Should People Who Look at Child Porn Go to Prison for Thousands of Years or Only Hundreds?

WPTVWPTVWPTV, the NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach, Florida, reports that Matthew Taby, a 50-year-old engineer caught with child pornography on his computer, "could face more than 3,000 years of jail time." More amazing than the remote possibility that Taby's mummified corpse will be retained by the Florida Department of Corrections for the next three millennia is the virtual certainty that he will spend the rest of his life in prison unless he successfully appeals his sentence.

Taby's lawyer, Richard Kibbey, explains that prosecutors charged each of 200 videos on the hard drive attached to Taby's laptop as a separate count of possessing child pornography. (They alleged that there were as many as 1,000 videos but did not charge him in connection with the rest.) Possessing child pornography is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, but becomes a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, in cases involving 10 or more images. Florida's sentencing guidelines, from which a judge may deviate only in extraordinary circumstances, prescribe a minimum term of 208 years for the charges Tabey faces, even though he has no criminal record.

That's eight years longer than the mandatory minimum sentence that Morton Berger, a former Arizona high school teacher, received for his child pornography collection in 2003. But Arizona is still the champion of pointless punitiveness in this area, since Berger was charged with possession of just 20 images. It says something about the mindlessly draconian penalties routinely mandated by legislators eager to show how tough they are on crime that we even talk about sentences longer than the maximum human life span. When there is no possibility of parole (which Florida abolished for almost all offenses in 1983), any sentence longer than a few decades is a life sentence for a middle-aged man.

No one deserves a life sentence for looking at forbidden pictures, no matter how loathsome. Assuming it should be treated as a crime at all, possession of child pornography is certainly not on the same moral plane as, say, mass murder. A life sentence is far more severe than the punishment prescribed by Florida law for crimes that are indisputably worse. If Taby had produced child pornography instead of merely viewing it, he would have faced a much lighter sentence: up to 15 years, with no mandatory minimum. Even the biggest fan of mass incarceration should be able to see the injustice of such absurd disparities (which also occur under federal law). Yet Assistant State Attorney Vicki Nichols defended the decision to charge Taby with 200 counts, saying, "We’re allowed to overkill because [Taby] committed a thousand crimes. He's the reason he's facing thousands of years." Although Nichols did not mention it, prosecutors could argue that they are exercising restraint, since every child depicted in a single image can be counted as a separate offense under Florida law.

"The prosecutors have misplaced their zeal," Kibbey says, by throwing the book at consumers of child pornography instead of the producers, who are harder to catch and convict. "They go after the low-hanging fruit."

Remember when 152 years for possessing child pornography seemed like a lot? I considered the mentality underlying such penalties in the July 2011 issue of Reason.

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  • Gladstone||

    They should be punished by being forced to become libertarians.

  • Almanian!||

    You MONSTER!!!

  • XM||

    More than death itself.

  • ||

    I dont understand what this means;

    ...was found with child pornography on his computer....

    Does this mean he downloaded it onto his hard drive? If that is the case then this should be a story about the Darwin Award he is receiving.

    Could it mean that he was surfing porn, of which any variety any living creature could possibly want is easily found, and viewed a page with verboten images?

    It isnt like the guys in the porn industry are fine upstanding honest fellows. Their job is to get you to click as many links as possible by hook or by crook. I would be willing to bet that anyone who has ever surfed porn has viewed images where it could be construed that they were illegal.

    I have heard that people who surf porn often follow links and discover that they have been tricked into loading a page that was not at all what was advertised. So I have heard.

  • ||

    When all this moral panic about "child pornography" started, some two decades ago, there was a wine (bottled in Napa Valley?) where the label had a Renoir (?) drawing of a nude girl reclining on it. That label got replaced rather quickly, if I recall correctly.

  • Gray Ghost||

    No one's in the thread anymore, but I think you're talking about the 1993 Mouton Rothschild label brouhaha. Basically, Mouton commissions a new piece of art for their label each year. Picasso, Warhol, Motherwell, Kandinsky: there's been a bunch. Even HRH, the Prince of Wales.

    Well, in 1993, it was Balthus's turn. Balthus does drawings and paintings; some nuces, and some of those are prepubescent girls. The 1993 label featured one and hilarity ensued. Each wine label (and beer and liquor too) has to be approved by BATFE, and it's a pain in the ass. Unsurprisingly, BATFE did not approve the Balthus label, so, instead of telling the U.S. to fuck off (this is one reason why I'm not in the wine business) the chateau made another version for the U.S. market featuring a blank beige space, while keeping the nude label for everyone else.

  • ||

    There is no excuse for unsafe porn browsing any more. Just saying.

  • Ice Nine||

    You mean a filter for filtering out pushed child porn or something?

  • ||

    You can use extensions to block scripts and ads and only use sites known to be safe such as those listed on BLOP. The big sites have no interest in having child porn on their sites.

  • Ice Nine||

    BLOP? (Can't find it on goog)

  • Ghetto Slovak Goatherder||

    Google "Blop porn".

    I found it.

  • ||

    big list of porn

  • ||

    Even before these things it was just dumb to keep clicking random links.

  • Otherhmm||

    It is possible to accidentally come across it on 4chan /b/ etc for example though.

  • Otherhmm||

    There's also the case of misnamed files on limewire etc. And the feds have never cared if it was misnamed or accidental, you're still fucked for life even if the file was deleted but recoverable by recovery software. They'll charge you with distribution too, since when you download it you also share it until you tell it to otherwise.

  • Otherhmm||

    Or when you're talking about something which can be duplicated infinitely, like a digital image or video... it's far too easy to plant/frame people up for this sort of thing.

  • Alan||

    Yes. Much easier to plant child porn than to plant marijuana on a suspect. The police don't even have to go into the target's house.

  • ||

    There's also the case of misnamed files on limewire etc.

    Holy fuck, limewire! This is a perfect example of:

    There is no excuse for unsafe porn browsing any more

    Btw, I'm not defending the law or the prosecutor, just addressing Suthenboy's description of bad porn browsing habits. I came of age in the internet porn era from waiting for dial up to load pictures of celebrity boobies to the current golden age, I know what I'm talking about.

