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NBC News has a shocking story about a federal judge in New York City who gave a man facing up to 10 years in prison for child pornography a sentence of only five days in jail—time he’d already served following his initial arrest in 2013. Investigators found the man—whose identity NBC agreed to keep anonymous—in possession of two dozen photos and videos of girls as young as 3 being sexually abused by adult men. But instead of giving the man, who pleaded guilty, years in prison, Judge Jack Weinstein ignored sentencing guidelines, which he argues are too harsh on people convicted of possessing child pornography. In his decision, he claims taking the man—a father of five—away from his children would be “depriving them of a loving father and role model.”

The 94-year-old judge argues sentencing guidelines for child pornography don’t balance the “need to protect the public” against the “need to avoid excessive punishment,” NBC reports. He points out the man didn’t abuse children himself and that the Internet makes child pornography easily available to all Americans. The man has claimed he wasn’t looking for child pornography, it just “kept popping up” when he was trying to download regular porn. Others are “appalled” by Weinstein’s decision, arguing that anyone who even looks at child pornography is perpetuating the abuse of children. “It ends up leading inexorably to the rape of children,” a former federal judge tells NBC. Read the full story here.

 

Weinstein thought that was too much time for an offender who did not make, swap or sell child porn or try to abuse children. He said the five days the man served before making bail, plus seven years of court supervision and a fine, were punishment enough.

The judge noted that the man was undergoing sex offender treatment and was deemed unlikely to relapse and that a psychiatrist testified he was not a danger to his own or other children. He also noted that the Internet has made child pornography accessible to a much wider group of Americans who might not otherwise have been exposed to it.

The man — who lost his $75,000-a-year job as a restaurant manager after his arrest — told NBC News he stumbled on child pornography while consuming legal, adult pornography online.

“I just got caught up in it,” he said. “It’s not like I woke up and said, ‘Listen, let me look at this stuff.’ It kept popping up every time I was downloading.”

Weinstein is among a group of federal judges who have argued that sentencing ranges for possessing child pornography — which were doubled by Congress in 2003 — are too severe. The federal bench handed down sentences below the guidelines 45 percent of the time, the Associated Press reported in 2012.

 

SOURCE

 

 

Judge Sentences Man to 5 Days in Jail for Child Porn

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