back to article Supreme Court refuses to review 200-year sentence for child porn

The US Supreme Court has refused to hear the case of a man who was sentenced to 200 years in prison for the possession of child pornography. It was one of several recent actions indicating that America's courts are getting tough on kiddie-porn suspects in an age where the trafficking of such images are easier than ever. Lawyers …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More examples of this silliness

    Teens have sex (legally), seeing each other naked having sex is also legal, photographing and seeing the photograph of them having legal sex is a 10 year prison sentence.

    Because to protect the teens from ruining their lives by doing something they're biologically programmed to do since puberty, you have to lock them up and erm.... ruin their lives.

    Oh, and if a security camera had photographed them having sex, that would also have been legal.

    Then there was also the US case involving a legal pornographic bulletin board in California:

    Here the postmaster of Tennessee didn't like the bulletin board in California because Tennessee residents could access it. So he sent the owner child pornography through the post. Receiving child porn through the post is a federal offense, so he was able to get the man extradited to Tennessee on the federal child porn law. The child porn claim was then dropped and he was prosecuted for allowing Tennessee residents access to his adult legal bulletin board.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mostly it's just pushing a majority's views on a minority

    There was this stupid case where 13 years old girl had sex with a 12 years old boy. That was counted as an extreme case of sexual child abuse, as both where very young minors (under 14 or smth.) And so they became sex offenders and received legal punishment for the "crime". Had they been 14, they would have escaped with a misdemeanor. They were both victim and perpetrator, in a single act at the same time, so, no problem to punish the victim in the rush to make sure the perpetrator gets punished. Anyway, a severe talk and a parent issued punishment would have been ok but in order to protect them from themselves the law had to destroy their lives! Go figure.

    What I see here is people trying hard to make a crime something that in other people's view is just natural behavior, and punish victimless crimes for the principle. Disgusting!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Silly sentence.

    What I wonder about, is if this guy had possessed video files, would they be treated as single images or consecutive images? At 30fps, isn't that 300 years for ten seconds?

    A sentence of 200 years is like a court ordering him to pay £200 when he only has £70, he pays the £70 and then necessarily waives the rest. If he doesn't have enough years of life to serve his sentence, then the sentence must be condensed to fit, or else justice (by the strange standards of the day) cannot be done.

    This sick-minded individual will never have paid his due, never could hope to by being thrown in the oubliette of legal beauracracy. He's faced with commuted capital punishment, sentenced to death with a long wait.

    Signs of the times indeed.

  4. Steve Roper

    Burn the witches! Burn them all!

    In the Middle Ages the key word was "witchcraft". During the Cold War, it was "communist". These days it's "paedophile" and "terrorist". The true concept behind all these words and their ulterior purpose was summed up most effectively by George Orwell who coined the word "thoughtcrime".

    Throughout history, tyrants and dictators have used thoughtcrime to direct popular attention away from their own atrocities. By selecting a particular action, making it a crime, and then grossly overlegislating and overpunishing its commission, governments can induce popular hysteria that has so many people screaming agains the "thought-criminals", that they start calling for more and oppressive laws to combat the "menace".

    This, of course, is the actual intent; if people are free, they are free to become prosperous; the more people are prosperous, the less it means to be wealthy. Wealth is only relative to the poverty of others - if everyone had a million dollars, a loaf of bread would cost thousands. To guarantee their buying power, then, the upper classes must ensure that only those they favour can become wealthy, while everyone else must be kept in the poor-house. The only way to achieve this is to limit popular freedom. And the only way to limit popular freedom without becoming the target of a rebellion is to distract the masses with thoughtcrimes to induce fear and hysteria. Induce fear and hysteria, and the masses will throw their freedom to the winds as they scramble for imagined safety and security.

    Granted, child abuse by an adult whose aberrant sexual desire draws them to inflict injury on children is unacceptable, as is blowing up public buildings to make a political point. These actions are, as they should be, crimes whose perpetrators are removed from society. But the motive behind all the hysteria is purely that which has been explained above. You do not see the same level of hysteria directed at websites that describe how to commit credit card fraud, or how to kill someone with your bare hands. These sites are simply taken down when found, and their owners generally prosecuted without all the publicity and fanfare that a child-pornographer receives.