    People being framed or planted is a totally different issue and there's not much you can do against somebody dead set on doing so.

  • ||

    If Taby had produced child pornography instead of merely viewing it, he would have faced a much lighter sentence: up to 15 years, with no mandatory minimum.

    Just what exactly lawmakers are involved in?

  • Alan||

    Distracting the masses from their depredations by demonizing and attacking a scapegoat.

    In other words, business as usual.

  • In Time Of War||

    I gather the FBI might be willing to hire him...

  • Alan||

    It's not about the crime or the harm committed, it's about having a despised other to hate on - and the more harmless the better.

    After all, blacks, Jews, women, Chinese, Arabs, and gays managed to demonstrate that they can be harmful, and are better off for it. Iran is being squeezed while nuclear North Korea is being left alone. The lesson should be obvious.

  • Aresen||

    I think it is more about political clout than harmlessness.

    No one is going to defend anything to do with child pr0n or anything else that is generally viewed as 'icky.'

    Kittens, OTOH, are harmless, but attacking kittens would be political suicide due to the sympathetic clout.

  • ||

    Kittens, OTOH, are harmless, but attacking kittens would be political suicide due to the sympathetic clout.

    "Then she straightened the bills out on the desk and put one on top of the other and pushed them across. Very slowly, very sadly, as if she was drowning a favorite kitten."

    Raymond Chandler The Little Sister

  • Alan||

    The public isn't concerned about slaughtering chickens, even though they are reasonably harmless.

    Attacking kittens isn't political suicide because they're harmless, but because they're cute.

  • Tonio||

    Wait, I thought that market demand drove production, so neither harmless nor ultimately blameless.

    It's quite possible that they're making a big noise in the press before they plead him down. Possibly he can lead them to others who possess or produce.

  • Otherhmm||

    How did he "drive the market" if he just downloaded them off of The Onion Router?

    Do you actually know anything about this subject, or do you just believe whatever the state says to justify their jobs?

  • Alan||

    There is effectively no demand. We are told that the customer base is vanishingly small, and there is obviously no way to pay, nor any way to enforce payment (consider how effective the music industry is in preventing piracy).

    For that matter, we don't know anything about the "stars" of these productions, if there are any. It is illegal to investigate whether child pornography even exists. Doesn't that seem just a little suspicious? If there are such stars, perhaps they object to the idea that they are victims, just as child workers in Benin object to being classified as slaves:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/20.....-children/

    Also see:

    http://falkvinge.net/2012/09/1.....uch-worse/

  • Rick Santorum||

    Black people getting beaten by the cops is totes the same as watching child porn.

    Drink bleach.

  • ChrisO||

    It's about jobs, people. How are we going to keep all those prison guards employed unless we do things like this?

  • Almanian!||

    "He's the reason he's facing thousands of years."

    Mmmmm - no. I'm thinking it's the elected fucktards that created the law, and the collecion of eejits who think such a law is good, and the prosecutors for whom such cases are badges of honor.

    Looking at pictures - illegal. Maybe gross, disgusting pics. But - pictures. Guy didn't DO anything to ayone else. WHAM! See ya in 1000 years. Whoda thunk it?

    Fuck 'em all.

  • ||

    Earlier I said he should get a Darwin award, and he should, given the reality we live in.

    But you are correct. Looking at pictures/reading certain subjects is a constitutionally protected activity and the laws against doing such are illegitimate.

  • Tonio||

    Sorry, SB, but pics and vids that depict actual children being victimized are and should be illegal. Artwork, CGI and fiction, while distasteful, cross the threshold.

  • Zeb||

    I agree that images of actual abuse should be contraband, but I don't think it should mean doing any serious time.

    The people who make it they can lock up and throw away the key and I'll be happy.

  • Otherhmm||

    If someone downloads images of someone being murdered should they go to jail too?

    And if not, why is possession of evidence of sexual abuse any different?

    Aren't you just encouraging people to destroy evidence which may have otherwise alerted authorities to abuse, and could have been used to prosecute the person who actually carried out the abuse, not just someone who merely possessed the evidence?

    I seem to remember a case where a girl was raped for months, more or less pimped out to dozens of men, and the only reason why authorities were ever alerted to it was because some of the people involved recorded videos on their cell phones and an acquaintance of the victim happened to see one of the videos and reported it to authorities. If no one had recorded it and distributed it then the abuse would have likely gone one for much longer or may have never been prosecuted at all.

    So how does banning possession or even distribution help children? And how is merely viewing a video make them an accessory to the crime?

    If information was allowed to flow freely, including child pornography, victims could be identified much more quickly and it would be easier to prosecute those who create it.

    The "it drives the market" thing is nonsense, especially in the digital age... I seriously doubt that guy paid anything for those videos.

    I think it's more likely making it illegal to possess and distribute the stuff that is already created actually drives demand for more to be created.

  • Otherhmm||

    If Zeb's and Tonio's argument made any sense then watching surveillance videos of a 7-11 or a bank being robbed on youtube would also "drive the market" for more banks to be robbed and by simply viewing the video you'd be damaging the owner of the bank all over again.

  • Alan||

    Agreed on all counts. If we really wanted to help abused children we would want these images to be distributed widely. We do it when we have images of a murder or a robbery in the hopes that someone will recognize something and give information to the police.

    There is obviously something very suspicious about the way that the public are prevented from knowing anything about this - though it may be that most of the images are rather innocuous - children playing at the beach, for example. It's much easier to convict people in the court of public opinion if everyone is assuming the worst, and not that the image is ... a cartoon girl with a nip slip, for which a man was convicted in Sweden. (See link)

    http://falkvinge.net/2012/09/1.....uch-worse/

  • Alan||

    Sure, and anyone who has seen photos of the victims of Nazi concentration camps should be convicted of genocide.

    Makes perfect sense.

  • Paul.||

    15 years in prison, in cases involving 10 or more images

    No one needs a directory with more than ten images of child porn.

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    That's clips of child porn.

  • Paul.||

    Or magazines. Although I'm not sure how many people have print editions any more. I mean, who buys porn in magazine format? I mean, aside from Germans...

