John Grishom's stance on people who view underage material
Best-selling author John Grisham blasted the harsh punishment that people who watch child pornography face upon conviction, saying the prison system has “gone nuts.”
“We have prisons now filled with guys my age — 60-year-old white men in prison who’ve never harmed anybody,” Grisham said in a recent interview. Grisham said there are men in prison who “got online one night” who “probably had too much to drink” and ended up on child-pornography websites, a crime he said a friend had committed.
The writer of legal thrillers The Pelican Brief, The Firm and A Time to Kill took the controversial stance in a recent interview with Britain’s Telegraph newspaper, in which he spoke at length about issues he believes face the American criminal-justice system today. During the interview, Grisham shared the story of a friend from law school who served time in prison for downloading child pornography.
“These are people who haven’t hurt anybody. They deserve some type of punishment, whatever, but 10 years in prison?” Grisham queried.
There is wide consensus in the U.S. that the distribution and possession of child pornography is a federal offense that should be punished, but there is controversy surrounding the one-size-fits-all approach to punishment, particularly at a time when sexting and online porn are so prevalent. Over the past 15 years, according to the advocacy organization Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the length of federal sentences for child pornography have increased 500%.
In 2013, the U.S. Sentencing Commission began reviewing the sentencing policy surrounding child pornography, given the complexity of the issue in the Internet age. “Because of changes in the use of Internet-based technologies, the existing penalty structure is in need of revision. Child-pornography offenders engage in a variety of behaviors reflecting different degrees of culpability and sexual dangerousness that are not currently accounted for in the guidelines,” the commission’s chair Judge Patti Saris said in 2013.
Grisham stopped short of defending all convicted sex offenders, adding that he has “no sympathy” for pedophiles. “God, please lock those people up,” he said. “But so many of these guys do not deserve harsh prison sentences, but that’s what they get.”
What an idiot, if anything they should increase the sentences to serve as more of a deterrent
Man, fuck John Grisham for saying that.
What? I don't see the big problem here, ofc there should be differences in punishment between offenders who watch a child porn clip once, and say someone who downloads terrabytes of child porn with 5 year olds or someone who actually distributes or makes child pornography.
What if you were to watch a clip on redtube, only to later get busted for watching child porn because what you thought were a 20 y/o was actually an older looking 15 y/o? Would you feel like 10 years in prison would be a fitting punishment for that? How thoroughly do you research your porn before you download or click on something to check if it's any good? Can you always tell if that little asian chick is 40, 25 or 16?
This is a little off topic from this thread.. though I think some laws do need to change concerning the sex offenders list. I was watching a documentary about a guy who was like 19 and the girl was 16 or 17. They were in a relationship and when they broke up, she decided to go to the police and get revenge for the break up.
He was put on the sex offenders list, and he was going to stay on the list for a real long time. I forget, I think it was 10-20 years or so, until he would be able to try to get off of it. He wouldn't be allowed to live within a certain distance of where kids could be, and being on the list would obviously affect his job status too and a lot of other things. He was getting treated the same as someone who got caught with child porn, which I thought was ridiculous. There should be different levels of punishment, cause the relationship thing happens pretty often.
I agree each case should be looked at individually like in that dating situation mentioned above but watching it on the internet should always have a lengthy sentence as a deterrent. I've watched porn online for years now lol, you don't find and especially download that sort of thing by accident. They must have been searching for it. Sentences for those actually involved should be higher of course but by watchin it you're guilty by association imo, it wouldn't be so prevalent if their wasn't a market for it