Guidelines for Child Porn Sentences on a Federal Level

Child pornography is not only gross, it is also very disturbing. The increasing crimes of possessing, producing and distributing child pornography are making it difficult for the federal government to keep up with. Even after the harsh penalties t...

By: Admin | Update: 2016-11-14 10:01:40

Guidelines for Child Porn Sentences on a Federal Level

Child pornography is not only gross, it is also very disturbing. The increasing crimes of possessing, producing and distributing child pornography are making it difficult for the federal government to keep up with. Even after the harsh penalties the number of offenders of these crimes has been increasing exponentially over the past few years. The United State Congress is lengthening the sentences on people who own, produce, or distribute child pornography. Many child pornography offenses carry a compulsory minimum sentence that requires spending years behind the prison bars if convicted. In some cases, the first time offenders are imprisoned for decades. Usually these offenders have never touched or sexually exploited children previously and there is almost no chance that they would ever do so in future. The Federal Child Pornography sentencing guidelines are based on certain factors and situations which do not necessarily reflect the intent and seriousness of the committed crime.

The United States Sentencing Commission assigned crimes of owning of child pornography to a level 10. So after that as a political measure, guidelines for child pornography sentences were adopted in 1991. A level ten offender has to spend 6-12 months behind the prison bars. The Congress actually wanted to raise the level to thirteen without seeking the advice of the United States Sentencing Commission. Level 13 carries a sentence of 12-13 months in prison. Later, the Congress again raised the level to 15 which means possible imprisonment of 18-24 months. In the year 2004, the Congress raised the level to 18 against the wish of the United States Sentencing Commission. This level has been in effect till now and it has a sentencing of 27-33 months in jail for possessing child pornography without committing any other crimes.

Sometimes, a person being convicted for possession of child pornography can face imprisonment of 70-80 months (level of 27) based on some specific factors. The raise of levels from 10-18 was done by The United States Congress because of some political agenda. As it was politically motivated they did not seek any advice or expertise from the United States Sentencing Commission.

Undoubtedly child pornography is a very serious crime. Naturally a number of people believe these sentences are appropriate and child pornography offenders deserve no mercy. Sometimes the court is influenced by the victims and prosecution who demand harsher punishment for those offenders. As the fundamental right of every American citizen, it should be ensured that every individual accused of possessing, distributing and creating child pornography get a fair trial in court.

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