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Are magazines of child porn worse?

  • Paul.||

    Only if they contain more than ten pictures.

  • NeonCat||

    Yes, you can roll the magazine up and assault someone with it.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    maga-clips, dude.

  • Paul.||

    No one deserves a life sentence for looking at forbidden pictures, no matter how loathsome. Assuming it should be treated as a crime at all, possession of child pornography is certainly not on the same moral plane as, say, mass murder.

    The theory behind it is similar (the same?) as drugs. By criminalizing the consumption of child porn, the presumption is that you eliminate the market for it, and therefore no one will make child porn.

  • R C Dean||

    So, magical thinking, then.

  • Tonio||

    Um, no (and I'm surprised at you RC), because actual children were assaulted in the production of pics and vid.

  • Otherhmm||

    Actual 7-11's are assaulted in the production of surveillance videos of 7-11's being robbed. Duh.

  • Proprietist||

    Is it just me or don't most actual child molesters get much smaller sentences than this? My dentist turned out to be a chimo (not on me, afaik) busted in an FBI sting, and he was out of prison in about three years.

  • NeonCat||

    "Hey, doc, my mouth is up *here*."

  • ||

    it's not just you. child molesters that go all the way (iow full on rape) can get like 10 years but i've seen and investigated plenty of child molestation cases , and the penalties aren't anywhere near this extreme.

    it amazes me how few use any sort of encryption. i realize that some forms of encryption hide the fact that they are even present on the drive, whereas others just scramble the files, and in the first case, the hard disk examiner would never know it WAS encrypted, but over and over again when hard drives are seized, the child porn will just be sitting there in video/picture files without any encryption whatsoever.

  • Ghetto Slovak Goatherder||

    I thought the police boot some linux version and can see encrypted stuff.

    Here's a question: if some 16 year old sends her BF, or his GF, nudie pix, that's child porn right?

    How do the police verify that an individual is a child? If the pix are of some teenager who may or may not be 18, how do the police know?

    Also, how do they find criminals like this? Do they track sites known to give out download links and follow IP addresses? Isn't that method prone to error because people can easily route their Internet access to random IP addresses?

  • Tonio||

    They may be able to find where the encrypted data is, but decrypting it is another matter entirely. All they know is that there's (probably) some encrypted data there but no idea whether its pics, financial records or whatever.

    IANAL, but yes teens can get in a heap of trouble for non-expoitative sexting.

  • Ghetto Slovak Goatherder||

    What about my few questions?

  • Ghetto Slovak Goatherder||

    What about my *last* few questions?

  • Rasilio||

    "How do the police verify that an individual is a child? If the pix are of some teenager who may or may not be 18, how do the police know?"

    If they can't specifically identify the "child" in question they guess based on looks.

    That was actually one of the reasons why the legal age for porn is higher than the age of consent, way too hard to tell the difference between a 12 year old and a 16 year old.

  • ||

    Now that you mention it one of the coaches at the local community college got caught with a kid and he did about that...3 or so years.

    I didnt pay close attention to the case but I took my wife to a craft/jewelry show a few years (3? 4? ) later and there he was with a booth selling baubles.

  • ||

    Lawmakers should stick to protecting people's rights in cases like this.

    You should not put people in prison for viewing pictures or reading stuff. The constitution prohibits it.

    You should not put people in prison for taking pictures or writing stuff. The constitution prohibits it.

    What you should do is put people in prison for violating another persons rights, i.e. the child who is definitely being exploited.

    That being said, I think pedophiles are among the vilest creatures on the planet and almost any death I can imagine is too good for them.

  • Otherhmm||

    Making it illegal to possess and distribute evidence of the crime only makes it that much harder to solve or prosecute.

    All you're doing is encouraging people to destroy evidence and to hide it when it otherwise potentially could have been used to put a stop to abuse. So not only are such laws unconstitutional, they hurt things more than they help.

  • apedo||

    Hi, I am one of those people you call "the vilest creatures in earth".

    Can you explain what is so wrong about having a different sexual orientation? Can you explain what is so wrong about being different? Do you think that queers are among the vilest creatures in earth?

    No one chooses his/her sexual orientation anymore than one chooses his/her eyes colour. What do you gain by saying that we are among the vilest etcera? Does it make you feel better? I thought that all people were equal regardless of sexual orientation.


    Do you think that a 14 year old boy who discovers he is a pedophile is among the vilest etcera?


    I thought that murderers were worse than gays and pedophiles and people who have a different sexual orientation. THen again, I might be wrong and you could explain me why having a different sexual orientation is such a terrible crime.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Do you draw a moral distinction between people who are attracted to children and those who are attracted to children and act upon their compulsion?

  • apedo||

    Of course. Dont you think there is a moral distinction?

    Pedophiles are just attracted to children. Thats how they were born. But that doesnt make them bad guys.

  • ||

    I understand some of the reasons why pedophiles become what they are. I have some sympathy for those who realize how awful pedophilia is and resist it.

    Those who display the attitude you are displaying now, that it is just another sexual orientation and isnt so bad etc., yeah, you are amoung the vilest creatures on the planet.

    I dont gain anything by pointing this out. I dont gain anything by pointing out that a rattlesnake is dangerous or that the AIDS virus is evil.

    Victimizing children in this way damages them terribly, sometimes to the point of destroying thier lives. I know this first hand as I adopted a daughter who was a victim of a pedophile at the age of 6-11. It has been a very tough row to hoe and she is still damaged goods at 27. She earnestly attempted suicide at 12. If I had not come along I am certain she would be in the grave now.

    You are some kind of piece of shit claiming that pedophilia is just another sexual orientation. I have heard that drivel from pedos before. Fuck you. If we were having this conversation in person chances are good that you would stop breathing sometime before the conversation was over.

    Why dont you go lay your head down on some railroad tracks, or drink some drano. Maybe you could douse yourself in gasoline and have a smoke? Or just try all three.

  • apedo||

    "Victimizing children in this way damages them terribly, sometimes to the point of destroying thier lives. I know this first hand as I adopted a daughter who was a victim of a pedophile at the age of 6-11. It has been a very tough row to hoe and she is still damaged goods at 27. She earnestly attempted suicide at 12. If I had not come along I am certain she would be in the grave now."


