Child Pornography Sentencing and Demographic Data: Reforming Through Research
6 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2011 Last revised: 28 Feb 2014
This article examines demographic research on child pornography offenders and considers its utility for sentencing reform. It begins by tracing the history of the internet and federal possession law, detailing particularly how public and political panic about child pornography evolved within a growing fear of the internet itself. The article continues by surveying current demographic research on possession offenders. Drawing on this data and related research, the article considers what the literature can contribute to sentencing policy, simultaneously showcasing vast differences between the type of offender Congress intended to punish and those actually receiving the harsh punishment. Taken wholly, this article explains why child pornography guidelines represent a departure from the normal process of creating Federal Sentencing Guidelines; it tells how law succumbed to the forces of fear and stacked the scale against child pornography offenders.
Keywords: Federal Sentencing Guidelines, possession, internet offenders, disparity, fear
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