Wednesday, September 24, 2014

child porn voodoo logic

State and federal courts hand down very different sentences for child pornography crimes. While state courts will hand down a sentence of probation, federal courts will send the defendant to prison for years for the very same crime.
Federal laws are tougher than state laws, but federal authorities say their limited resources allow them to go after only the worst of the worst.
My family and many other families waiting for someone to come home from federal prison would dispute that the feds go after only the worst of the worst. A man in possession of four images or twelve images or eight videos simply cannot be the worst of the worst. The feds go after the easy cases and child porn possession cases are easy.

An interesting research project would be to compare recidivism rates of child porn defendants sentenced by the state with those sentenced in federal court. If there is little difference (a safe bet), that should further the cause for reduced sentences.
...many cases end up in state court where sentences are lighter — which some prosecutors say can be appropriate for offenders who mostly need therapy.
 Makes sense. Why spend $25-30,000 to incarcerate someone for a year when lesser measures can have the same effect?
Others say the lack of mandatory sentences creates a system where the punishment does not fit the crime.
 Nope. Without mandatory sentences, the judge can hand down stringent sentences when necessary but mandatory sentences prevent the judge from giving a lesser sentence when appropriate. Mandatory sentencing laws get in the way of proportionate sentencing.

The article ends with a quote from someone who said,
"Child porn is not a victimless crime — and we need sentencing laws that recognize not only the severity of these crimes, but the suffering the victims endured,"
In the comments, Tiglath Philizar talks about "Child Porn Voodoo logic"--the idea that looking at child porn images can hurt the person represented in the image in the same way that sticking pins in a voodoo doll can cause damage to a real person nowhere nearby.
Think logically for just one minute. If front of me I have a voodoo doll I stick that voodoo doll with a pin and the person I curse is injured. Child Porn Voodoo logic; Someone possesses a photo of a child, in the form of 0′s and 1′s in a computer file. When s/he looks at the medium, the individual depicted in the photo, video or both gets victimized and hurt. While I can appreciate that actual creating CP victimizes children, I cannot agree that looking for, viewing, or collecting CP actually victimizes anyone. If you were to apply the same reasoning to any other crime, then looking at a photo of any crime would be re-victimizing someone.
If the argument is correct that the child in a pornographic image is victimized again when someone looks at the image, we should be able to extend that argument to other victims and other situations and yet no one suggests that possession of a photo of someone cruelly beaten with fists should be illegal because looking at the image will victimize that person again. No one seriously suggests we incarcerate those who downloaded the recently hacked naked photos of celebrities. Making the argument for anything other than child porn exposes the silliness of the argument.

Tiglath Philizar has his own example:
If the simple act of viewing an image of someone is harmful perhaps an appropriate punishment would be to simply take a photo of the perpetrator in jail, then set them free, but have some look at the photo that was taken while they were in jail; same logic.
That would be a change in sentencing policy I could get behind. 

The idea that someone looked at or possessed images of child pornography should concern us far less than the very real actions of someone who abuses a child sexually and records the abuse. 

7 comments:

Margaret Moon said...

You have stated the irrationality of this "voodoo logic" so well that all I can say is WELL SAID!

Ethan Edwards said...

Good post! You know I agree with you on this point.

Danielle said...

Your logic does not fly. Child pornography is created by harming children for the specific purpose of satisfying other people's deviant sexual fantasies. Your statement of how no one suggests jailing people who possess naked photos of recently hacked celebrities? Really? Those celebrities are adults. They knew what they were doing when they took/had the photos taken, and should know that when you have digital images like this, there are risks involved.
Children cannot consent to being used for sex acts and having them recorded. You know that, obviously.
Keep rationalizing, lady, if that's what gets you through the night.

Anoni Tihnker said...

@Danielle
I do not think that is what the author is trying to disprove. Obviously children are harmed in the production aspect of the material. The reasons for creating them are not singular. It may be for profit, it may be for proof of dominance, or it may be for remembering the moments of overpowering the victim.

What the author is trying to question is the motives of the government in imprisoning people who have pictures. If you look at the latest news for child pornography arrests you can see a majority of these arrests come from the same source; file sharing applications.

What is the point of putting people in prison for having pictures of something grotesque and inhumane? looking at something is not the same as physically imposing your will on something.

I hear this phrase being thrown around a lot "viewing the images re-victimizes the child", which is impossible for it is merely a metaphor. The mere act of looking at an image of rape does not harm the victim. It is the knowledge that the images of rape exist that causes distress and psychological trauma.

Which one sounds more compelling to you?

bananarama said...

I'm trying to comprehend this. Do you really, seriously not understand that people like your husband create the demand for children to be victimized? If nobody was interested in these images, they wouldn't be distributed, and hopefully a number of them wouldn't be made in the first place. PEOPLE DO THINGS FOR MONEY. Would a heroin dealer sell heroin if nobody wanted to buy it? Would a hitman commit murder if he weren't getting paid?

Have you really not read any of the accounts of CP victims online, who talk about how THEY FEEL RE-VICTIMIZED when they get a notice that someone has seen their images? Do you feel your attempts to justify and rationalize despicable behavior are more valid than the lived experience of a raped child? Here, allow me:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/27/masha-allen-lawsuit-child-porn-victim-sues-viewers_n_3824448.html

Margaret Moon said...

@bananarama, do you seriously not understand that the statement from the victims of photographed child abuse clearly reads "...when they get a notice that someone has viewed their images" ??? The government does this so that the "victim" can sue for damages, a strategy dreamed up by, and used for prophet by, attorneys. (Check out how our former Att. General John Ashcroft and his firm make their money)

No one has to pay to view CP on the Internet, therefore there is no profit to be made. And the people who actually molested the child, usually a family member, have no way of knowing who looks at the photos after they are posted. Why doesn't the government take the photos down instead of using them as bait??? Because the Prison Industry and the legal system is where the PROFITS you mention are being realized.

Awaitingmyescapewithlove said...

This is fucking terrifying. Your husband gets off on YOUNG kids being brutalized and raped. He gets hard at the thought of babies being sexually degraded by grown men? Have you put any thought into what your husband is into? You fucking freak.