I think we can all agree that it’s NEVER a good time to be a CP defendant, but this week it’s really not a good time to be one. Or is it not such a bad week? I can’t tell.
There have been so many times during this week’s Supreme Court nomination hearings that I’ve cringed. If they are giving Judge Brown Jackson such a hard time over her sentencing decisions in CP cases, I can imagine Judges all over the country are probably looking at their CP defendants and thinking, ‘I better give this person the statutory maximum 20 years or it could one day be me getting skewered.’
Or, am I just conditioned to believe that things can only get worse and its possible that people watching this spectacle are thinking maybe someone should take a closer look at the guidelines if so many Judges think they are too harsh? Maybe judges are seeing the prospective Supreme Court Justice’s sentencing history in CP cases as validation of their own misgivings against giving someone more time for looking at pictures on the internet than committing the underlying crime?
Please don’t take these thoughts as any suggestion that viewing CP is not horrible. We all agree that it is and that any illegal activity is wrong and should be punished. This is merely a commentary on the current sentencing guidelines and whether certain enhancements (such as use of a computer) are truly deserving of a more serious sentence, or if they have become inherent in most offenses.
For better or worse, sentencing guidelines in CP cases were forced back into the spotlight this week and either this will expose a grievous injustice in some of the sentencing enhancements that are contained in the guidelines or it will cause congress to make laws harsher and enact higher minimum mandatory sentences because there’s a perception that people are not getting enough time.
What do you think will come from this week’s exposure?