Democrat Senator Dick Durbin took to the Senate floor to oppose Republican legislation that would develop tougher punishments for criminals involved with child pornography. Recently, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley introduced the PROTECT Act of 2022, which intends to shield kids from sex-related exploitation by boosting the penalties for having child porn and by preventing judges from punishing offenders listed below government standards. But that wasn’t good enough for Dick Durbin.
The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Mike Lee, Rick Scott, and also Thom Tillis. Congressman Ken Buck is introducing companion regulations in the House of Representatives.
Talking on the Senate floor, Sen. Durbin said, “these guidelines…don’t reflect the reality of today…we now live in a world of internet and access to…thousands of images, if that is your decision.”
Senator Dick Durbin is objecting to Senator @HawleyMO's legislation seeking to toughen sentences for child porn offenders:
"These guidelines…don't reflect the reality of today…we now live in a world of internet and access to…thousands of images, if that is your decision." pic.twitter.com/cWovwxPm52
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) April 5, 2022
Sen. Durbin argued that the laws were produced to deal with “physical materials,” like videotapes. Given that the web is flooded with pictures of child sexual assault, he does not believe that the exact same punishments should use.
According to a statement from Sen. Hawley’s office, “the epidemic of child pornography in the United States is growing exponentially. Just over a decade ago, the number of images of child sexual abuse material online was less than 1 million. That number grew to 45 million in 2018, and to 85 million in 2021.”
“By federal statute, judges are required to sentence criminals within ranges set by the federal ‘Sentencing Guidelines,’ subject to some exceptions,” the statement continued. “In 2003, Congress passed the original PROTECT Act to curtail the exceptions—and enhance the penalties—in child pornography cases.”
The legislator’s office clarified that the Supreme Court gutted the PROTECT Act in 2005, in United States v. Booker, with a debatable 5-4 decision. Since then, some federal judges like Ketanji Brown Jackson have used their discretion to impose lenient sentences on child porn offenders. Sen. Hawley’s bill would prevent judges from doing so in the future,” the statement reads.
“The horror of child pornography is exponentially worse than it was a decade ago, and judges handing out lenient sentences for these criminals is a big reason why,” said Senator Hawley. “While the White House continues to dismiss concerns about leniency toward child porn offenders as a ‘desperate conspiracy theory,’ the numbers speak for themselves. Congress must act before this problem becomes even worse.”
The bill comes after Sen Hawley as well as other Republicans questioned Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on the fact that she has actually given pedophiles incredibly lenient sentences in 100 percent of the youngster pornography cases that have actually come prior to her.
According to a report from the Heritage Foundation, Jackson’s sentences were 35 percent listed below the nationwide average for manufacturing, 57 percent below for property, and also 47 percent below for distribution.
Heritage likewise found that “Jackson sentenced below what the guidelines recommended in every case in every category. She did so 48 percent more often than the national average for production, 51 percent for possession, and 36 percent for distribution.”
“Those who view and share Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) fuel demand for the sexual abuse of children. Last week’s hearings showed that activist judges will not do their job unless Congress mandates minimum sentences for these violent crimes. This bill would make the law in this area crystal clear: if you view or share CSAM, you’ll go to prison for a very long time,” Sen. Lee said in a statement.
Rep. Buck included, “The confirmation hearings of Biden’s Supreme Court nominee have exposed a troubling leniency on the left and, most surprisingly, on the right for those who commit sexual offenses against children. It’s time for Congress to stand with the victims of these offenses, and to ensure that perpetrators receive the severe punishment these crimes deserve.”