A Method for Careful Study: A Proposal for Reforming the Child Pornography Guidelines
30 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2012
Date Written: December 12, 2011
The U.S. Sentencing Commission is reportedly nearing release of a much-anticipated report to Congress assessing the validity of § 2G2.2 as a sentencing tool for child pornography offenses. A consensus for considering reform exists. What remains uncertain is what sort of changes might be coming, and by what process they may occur. In order to merit deference and compliance, any changes to § 2G2.2 would need to reflect relevant and validated scientific data yet also account for common practical experiences. In this article, the author, an assistant federal public defender, proposes a specific framework for how the Sentencing Commission might reform § 2G2.2 to better reflect science and common experience. The proposal draws on the author's experiences prosecuting, defending, and consulting on these cases over the last twelve years, as well as analysis and discussion of available scientific studies and statistics.
Keywords: 2G2.2, child pornography, sentencing guidelines
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