In the letter he wrote on the day he hanged himself last month, Ryan Loskarn talked about the shame and guilt he felt after he was caught with child pornography. Loskarn, former chief of staff to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), did not mention fear of prison, perhaps because he had already resolved to end his life. But for anyone in his position who planned to stay alive, the prospect of spending years behind bars would loom large. In fact, writes Jacob Sullum in The Washington Post, the legal treatment of people caught with child pornography is so harsh that they can end up serving longer sentences than people who actually abuse children.
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