    He was not the victim of a pedophile but of a rapist.

    Do you think that all women who are raped by men are victims of heterosexuals, or are victims of rapists?

    "If we were having this conversation in person chances are good that you would stop breathing sometime before the conversation was over."

    Im not sure of that. I would probably break your bones. But is violence against sexual minorities everything you are capable of?


    You seem incapable of empathy towards people who are suffering. You seem blinded by bigotry and hate.

    just because your daughter was raped you blame ALL pedophiles, as if we were all offenders. Its like blaming all heterosexual men for the rape of a single woman. How is that reasonable? How is that logical? Is that reason to you?


    I also know plenty of children who were victims of anti-pedophiles and tried to kill themselves because of their sexual orientation. You dont care about them? You only care about heterosexual, straight children? What about pedophile children?

  • Irish||

    WILL NO ONE THINK OF THE PEDOPHILE CHILDREN!?

  • AlmightyJB||

    I'm pretty sure this dude is just an anti-gay troll that's tring to compare gays to pedophiles.

  • apedo||

    I am ok with gays and ok with pedophiles.

    How come that defending pedophiles is trolling to you?

    The guy says that all pedophiles must be bad, since a single one of them raped his daughter. How come that you dont see that as trolling?

    Lets imagine a single heterosexual men rapes a woman. Does that mean that all heterosexual men are rapists and bad people? Seems legit.

  • Redmanfms||

    Lets imagine a single heterosexual men rapes a woman. Does that mean that all heterosexual men are rapists and bad people?

    All sexual contact involving adults and children is by definition rape.

    You may not be able to help who you are attracted to, but the moment you act on it you become a rapist, and the vilest of rapists at that, and should be prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

  • apedo||

    You might as well hate all straight men, just because some of them are rapists.

    You might as well say that heterosexuality is not a sexual orientation, because women are raped.

    Do you know how many women are raped by straight men? How many women are tortured, harmed and raped by heterosexual men?

    Yet I dont hear you saying that all heterosexual men are bad or that heterosexuality is evil.

  • Redmanfms||

    Yet I dont hear you saying that all heterosexual men are bad or that heterosexuality is evil.

    You aren't evil, you're mentally ill.

    If you act out your illness and victimize a child, you are criminally mentally ill, and you should go to prison for it.

    Capiche?

  • Redmanfms||

    If you act out your illness and victimize a child, you are criminally mentally ill, and you should go to prison be institutionalized for it.

    Correction.

  • Rick Santorum||

    Can you explain what is so wrong about having a different sexual orientation?

    DRINK BLEACH.

  • Joe41||

    To: apedo

    People like you will be supported and accepted into society in the near future. Hating and hunting down pedophiles is no better than those who do it to homosexuals. Society is seriously warped when it comes to child sexual abuse, that we're still subjecting boys to genital mutilation while condemning other countries who do it to girls.
    Be proud of who you are, and ignore those who call you "vile scum", because society has lots to learn and over-come when it comes to issues of sexuality. I used to speak in defense of pedophiles, but now I've turned my attention to stopping this sexual knife attack on non-consenting boys. I wish you the best and hope you can live a fairly decent life, despite the circumstances. Be strong...

  • Irish||

    No way did someone just write this post. No fucking way.

  • ||

    speaking of offenses against the chirrun

    SPLIT COURT HOLDS THAT THERE WAS NO ENTICEMENT – AND THEREFORE IT WAS NOT LURING UNDER RCW 9A.40.090 – FOR MAN RIDING BY ON BICYCLE TO SAY TO 9-YEAR-OLD: “DO YOU WANT SOME CANDY? I’VE GOT SOME AT MY HOUSE”

    State v. Homan, ___Wn. App. ___, 290 P.3d 1041 (Div. III, Dec. 18, 2012)

    We disagree with the State that Homan’s statements demonstrate both an invitation and an enticement to lure C.C.N. into a nonpublic structure. Rather, they show an offer of candy and a statement regarding its location. Furthermore, there is no conduct that elevates these statements to either an invitation or an enticement. Homan was riding by C.C.N. as he made the statements, and he did not slow or stop as he made them or even look back afterward. While Homan’s statements were ill-advised, they did not constitute a felony, and we remand to the trial court to reverse his conviction with prejudice.

    2-1 decision

  • somewhat reasonable||

    i just threw up a little in my mouth.

  • dd09999||

    Unfortunately we can’t just hang them. Sorry, last time I checked a child could not consent to this. (BECAUSE THEY ARE CHILDREN AND THEY ARE NOT MENTALLY DEVELOPED ENOUGH TO CONSENT). They are forced against their will to do these terrible things or without their knowledge, and the sick people viewing it know it. No sympathy for these people. If that makes me a tyrant on this one issue so be it. We protect the weak.

  • General Butt Naked||

    What about watching a video of a soldier being beheaded by fanatics?

    You can't give consent to be murdered, and the murder was committed with the video in mind.

  • Farturo||

    Excellent question.

  • Otherhmm||

    Obviously when you watch a video of a 7-11 being robbed, the molestation beams travel through time and space and re-molest the 7-11 and you're also driving the market for more videos of 7-11 robberies.

    I mean come on, don't you know anything?

  • Alan||

    Admiral Farragut began his naval career at the age of 9. President Andrew Jackson went to war at the age of 12. Frederick Russell Burnham went to war at the age of 14, but had lived independently from age 12. Until the mid-1800s the age of consent was 10 in most of the English-speaking world.

    Who exactly is a child, and at what age do they develop the ability to say Yes?

  • Rasilio||

    And how sick are they in comparison to anyone who watches SAW or any other torture movie?

  • Kroneborge||

    Question, was it really child porn, or was it just underage teens,

    I hate when they call it child porn, but the kids are like 16 and 17.

    Really not the same thing at all

  • ||

    It seems relevant to me the age, yet that is left out of the article. In Hawaii, it was recently legal to have sex with 14 year olds, and it only got bumped up to 16. So potentially this guy could go away forever for viewing pics of young people who, in some jurisdictions, it is legal to have sex with.