    Most concerning of all are the swathes of freedom-destroying and dangerous laws being passed in the name of all this hysteria - and here we see the thoughtcrime motive in all its ugliness. Just as merely calling someone a "witch" in the Middle Ages was enough to get them burned at the stake, so nowadays simply alleging that someone is a paedophile or a terrorist is enough to see them off to the gulag. Anyone can send compromising email to anyone else for the express purpose of railroading them into gaol. And of course, anyone who decries these excessive laws, for whatever reason, as I have here, is exposing themselves to the danger of such accusations themselves.

    But I will speak out. I know why this hysteria exists, and what the real motives behind it are, and I want everyone else to realise it as well. I value my freedom enough to fight for it, to die for it if need be. And the more people know these things, the harder we all make it for the powers-that-be to use these vile and underhanded tactics to destroy those freedoms for which our forefathers fought and died.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Law Enforcement?

    Seig Heil... America has no future!, the morons are in control, and the even dumber American public put them there. There are some in government and law enforcement that need to come down with a sudden case of good old fashioned western lead poisoning.

  6. John Browne

    Do the crime do the time

    You only seem to get 27* years for genocide these days so 200 years seems a tad excessive.

    *Momcilo Krajisnik

  7. Michael Nielsen

    Check out the Danish Laws.

    First there was a huge debacle over child porn on the net, so someone got the idea of censuring the net, and most thought it was a good idea (even though it is against the country's constitution to introduce censorship - but it is called a voluntary ting, so the constitution doesn't matter),

    Those who spoke out against censorship, always ended up facing the inevitable position of being accused of defending pedophilia, though this was not what they were saying..

    The debate was about the floodgates that always open once you introduce censorship. It was politically popular to introduce the child porn filter, so the warnings went unheard.

    A short while later, was deemed to be illegal by IFPI (a private company representing the Music Industry), though the site was considered legal by russian laws, where the site operates, and it too was censored.

    It is interesting to see what is next on the list of items to be censored?

    It is sad to see how things are introduced, even against the constitution of a country, in the holy name of fighting terror, child porn and pedophilia, how easily civil rights are undermined with unknown consequences.

    NB: I'm all for fighting terror, child porn, and pedophilia, but I believe it should be done by finding and punishing the creators, perpetrators, and the distributors.

    Not by removing the civil rights - which previous generations died to secure us, and not by crucifying the people who have seen such pictures.

    Not by Jailing some poor teacher in the USA for seeing child porn, or what not - now if the teacher had abused a child it would be a totally different matter.

    The Law enforcers need to concentrate their resources on catching the source, not wasting time and resources punishing some poor individual who has not harmed anyone, but themselves.

    However, I suspect that the law makers have hidden motives, and are less interested in stopping terror and pedophilia, than they are interested in removing the civil rights of the population.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't distribution an offense?

    ... so, has the Tennessee postmaster been charged with distribution of child pornography? Where did he get the material to frame the site's host?

  9. Timmy Jones


    So, I read your comments and decide that the majority really has no idea what you’re talking about. If an individual views child porn they are as guilty as the person that "abused" the child in the first place (supply and demand). I think 200 years IS a little excessive, on the taxpayers that is. I would prefer to save our money and just shoot him out behind the Courthouse. These are useless individuals that need to be removed "permanently" from our society.

  10. Paul Murray


    The US incarcerates more of it's citizens than russia, china, etc. 1 in 4 of the worlds incarcerated persons are in a US prison of some sort - mainly for nonviolent drug offences, or DWB (driving while black).

    It's a stage that merry ole england went through centuries ago - criminalising the lower orders of the population and locking them up.

    England eventually started sending these people here to Australia. What will the US do? Global warming gives a clue - soon, Antarctica will be ripe for colonisation.

    There's another possibility - after AIDS completes its mission of depopulating the third world, in an ironic twist the US may send its negroes back to africa.

    I wish them well, and hope that free from their hereditary aristocracy (oh yes, the US definitely has them) they will have a free society for at lest a few generations, like we used to.

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