Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New Bill Increases Child Pornography Stat Maxes

On November 27, the U.S. Senate passed, by unanimous consent, a bill that increases the statutory maximum sentences for possession of child pornography from 10 years to 20 years.  The bill, H.R. 6063, passed the House in August, and President Obama is expected to sign it into law.

Fortunately, the bill does not create new mandatory minimum sentences.  Unfortunately, though, sentences for child pornography possession are already viewed by many as excessive.  In February of this year, the U.S. Sentencing Commission held a hearing and heard many concerns about the length of child pornography sentences, particularly for possession and receipt cases.  The Commission is currently doing an extensive study of federal child pornography sentences and will produce its findings and recommendations soon.

Read FAMM's factsheet on federal child pornography sentencing laws here.