  • Mr. Weebles||

    Guy up here just got 160 years for molesting three disabled kids from the bus he drove and he also possessed child porn on top of those acts.

    Although I'm anti-death penalty, if you give someone 100+ years, why not offer them that option?

    I can't imagine anyone facing that kind of time without any chance whatsoever of being free again would want to live out their days in a cage.

  • ||

    I can't imagine anyone facing that kind of time without any chance whatsoever of being free again would want to live out their days in a cage.

    I think if they strapped you in a chair and said, "We can push a button and you can die now, or you can live however much longer you desire -- your call", most everyone would go with the latter.

  • Mr. Weebles||

    Perhaps, but maybe not.

    When you're facing the rest of your life in an institution where you are hated by the inmates and guards, and know you will live a miserable existence, I think some people would push the button.

  • jcalton||

    I'm pretty sure Florida's private prison industry would be more than willing to hold onto his corpse for 1,000 years.

  • Alan||

    +1

  • Mr Whipple||

    This is about Tor. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. There's a shit ton of CP on Tor and there's no way for anyone to stop it. All that they can do is impose these ridiculous sentences on people dumb enough not to encrypt their files.

    They have also been going after exit node operators that allow CP to go through their servers in other countries. IIRC, an Austrian exit node operator was arrested by Austrian police after the Polish police got trapped in their honey pot. The Polish police were using Tor, or some shit. I think that there's more LEO on Tor CP sites than pedos.

    http://tinyurl.com/baab2mp

  • Alan||

    These penalties pre-date Tor by a couple decades. Child pornography was criminalized in the late 1970s, and was obviously intended to hurt the homosexual community. You might recall that NAMBLA was a respectable part of the gay rights movement at that time, and the hatred of pedophiles really took off when a NAMBLA member was accused of the murder of Etan Patz.

    Incidentally, last year the New York police finally admitted that that guy didn't do it. Their new suspect is a guy who has had a long history of mental problems, but there's no evidence that he is a pedophile.

  • Mr Whipple||

    That may be so. But the prosecutor has some discretion, here. These are not mandatory minimums.

    It might help to know that there is a 5th Amendment case pending in the SCOTUS regarding encrypted CP files that the accused was apparently viewing while crossing the Canadian border. When the computer shut off, the files could not be accessed without the passphrase. The issue is whether an accused can be compelled to turn over his passphrase.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Why not charge him one count for every frame in each video?

  • Hyperion||

    What about for each pixel? That way he could have received trillions of years!

  • Hyperion||

    And we call the Muslims, 7th century barbarian primitives, for stoning those convicted of adultery. Then what are we? We are no fucking better at all now than we were when we burned witches alive. If anything, we are worse.

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    this idea that we're created in the image of God is a slur on God.

  • YandMand||

    Hmmm, guess he should have learned to encrypt the contents of his hard drive. Pretty stupid to have stuff like that on an unencrypted drive!

    www.GoAnon.da.bz

  • General Butt Naked||

    Pedobot strikes again.

    I guess if anyone knows how to get away with this type of stuff, it'd be pedobot.

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    I'm reminded of a couple apt Nietzsche insights:

    "Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster... for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”

    and

    "Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful."

    The law and order type and your typical violent thug have a lot in common.

  • ||

    good points that. imo, it's ESPECIALLY true of narcotics work. setting aside that we shouldn't have a war on drugs in the first place, officers who work drug assignments, with informants and just generally the sleaziest type people should be rotated out of those assignments MANDATORILY imo after a maximum of 5 yrs, and preferably more like 2-3.

    while longevity in a unit does allow for development of expertise, the erosion of one's soul and the corrupting influence of being around dopers for years on end is just too strong... imo

    we need to rotate the crusty veterans out of these units and make it clear that these units are temporary assignments, not places to sit and park and work for over a decade, as i have seen in some instances.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Sounds similar to what Applebaum said about "policing" Tor servers. Of course, each "hidden services" operator reserves the right to monitor and police what is on their server.

  • ||

    If someone robs a convenience store, they are not charged with a separate count for every individual piece of money they steal. A convicted armed robber goes to prison for one count of armed robbery, not 720 counts, despite the fact they left the store with 720 bills that don't belong to them.

    So how is it not cruel and unusual punishment to send someone to prison on 200 counts for having one computer with illegal content?

  • nac87||

    Police should be interested in CP for one reason - evidence. Evidence of the crimes perpetrated in the pictures, and tracing the adults and victims. Any other factors are none of their business. They should even be obliged to return the images to the possessor once they have served this purpose, as was the case in the UK until 1987.

    Most of what legally constitutes CP in UK and US is really nothing of the sort, it is naturist and child modelling material ie not victims at all.

    To commenters saying paedophile crimes are the worst imaginable due to the effect on children and the perpetrators should face 'the worst kind of death'. Understandable sentiments if genuinely motivated by concern for children and not mere prurient interest, but what about other forms of child abuse that don't receive the same level of exposure or vilification? Neglect, emotional abuse, physical assault, unstable parental relationships, alcohol or substance addiction. Regretfully there has been a bit of every one of those in our family, and it resulted in the suicide of a sibling. But my mother, who was largely responsible, is not monstered by those who know. They recognise she was sick and actually sympathise. *I* don't think she should be monstered - she is a fundamentally good person who acted in ways she couldn't control. But it's the social double standards I can't stand. Are people less understanding of paedophilia (or don't want to understand), because it is largely a male problem?

  • nac87||

    Add to the list the biggest one of all, rejection :(

  • Redmanfms||

    Are people less understanding of paedophilia (or don't want to understand), because it is largely a male problem?

    No, it is reviled to a greater extent because it is especially heinous. Forcible sexual congress (which child molestation is) has always been viewed as a heinous act, and a deeper violation of person than beating. Historically it has been viewed equivalent to murder and punished in kind. This isn't merely a Euro-American construct either, it's nearly universal among human societies.

    I don't know where you live, but every place I've lived in the U.S. people who abuse their children are seen as monsters. Special revulsion is reserved for those who physically or sexually abuse children, but even those who neglect or torment their children are viewed as scum.

