Is Porn Worse than Terrorism?

Editor’s Note: Make sure you check out Friday’s post as I speak one-on-one with a recently released sex offender from federal prison. In that article, Richard, will detail the struggles he’s had to deal with over the last 5-6 months, as well as putting to rest some of the rumors that many people assume. So don’t forget to share everything with your friends. Our Corrlinks address is at the bottom of this message, as is our website address.

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For sending mail bombs to the Clintons, Obamas and a host of other liberal organizations and politicians, the perpetrator, Cesar Sayoc, is looking at a maximum of 48 years if convicted on all five counts. A life sentence though this may be, for those, who have received decades in prison for simple drug offenses or viewing pornography, it seems somewhat of an injustice that these relatively benign crimes are treated on par with attempted murder.

While it cannot be pretended that 48 years-assuming he gets it all-is a light sentence by any means (essentially a life sentence), the only reason this case did not involve tragedy on a mass scale is due to sheer good luck. Had even a single bomb gone off as expected, dozens of staffers would have been injured or killed. If the plot had not been discovered in time, the death count could easily have risen into the triple digits. Viewing the intended impact the crime, the maximum sentence is less than six months for every intended victim, or approximately less than four years per bomb!

Comparing this to the 5-20 range for a first time porn offender (and 15-40 if you’re foolish enough to repeat), shows the lack of proportionality of both penalties. Indeed, many first time offenders have faced more time for passive viewing of pictures than this attempted mass murder.

For instance, in United States v. Grober, out of the 3rd Circuit, the prosecutor demanded 130 years for a first time offender who pled guilty, the statutory maximum of 20 years on each of six counts, and 10 years for possession to run consecutively. That the Judge rejected this outlandish attempt does not detract from the disturbing fact that a man could’ve gotten three times the sentence for porn as he could for terrorism.

Extreme examples often illustrate serious problems in a way that statistics cannot. It is one thing to compare an average violent crime to an average porn offense (or even an average hands on offense to an average porn offense) as many federal courts have. But, when deliberate, premeditated murder-even if only one-done in a way to destabilize society and instill fear in the public-is treated more leniently than porn offenses. The system needs a little bit more than an overhaul; it needs to be completely rebuilt from its foundations.

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