Saturday, March 24, 2012

Judge expresses concern with CP sentencing guidelines

In United States v. Price, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38397 (C.D. Ill. 2012), an Illinois federal judge "express[ed] concern with the overly harsh sentences that result from the application of the child pornography sentencing guidelines." Further, "[t]his Court finds that § 2G2.2 is especially problematic because it contains numerous enhancements based on facts that exist in almost every child pornography possession crime and considerably increase the offense level." The court found the same problem with the production section, and referenced many sources that have criticized the guidelines on crimes of child pornography.

The defendant was convicted of Use of a Minor to Produce Child Pornography and Possession of Child Pornography. The defendant possessed 937 images and 21 videos of child pornography in addition to the images he had produced of his daughter over an extended time of molestation and harassment. Throughout the judicial process, the defendant maintained that the photographs of his daughter were "art," and "the jury was unable to appreciate the artistic value because the Court sits in the 'conservative Bible-belt of the Midwest.'" None of the images depicted violence, sadistic, or masochistic conduct, acts of penetration, or sexual conduct.

The court found that 216 months for production and 72 months for possession running concurrently was appropriate, followed by a life term of supervised release.


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