View Poll Results: Is Morton Berger's 200-year sentence for child pornography justified?

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  • Absolutely! If anything, they took it easy on the dirty cur!

    20 40.00%
  • 200 years seems a little long. Surely 100 would have been enough.

    10 20.00%
  • He's a bad man, but not that bad. A single ten-year sentence would be better.

    13 26.00%
  • No way! Child pornography shouldn't be illegal anyway!

    7 14.00%
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Thread: 200 Years in Prison for Possessing Child Pornography?

  1. #31
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    Re: 200 Years in Prison for Possessing Child Pornography?

    I have read some about post jail civil confinement for sex offenders. I saw this in the top of my news file today. I consider it occasionally appropriate but think that the money could be better spent.

    Re: snuff. There do not seem to be any statutes about killing people for the express propose of creating saleable images. True snuff films and images age exceedingly rare but seem to occasionally be created. Here is a site about how the idea became popularized. Here is a more recent article that mentions a real case and several that are terrorist/propaganda not true 'snuff'.

    Re file sharing. Vachss was talking about it in 1987. I am sure he did not come up with it on his own. Twenty years is a long time as far as I am concerned. This is not a long time in most senses but for a crime and laws it does not seem that long. Look at the changes in other laws in the past twenty years.


    Last edited by ladybright; Sunday, March 4th, 2007 at 07:44 PM. Reason: Clarification
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  2. #32
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    Re: 200 Years in Prison for Possessing Child Pornography?

    It isn't just possession of pictures. Without demand, there wouldn't be a supply of these materials. Since it is difficult to catch these child porn operations in the manufacturing stage, they have to go after the little fish. The ones who produce these materials and especially the parents who sell their children for it should absolutely be executed. This guy is facing the rest of his life in a country club prison living off public money, with cable tv in his cell. That's bullshit. These non-violent criminals should be used as slave labor, the prisons are overloaded with people these days and puting them to work in industries currently dominated by illegal migrant laborers.

  3. #33
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    Re: 200 Years in Prison for Possessing Child Pornography?

    Quote Originally Posted by lg View Post
    It isn't just possession of pictures. Without demand, there wouldn't be a supply of these materials.
    Keep in mind, though, that in Berger's case, it is just possession of pictures. He paid nothing for the pictures, and so far as we know, the producers of the pictures had no idea he even had them. As one of the Arizona Supreme Court justices who heard the case rather conservatively said, it's unclear whether Berger's demand did anything at all to drive the market for child pornography.

    Of course, that's kind of like saying it was unclear whether Napster had any effect on the music industry: clearly Napster had an effect on the music industry — a negative effect. Berger's effect on the child pornography market would have been similar in kind (though clearly not in degree).

    So in this case, it is possession and nothing more that's at stake.

  4. #34
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    Re: 200 Years in Prison for Possessing Child Pornography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric View Post
    Well, I think I definitely might be the lone man on this issue, but I think possession of child pornography shouldn't be illegal in the first place.
    I think you made some very good points. I, too, think that possession of child pornography should not be illegal, but for different reasons.

    I consider any criminal statute that hooks itself on the "possession" of things (be they pornography or drugs) facially unconstitutional. The reason is that possession is not an act, but a fact. If someone manages to upload child pornography onto your computer (with the help of a trojan, because you have a file server running, or because you have enabled the auto-reception of files in your IM's settings), then you possess it, even if you don't know that it's there, as long as you sustain the will to possess your computer (which includes the hard disk and everything that's stored on it).

    They could base such laws on dissemination, buying, selling, donating, swapping, downloading, or any other premeditated act that causes possession to change or to come into existence, but not possession itself.

    I think it's comparable to photographs of murder. I have photographs of murders being committed (like, say, the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald) or the effect of their having been committed.
    Good comparison, but not entirely hitting the point. What you say would be true if murders would be committed and captured on film for the specific purpose that people buy or watch the tapes in order to drool over them (snuff). And that's not true for most murders.

    Only in this case, punishing the purchase or premeditated watching of these tapes will affect the murder rate. Punishing the "possession" of the videos will decrease demand. Decreasing demand will decrease the number of murder videos that are produced and so the number of murders that are committed. That's the idea behind outlawing the "possession" of child pornography. There has never been a real snuff video been discovered, but I'm sure that snuff would be treated the same way.

    Possession of child pornography is no more criminal than possession of photographs of murder. If a person seeks out and collects either, he's probably pretty sick and pretty evil. But criminal? No.
    There are basically two different schools. One of them argues that the availability of child porn would increase real child abuse (people get stimulated and tempted), while the other argues it would decrease real child abuse (people get their satisfaction from the videos and thus don't have to molest real children).

