The Austin American-Statesman reports that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and state Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) are "moving to curb the growing scourge of 'sexting.'" The article regurgitates a dubious estimate (based on a nonrepresentative survey) that "1 in 5 teenagers has sent a sexually suggestive picture by text," quotes Watson condemning sexting as "morally hazardous," and closes with Abbott's warning that "this practice is not just harmful to young Texans; it is potentially illegal." Despite all that, what Abbott and Watson are up to would actually be an improvement on current law: They say sexting by teenagers should be treated as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine, rather than a third-degree felony, punishable by a prison sentence of two to 10 years and a $10,000 fine. The felony charge also triggers lifelong registration as a sex offender. Watson plans to introduce legislation next month to downgrade the legal status of sexting.
In a 2009 Reason article, Nancy Rommelmann explored the absurdity of treating teenagers who transmit photos of themselves in their underwear (or who receive such photos) like child pornographers.
[Thanks to Sam Rosenstein for the tip.]