16 July 2006

JUSTICE IS A RELATIVE TERM

A Virginia man was just sentenced to 150 years in prison for the distribution of child pornography.

Virginia Man Gets 150-Year Term in Child Pornography Case

And child rapists are being sentenced to 30 days in prison, 60 days in prison, a sentence of (basically) "say you're sorry and you are on probation for a little while".

Someone has to explain this to me like I am a three year old...Rape a child, you go home with a slap on the wrist and the opportunity to choose the next victim --- Distribute pictures of it and you go down for 150 years. Now, don't get me wrong, in my world the guy who took the pictures would indeed get the 150 years and the guy who raped that child would be tortured every year of his life except the last year when we were merciful enough to give him the needle.

Simply put...there is NO explanation for this judicial anomaly.

I am going to share something personal - which is not in my nature to do. My daughter (now a wonderful, bright and healthy young adult) was molested when she was 11 years old. A judge and a jury decided she was not worthy of justice because her mother was a lesbian. When I was on the stand I was not asked what I knew about this horrific crime committed against my daughter. I was aksed If I had girly magazines or dildos in my house. It is safe to say that I have a chip on my shoulder when it comes to the dispensation of justice in the case of child rape.

I now play a large role in the raising of my nephew (11 years old). And trust that I micromanage his activity. I have researched the sexual predator list in our area. I talk to him - honestly about what constitutes violations against him emotionally and physically. And I have (on more than one occation) gone to adults in our neighborhood who make me uneasy and told them flat out..."I am uncomfortable with your interaction with my nephew, stay away from him and leave him alone or I will call the police"

I suppose what I am doing now is using my little space here to encourage everyone to be ultra aware. To fully understand how vulnerable children are. To go to great and extraordinary lengths to protect them and to get involved in any and all movements that demand the severe punishment of ANYONE who in ANY WAY harms a child.

3 comments:

6pence said...


Simply put...there is NO explanation for this judicial anomaly.


Sure there is. Personal bias (such as what happened to you in court) and activist judges (such as the 'slap on the wrist' sentence for the pedophile) are all too common in the system.

Two remedies I'd like to see:
1) Judges shouldn't be elected (because they'll pander to their constituents), but they should be able to be removed if they suck...
2) a public review board to review the facts of the trial, not just procedural apects. I used to think appellate courts reviewed the merits of the case -- they don't and I think that's one reason why we see so many "American Justice"-type cases where the jury didn't hear vital evidence, etc.

I recently saw a case down in GA where an abused grandson killed his grandfather (there was ample evidence that the grandfather physically, mentally and sexually abused his kids and grandkids). The jury refused to convict him of 1st degree murder, but convicted him of voluntary mansluaghter and armed robbery (because the kid took $600 from his grandfather's wallet [after he shot him] to pay the family bills). The judge gave the kid 5 or 10 years for the manslaughter (which was the max allowed), but gave him life for the armed robbery (which was committed during another felony)! Several jurors said if they had known that was an option, they would have NOT convicted him of the robbery.

I'm conflicted. Obviously, the kid didn't make the best choice, but then again, I'm not sure killing a monster should get you life in prison when you're an 18 year old who's beeen subjected to weekly beatings. This is where I'd like to see some sort of civil review board come into play.

6pence

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Honza Prchal said...

Well, three explanations leap to my mind.

Individual offenses and individual offenders get different judges and juries and prosecutors going after them or punishing them at different levels. Further, seperate sovereigns have different sentencing standards, and 150 years sounds like federal levels of prosecution. Some of these differences are to be expected, though the "spread" is admittedly pretty big.

Killing rapists like child abusers make rapists more likely to kill their victims. That's why even we Americans, who consider rape to be a big deal and always have, unlike Europeans, don't execute rapists. Perversely, we ahve to watch how hard we punish these guys, lest we incentivize them to do worse. Right now, widespread knowledge of DNA technology has already lead most strager rapists to use condoms - and that mitigates some of the harm.

As for the kiddie porn distributor getting so many years, it is quite possible that he was charged on these counts because no one wanted to make individual child victims testify, especially if the cases were weak. That's what the old sodomy laws were used for before Bowers and Hardwick decided to create a test case. There may be a lot more going on than you see, but looking at averages it is fairly safe for observers to assume that the distributor was into a lot of very bad stuff, but that the possession and distribution counts were the easiest to prove without putting witnesses at risk.

That's the way I see it anyways!

Eko Prasetyo said...

let's see: child pornography distributor has thousands of clients, some of them (perhaps hundreds) has potencies to become child rapits. let's say 50 of them become child rapists. So, a child pornography distributor is in the end equivalent to 50 child rapists.
So, it is acceptable that child pornography distributor has heavier sencentences than the child rapists, providing that the child rapists did their crimes catalyzed by the distributed child pornography.
If not, well, they should be put in a mental asylum....