Sentencing: Here They Go Again: Congress Once More Raises Penalties for Child Pornography Offenses —

Over the past 20 years, federal and state law enforcement officials have become zealous proponents of child pornography laws that punish such crimes with increasingly severe sanctions. As a result of the routine imposition of mandatory minimums as well as massive Guideline sentences, sex offenders now constitute — for the first time — the fourth largest group of offenders in the Bureau of Prisons, costing the public well over $307 million a year just to house.1 Practitioners, academics, and even the federal judiciary, however, have consistently criticized such a sentencing scheme that results in child pornography offenders receiving sentences exceeding 11 years’ imprisonment, on average, which is far higher than for any other major offense category.2