink


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