Mary Jo Mitchel
United States Sentencing Commission
Attn: Public Affairs – Priorities Comment
One Columbus Ave, NE
Suite 2 – 500, South Lobby
Washington , DC 20002-8002
Dear Commission Members:
As the Sentencing Commission prepares its 2015 priorities, I am requesting that Commission promote in Congress the commission’s recommendations from its 2012 report regarding nonproduction sentences for Child Internet Pornography offenses. These mandatory minimum sentences with their enhancements are too severe.
Sentences for child pornography crimes in the Federal system have increased drastically over the last fifteen years, due in part to easy access from the internet. I have both a son and grandson that are paying the price. They will forever be linked with child predators and molesters. The easy accessibility and the entrapment on the internet by FBI has made the sex offender problem a nightmare. Many of these criminals, were themselves molested as children. The statistics I have read indicate that these no contact offenders have very low rates of reoffending. Meanwhile, since becoming aware of this crime, I have noted that many charged at the local/state level serve minimal sentences or none at all, with sexual therapy as a parole requirement. Federal and state sentencing should be consistent.
Although I understand that these offenders have committed criminal acts, I believe that not all “sex offenders” are equally culpable. A person who takes a child’s innocence to abuse him or her and then films the abuse for profit should be sentenced to the maximum under the law, as should the internet service providers who knowingly allow their servers to transmit these images. Viewing these images is offensive, but hardly to the same degree.
I strongly believe that the sentencing for these crimes should be reduced. Tax payer money could be greatly saved by lowering the sentences of “viewers”.
Sincerely, Mary Jo Mitchel