Federal Judges Call Child Porn Sentencing Guides Too Strict

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People convicted of possessing child pornography are getting support from federal judges and defense attorneys, who are asking the U.S. Sentencing Commission to allow judges greater flexibility to give lighter sentences for possession of child pornography when no other crime is involved, USA Today reports.

District Judge Jay Zainey of New Orleans said, “It’s a horrible offense and you have to have stiff penalties – but you should be able to look at each case individually.” The commission plans to vote in April on possible changes to advisory sentencing guidelines. Ernie Allen of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, says judges already give sentences that are lighter than the guidelines. Commission chairman Judge William Sessions of Vermont says judges have been nearly unanimous that the guidelines and the mandatory minimums restrict their ability to sentence convicts based on the specifics of each case and defendant.

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