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DA to push for life sentences in child abuse cases

19th Judicial Circuit District Attorney Randall Houston will ask the Alabama Legislature to increase the possible penalty for Aggravated Child Abuse for a child under six years of age to life in prison when it convenes for its regular session in February.

“I stood in court last week to oppose a bond request made by a mother who, along with her boyfriend, heinously abused her four-year-old son to the point that he was near death,” Houston said. “As I looked that defendant in the eye and thought of the ways she and her boyfriend had abused her own son, I realized that the current penalties for such monstrous acts are inadequate and must be toughened so those who commit them can stare at the four cold walls of a prison cell for the rest of their lives.

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Judges Find Federal Child Porn Sentences Are Much Longer Than Jurors Consider Just

It is not hard to see how we ended up with absurdly long sentences for possession of child pornography. No legislator wants to seem soft on people who like to look at this awful stuff (who are commonly equated with child molesters even if they have never laid a hand on a single kid), and there does not seem to be any political downside to demanding ever harsher punishments for them. The assumption seems to be that, as far as the public is concerned, there is no such thing as an excessively severe penalty for child pornography offenses, even when they do not involved production or profit.

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