NJ Lax On Child Porn Sentencing Compared With Feds

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The New Jersey State Police issued a press release this month bearing the headline, “State Police Lock Up Dozens For Sending and Receiving Child Porn,” says the Newark Star-Ledger. The men were charged with downloading or trading a particularly loathsome video showing, at close range, a 5-year-old girl being raped. If past prosecutions are any lesson, it is not clear the defendants will spend much time behind bars. The Star-Ledger researched what happened to 27 others arrested in a similar 2005 police operation and found of 23 cases that have concluded only seven defendants got any jail time.

It is federal prosecutions, not state, that can be counted on to put defendants in prison. When it comes to child pornography, it seems, the court where the case is handled makes all the difference. “It all depends: state or federal,” said Jack Furlong, a West Trenton lawyer who handles sex cases and has co-authored a book on Megan’s Law. Of seven New Jersey men arrested in 2004 federal child pornography charges, six got terms ranging from 26 to 37 months. The lone lenient sentence — four months — was later overturned by a federal appeals court that ordered the defendant resentenced. An eighth man is awaiting trial.

Link: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2007/10/location_key_in_child_porn_cas.html

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