    Whatever might be true, the mere fact that these videos are the result of committing and filming real child abuse for the purpose of sexual stimulation, suffices to outlaw the premeditated dissemination and watching of this material in my view. Every piece of child pornography caused a child to be harmed. There should be no legal market for this material, and there should be a strong and clear message to stay away.

    Here's an interesting twist: what if the images had been paintings? I don't think the law distinguishes between paintings and photographs in this — but clearly no one has to abuse any child to paint a pornographic picture involving child subjects. It could just be one sicko catering to the twisted fantasies of another.
    It depends on the jurisdiction, but most seem to treat fictional child pornography (e. g. a computer animation that looks totally real, but no child was ever harmed or involved) like real child pornography. Reason is that people shall not develop a taste for this kind of material and abuse.

    Needless to say, this strongly collides with the freedom of expression and art, as nobody gets ever harmed. However, I believe that the welfare of our children should be of such significant value in our society, that such material should remain illegal, as long as it wasn't established beyond reasonable doubt that its presence would lead to less rather than more child abuse.
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  5. #35
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    Ridiculous if this was just for possession.

    Besides the criminalisation of private possession led to absurdities about innocent pictures of children on their parent's own mobiles.

    In the fight against drugs the police have most effect targeting dealers and those involved in production, not the users. Apply that to paedophilia instead of bothering old men in anoraks, and the fight against child porn might go somewhere.

    While I'm at it define CP by tanner stages not age (because sometimes you can't tell by looking at the pictures). This problem is why feminists are banning porn with small breasts in it because the 18 year olds happen to be at the level of 13 year olds. Of course most 13 and 14 year olds know what porn and sex are so it doesn't matter; girls in their late teens might be more at risk of exploitation anyway. People should be anti-porn if that is what they really mean, not hide behind the supposed innocence of children.

    As a last note: remember teens have been prosecuted as child pornographers for owning footage of themselves having sex. Does this make sense to you? It doesn't to me. The whole law in this area needs a shakeup in an age of teen sexualization and homemade porn selfies. Unfortunately woe betide anyone who tries to bring up common sense.

  6. #36
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    I think the possession is not guilt, but it is simply disguisting in the aspect of my view. The guilty is the dealer who download and upload child pornography, however it is not homicide that the guilty one get 4–5 years in the prison. I think it would be better the financial punishment and with that money should fight againts the child pornography dealers.

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  7. #37
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    possession in this case is just as guilty as the producer as it enables the producer and creates the market.

    200 years is long and since no one is going to live 200 years there is easy solution for these type of people. I'm not opposed to public execution of criminals such as these. It rids society of a bad element.
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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpearBrave View Post
    I'm not opposed to public execution of criminals such as these. It rids society of a bad element.

    Giving them to various scientific institutions as human test subjects is better than just killing them. That way at least the society would have some use of them.
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catterick View Post
    Ridiculous if this was just for possession.

    Besides the criminalisation of private possession led to absurdities about innocent pictures of children on their parent's own mobiles.
    If you don't understand the difference between "possessing photographs depicting sexual acts between adults and children, sexual acts between children, and sexual acts between children and animals" and keeping photographs of your own children running around naked in your garden on their way to the paddling pool, as a memory of good times in old age, then there's probably not much to discuss here.

    If parents were ever persecuted for this, it's of course ridiculous and the law should be amended. Likewise for "teens having been prosecuted as child pornographers for owning footage of themselves having sex". But that has nothing to do with what this "thing" in this thread was sentenced for.

    In the fight against drugs the police have most effect targeting dealers and those involved in production, not the users. Apply that to paedophilia instead of bothering old men in anoraks, and the fight against child porn might go somewhere.
    Both should be targeted, quite simply. No demand, no supply. The comparison with drugs is flawed anyway. With drugs you hurt yourself, with child pornography you accept children being tortured for your own basest needs.

    People coming across family pictures of children on Facebook or elsewhere and serving their perverse needs with these, is perhaps another matter, as no child was harmed in the making of the photographs. It's still disgusting to me but not criminal per se.

    But criminals looking at photographs and pictures of children raped, are almost as equally guilty as the actual perpetrators. The only problem with the sentence in the case in this thread is, that it leaves little room for the punishment of the actual producers.
    But no sentence but death could ever come anywhere close to justice served in child rape cases anyway.
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  10. #40
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    I agree with Juthunge that to the makers, producers and adult "actors" of child pornography is the best solution the volley-firing.

    "Remember that, even when those who move you be kings or men of power, your soul is in your keeping alone. When you stand before God, you cannot say, "But I was told by others to do thus,"or that virtue "was not convenient at the time." This will not suffice."
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