  • nac87||

    'Forcible sexual congress (which child molestation is)'

    Only in a fraction of cases. Indeed here it was not uncommon until the early 80s for non-penetrative sexual 'assaults' against children to be punished with a fine.

    'even those who neglect or torment their children are viewed as scum.'

    In theory yes, in reality no. All kinds of bad parenting practices seem to be met with apathy (UK btw). The anti-paedo, pitchfork wielding mob tend to be the most guilty of these double standards. Tabloid-reading thugs.

  • anarch||

    Until I read nac87's 9:21AM comment, which apparently dissociates adults' sexual activity with children from its necessarily unjust infringement of the child's rights, I was pretty sure that there was a miscommunication here between the attackers and the defenders here; namely, I believed that the attackers were attacking child molesting [qua any instance of engaging children in sexual activity], while the defenders were defending not child molesting, but individuals who feel sexually attracted to children but do not act on those feelings. I thought the defenders were saying, though not clearly enough, "I can't help feeling attracted to children, and although I wish I did not have those feelings, my having those feelings does not make me non-human." Because the defenders were not specifying that what they were defending stopped short of acting on those feelings in ways that engaged actual children, they allowed the attackers here to conflate impulse with execution, which understandably prompted the attackers to attack what appeared to them as the defenders' justification of executing, acting on, fulfilling their desire to engage children for the purposes of achieving sexual gratification. I though the defenders here would agree that that is wrong, very wrong, "heinous" behavior; an inexcusable violation of a child's necessarily vulnerable nascent personality, and to be condemned. (Cont'd...)

  • anarch||

    (...Cont'd) It seems to me that because individuals do not initially choose what attracts and repels them, they are not initially responsible for the feelings they hold, while they are responsible for whether and how they act or do not act on them. That seems to be a core assumption of libertarianism, and of libertarians' objection to legislating "thought-crimes."

    Individuals can also train their feelings, though it is a long and arduous business, to respond to more suitable stimuli. For example, cultivating loyalty to a friend may train one's attraction away from his wife; in fact, loyalty to one's friend's wife herself as a human being, with interest in her lasting satisfaction over one's own and even her own temporary gratification, may achieve the same effect. So also with other undesired desires.

    My question to attackers: Are you attacking those who, perhaps involuntarily, feel attracted to those whom they forbid themselves to touch, or are you [I think properly] attacking the touching itself (or any intrusive sexual activity)?

    My question to defenders: Are you defending actually engaging children in sexual activity [I hope not], or merely defending the humanity of those who hold but do not act in that way on their impulses?

  • nac87||

    See post 77 here for an idea of what I'm getting at.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/the.....d_our.html

  • Redmanfms||

    My question to attackers: Are you attacking those who, perhaps involuntarily, feel attracted to those whom they forbid themselves to touch, or are you [I think properly] attacking the touching itself (or any intrusive sexual activity)?

    It seems pretty clear from the comments (especially mine) that the latter is the case.

  • Redmanfms||

    So, your complaint that crimes against children are not punished equally, and therefore we can't dislike pedophiles because parents who beat their children aren't reviled equally (in the UK at least)?

    That's really it?

    Seriously?

    What a profoundly idiotic argument.

  • Redmanfms||

    What a profoundly idiotic argument.

    And it is so because nobody here is making the argument that others who abuse children in different ways should not also be viewed as evil.

    Other forms of abuse are not even the purview of the discussion, you just disingenuously threw that strawman into your first post and started arguing against it.

  • Redmanfms||

    And it is so because nobody here is making the argument that the actions of others who abuse children in different ways should not also be viewed as evil.

    Correction.

  • nac87||

    I don't think it is a straw man, it's quite relevant to an article regarding child pornography sentencing where *watching* sexual acts against children draws far harsher penalties and public vilification than *committing* physical assaults or emotional abuse against a child. These inconsistencies (which, thankfully, the vast majority here oppose at least when it comes to images) arise precisely *because* of the disproportionate level of emphasis on sexual crime by the public and media (particularly the UK tabloid culture which is heavily biased, violent assaults against children have to be at the extreme end of the scale to draw the kind of coverage a mere images offence would receive). These attitudes affect sentencing and policy, eg 3,000 year sentence for watching child porn but a fraction of that for actually hitting a child, so it is entirely relevant to bring them up below an article such as this.

    And in a culture which practically fetishises a return to corporal punishment in schools

    http://www.independent.co.uk/n.....55544.html

    I'm not sure you can assert that violent acts against children are regarded as evil.

  • Redmanfms||

    I don't think it is a straw man...(incoherent text wall)

    You DID in fact construct a strawman.

    I'll repeat it again for you:

    So, your complaint is that crimes against children are not punished equally, and therefore we can't dislike pedophiles because parents who beat their children aren't reviled equally (in the UK at least)?

    And in a culture which practically fetishises a return to corporal punishment in schools

    Corporal punishment does not equal child abuse. Though I wouldn't have the state engage in it.

    I'm getting the distinct impression you aren't wrapped too tightly, so I think I'll swear off further conversation with you.

  • nac87||

    'Corporal punishment does not equal child abuse.'

    Again, I disagree, I have seen it used in quite a sadistic way by a teacher (after it was outlawed, ALL the other teachers knew too!) also read books about when the cane and ruler were used very brutally. Certainly smacks of abuse to me. But you don't seem to be able to debate if somebody does not agree with your narrow definitions of the world. Another poster has started an interesting discussion about the nature of abuse so I will engage with him and not bother you further.

  • Redmanfms||

    Another poster has started an interesting discussion about the nature of abuse so I will engage with him and not bother you further.

    No dude, I completely understand why you are preoccupied with trying to distract everyone from child predators with other forms of abuse and then post a long-winded reply in which you attempt to argue that sexual abuse isn't really that bad, it's because you're a pedophile and your mental illness has you performing some perverse mental gymnastics to first distract attention then convince people (and yourself in all likelihood) that what your illness would have you do to children doesn't harm them, or at least causes less harm than other forms of abuse. Beating, neglecting, or torturing children is wrong, and evil, but so is fucking them and you (especially) had better never forget it.

