Politics

Hawley Introducing Bill To Ensure Strong Penalties For Child Porn Possession

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Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., introduced legislation Tuesday that would enhance penalties for possession of child pornography and make Federal Sentencing Guidelines binding again to ensure that judges impose tougher sentences on offenders.

The “PROTECT Act Bill of 2022,” which institutes a five-year-mandatory minimum for both the receipt and possession of child pornography, is being cosponsored by Sens. Thom Tillis, R-N. C., Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rick Scott, R-Fla. A companion bill is being introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo.

This bill would also prohibit judges from sentencing below the Guidelines’ range for facts found during trial or admitted by the defendant.

“The horror of child pornography is exponentially worse than it was a decade ago, and judges handing out lenient sentences for these criminals is a big reason why,” Hawley said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “While the White House continues to dismiss concerns about leniency toward child porn offenders as a ‘desperate conspiracy theory,’ the numbers speak for themselves. Congress must act before this problem becomes even worse.”

The number of online images and videos depicting child sexual abuse has grown exponentially, with the number skyrocketing from less than 1 million a decade ago to 45 million in … (Read more)

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