    Please don't let your demons convince you that what you want to do to children doesn't harm them or "isn't that bad." What you desire really, really, really is that bad. Please, please, please, seek help.

  • nac87||

    'My question to defenders: Are you defending actually engaging children in sexual activity'

    The 'defenders' will be a broad church but my answer is no. What I am doing is highlighting society's hypocrisy in regarding this as 'so much more' wrong than other forms of child abuse, even if these different forms of abuse are more harmful to the victim. I also called up Redman on the statement that all molestation takes the form of intercourse, obviously not the case but this should certainly be more severely punished not just due to the sexual aspect but the physical trauma that can be caused.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is there should be somewhat of a rebalancing. Men (or women) who 'fiddle' should not go unpunished, maybe even prison. But too much punishment and social retribution may also be damaging for the victim, as they will feel something so awful has happened to them (as Redman suggests, as bad as murder) that this will have an effect on the way they view the offence. They do not need to go on a register any more than someone who assaults a child. The social thirst for revenge drives offenders out of their community to places where they are unknown. At least when society took a more proportionate view of these things, everyone knew who the 'dirty old man' on the street was. But there was very little vigilantism, the children were just told to avoid them and have a bit of something lacking in kids today - streetwise.

  • anarch||

    If you want to be taken seriously, I think you need vigorously to condemn as wrong what you believe is wrong, and only then go on to talk about proportionality, whether incarceration is useful, how offenders should be treated, etc.

    Otherwise, if you are assumed to be, or suspected of, defending the sexual exploitation of children, you will be reviled and anything you say dismissed out of hand.

  • nac87||

    Okay, what I will say is that it would be something I don't think I could live with on my own conscience. In fact if you look at the falkvinge link posted earlier by another poster you will see that I am not one to sit idly by and let these things go unseen by the authorities, and it ruined my own life in the process. For the most part, we are not talking mere 'bad touch' offences and the perpetrators should certainly be heavily punished. I would have thought the same if the images had been violent. Or should that be exclusively violent? :( The police, I am sure, did nothing to trace the perpetrators in the images.

    That said, the question of harm/non-harm in adult-child contact still interests me. There are studies, one suppressed by your own Congress, suggesting little harm in consensual adult-child relationships. Susan Clancy suggests most of the harm caused to the victim comes from society's reaction but rejects the idea children can consent. The idea of harm being an unknown quantity would always stop me from acting on any urges. This is not the same as blindly accepting there will *always* be harm or that people who do act should be monstered.

  • nac87||

    I didn't really want to get into all that :( but as you made the remark about condoning exploitation, it lets you see that doing quite the opposite has had a major impact on my life. I have done so through my rather misguided and naive actions, rather than just posting on a forum 'cut off their balls then hang them'.

  • Redmanfms||

    The idea of harm being an unknown quantity would always stop me from acting on any urges.

    Now I understand. You're a pedophile.

  • Otherhmm||

    I'd just like to add something to this little convo here.

    First let me start off by saying I was sexually "molested" when I was about 6 by a 15 year old girl, and I can say without a doubt the societal reaction was far more harmful than that girl simply fondling my penis, which well... actually felt kinda good. I'm not saying what she did was right, but it was really the overreaction from my parents and other adults about the issue that caused me trauma.

    Again, I'm not saying what she did was right, but there should be a legal distinction between say the guy who anally rapes the boy in the McDonald's bathroom and causes him physical damage (forceful and damaging... true rape by everyone's definition), and someone who touches a child and the child doesn't mind (like what happened to me).

    I know I'm going to get attacked for saying this, but I just don't feel like I was coerced into it. If some guy had tried to stick it up my pooper and wouldn't take no for an answer I'm sure my opinion on this would be much different, but that's not what happened to me at all... I'm just saying the two should not be punished the same by any means... but that's what seems to happen nowadays. Women getting 20 years for having a boy touch their boob etc.

  • Otherhmm||

    Because of all of this my parents had to explain to me what sex was at a very early age (much to their dismay).

    Anyway, in the end the worst thing it did to me was turn me into a pervert at a very early age. Which of course would offend the sensibilities of many, but I personally enjoyed it... except for the horrified reactions I'd see from adults when they realized how sexually knowledgeable I was and well... also horny. I really pissed off this one woman by always trying to play "doctor" with her daughter who was about 1 year older than me.

    There were some other incidents that happened and I felt a lot of guilt over them, not because I feel like I did anything wrong, but because I realized how society would view such things... This really was what caused me deep feelings of guilt and self-hatred which I think would have been totally unnecessary if society could take a reasonable view on the subject of sex. But the older I get the more crazy I realize people are about this subject.

    Anyway, I honestly think the only reason why what that girl did to me was wrong, was because she should have thought of the societal implications.

    If I was ever attracted to a child, I would not act out on it... but that would be merely because I understand quite well how society would unwittingly damage them if I did. For this reason I believe it would be immoral to have sexual relations with a child. Not because I think it is necessarily automatically rape.

  • Otherhmm||

    I'm now waiting for the flames to come rolling in. I'm used to feeling shitty about myself; I grew up that way. So have at it, tell me I'm a crazy horrible person for having a different view on what happened to me as a child than you think I should have.

    There's also the issue of how much the AoC has risen, back in the day in most places it was closer to 12, wasn't it? The excuse is that "oh well they lived such shorter lives then", which I've found is actually false. The average lifespan was only so low because of high infant mortality. Most people who survived past childhood could have been expected to live to 60 or so, and even if they didn't... why is it now magically rape, when back then it wasn't? What's changed to make it rape now, when it wasn't then?

    Also, how can you say a 15 year old can't consent to sex when one "molested" me by your definition when I was 6 years old? She was already a true pedophile when she was 15, and not just a hebephile or ephebophile which have now somehow become synonymous with true pedophilia, but an honest attracted to WAY prepubescent boys pedophile.

  • Otherhmm||

    Oh... and while I'm thinking on this subject... one last thing.

    I still at an age well over 30, have relationship issues, and hangups when it comes to sex because of all of the societal guilt I felt as a child.

    By the time I was in high school I was pretty much terrified of sex because then is when you start to really have to worry about pregnancy etc.

    I can't help but feel like in many ways my childhood was taken from me, but not by that 15 year old girl, but by society's inability to deal with a child who was like me.

    If you want to talk about "harm", what about when my father would be having relationship issues with my mom (who is a paranoid schizophrenic), while also being stressed out about work... and he took it out on me by yelling at me and made me cry once or twice, and then went on to make fun of how I was crying. I certainly don't think the state should have intervened there, and he overall was a very good father... but honestly... it's things like that which damage a child much more than having their privates touched, at least in my own personal experience.

    Bullying is much worse also. I was a pretty crude child, to the point that other children would exclude me because of it (and teachers HATED me). All of this was far more damaging to me as a child and has had lasting effects on me.

    Again, not sure how the state being involved would have solved any of this though.

  • Otherhmm||

    I honestly wanted to avoid going into any of this, because I feel it is a bit off topic, as I really just wanted to focus on how asinine people treat the subject of child porn. When it's so much better if someone is jacking off to pictures/videos instead of going out and assraping kids.

    And the whole "drives the market" shit, is so completely beyond dumb when the impression I get is that it's pretty much impossible to enforce payment for such things so the vast majority are probably just downloading it for free and not contributing to the market at all. Don't let people copyright it, and then there is no functioning market to speak of!

    But the worst part is... that it makes it harder to track down people who are really being abused and it's less likely abuse will be discovered in a timely manner, when the government is purposefully obstructing the free flow of information. It should be treated like evidence of a crime, and nothing beyond that!

  • Otherhmm||

    Well I should add that actually... at the private Christian elementary schools I went to, the teachers and staff treated me fairly and with care overall.

    It was really more in middle school I felt like this changed especially once I transferred to a public school. They basically immediately identified me as the "bad" kid, because they would trust the kids they knew (and their own kids who were often in the same school), more than me. So I was of course always the one who was in the wrong, never them. The attitude I got from a couple of teachers was that "oh I know that other kid and he wouldn't ever do that, so I'm not going to believe what you have to say, it's only you that are capable of such things". It was discrimination like this which really hurt me and left me feeling very bitter, and left me feeling afraid and alone in society in general.

    All of this far, far more damaging than anything the horrible 15 year old pedophile girl did to me.

  • nac87||

    Thank you, this was the distinction I was trying to get at, perhaps trying to be too PC in the process, whilst yours was refreshingly un-PC! The 'dirty old man' down the road would not be in the habit of raping children and would probably be less harmful than a violent parent. My older sister told me there was one in her town in the 1970s. Not only did the children know what he was up to but some would even visit his house to see if he would touch them up! Again, wrong to take advantage of this but not nearly in the same league, IMO, as many other crimes and indeed non-crimes (eg bullying) that still cause harm.

  • Otherhmm||

    I've been waiting for some angry knuckle dragger to respond and accuse me of being a child rapist or promoting child abuse... or maybe even "stupid/idiot" etc...

    *sigh* I'm disappointed. :(

    Maybe Monday morning when people get into work?

  • Redmanfms||

    I know I'm going to get attacked for saying this, but I just don't feel like I was coerced into it.

    Unlikely. There has been discussion in other threads (and hinted at here) about when exactly it is that children possess sufficient faculties to make decisions in their own interests. This obviously varies by the individual and is highly subjective. Which is why society (and law) arrived at arbitrary ages.

    That said, at 5 I seriously doubt you could fully understand what exactly it was this girl was doing to you.

  • Otherhmm||

    It was actually 6 I think and not 5 (not sure how much it would really matter), and no I didn't really understand at first. But once I did understand it actually made me want to "experiment" more. I was in fact horny, I would get erections and want to "play doctor" (really masturbate/sexual play) with other children. Children that were always a little bit older than me, but not by much.

    Also, how exactly would it harm me to have her touch my penis? What makes it different than a hug or stroking my hair? Can you explain the mechanism by which her touching my penis harmed me? Or are you just going to start begging the question which is all people really seem to be able to do when it comes to this topic.

    As far as the coercion thing goes... she at one point tried to get me to do something I didn't want to do, and I refused and ratted her out, which I actually regretted doing, as it was much easier to refuse her than it was to deal with the panic that was induced in my parents when I told them all of this. They also reduced the amount of freedom I had.

    I was made to feel guilty by one girl's mother when we were showing off to each other, and my dad punished me for it when the mother told him about it. I think this was especially damaging to my sexual development, while I have no reason to believe the 15 year old girl touching my penis did.

  • anarch||

    Also, how exactly would it harm me to have her touch my penis? What makes it different than a hug or stroking my hair? Can you explain the mechanism by which her touching my penis harmed me?

    Do you understand why everyone must wear clothes in public?

  • Otherhmm||

    Only because of some sort of totally irrational standard set by society at large. (And religion)

    If everyone was used to seeing naked people it would hardly be any different than it is now if we weren't required to wear clothes.

    There is also the need to wear warm stuff when it is cold. Other than that I can think of no logical reason to wear clothes, other than to simply conform within societal norms.

    Did I answer correctly? I honestly cannot think of any rational reason.

  • Otherhmm||

    Or... if you were ashamed of your body... but that still is somewhat irrational to me. People can see if I'm fat and have manboobs whether I'm clothed or not.

  • Otherhmm||

    But they might see miniscule my penis is! (oh noes!)

  • nac87||

    I remember getting erections and a very pleasant feeling when I was four years old when seeing feet (I still have this fetish!) I also remember feeling a bit embarrassed and ashamed. I'm not sure why, I was never told anything about my penis except that it was for peeing, was never 'inappropriately' touched. I think these feelings of shame are transmitted to a child through subtle body language cues - a change in the parent's demeanour when washing the child's genitals, touching every part of the body when teaching the names of body parts except the genitals (perhaps not mentioning that area at all) Given this, I can understand why children are negatively affected by touch offences.

  • I GOT HUNG UP SILLY||

    Amazing that Bill Gates and Melinda Gates supply millions of the World's little children their Microsoft Bing Hardcore www Porn,and these Billionaires are only deeply concerned about www adults looking at naked kids & their Charter Schools ?

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