Cruz to SCOTUS Nominee: In 100% of the Child Porn-Possession Cases, You Sentenced 'Far Below' What the Prosecutors Requested

By Michael W. Chapman | March 22, 2022 | 4:37pm EDT
(Screenshot)
(Screenshot)

(CNS News.com) -- After detailing how Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson had, in 100% of the cases, sentenced child-pornography possession defendants to prison sentences far below what the prosecutors had asked for, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) asked her if "the voice of the children was heard" in those lighter sentences.   Jackson replied, "Yes."

Jackson, nominated by President Joe Biden to replace retiring Associate Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court, currently is serving as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

In his illustration of Jackson's sentencing in the child porn cases, Sen. Cruz concluded, “Every single case, 100% of them, when prosecutors came before you with child pornography cases, you sentenced the defendants to substantially below -- not just the guidelines, which are way higher -- but what the prosecutor asked for on average of these cases, 47.2% less."

Below is a transcript of Cruz's remarks and Jackson's response.

Sen. Cruz: “Judge Jackson, you raised your actual sentencing and I think that is very productive. Let's take a look at your actual sentencing. And you’ve had 10 different cases involving child pornography. These are the cases that, there are two, U.S. v. Buttrie [sp?] and U.S. v. Cann, for which the government did not make a recommendation. You said, earlier, when Chairman Durbin was trying to preempt this line of attack, you said it is a sickening and egregious crime, which I very much agree with. And you said the guidelines lead to extreme departures. 

“Okay. Let's look at what the prosecutors are asking for. I would note that this was in the District of Columbia, where prosecutors are far more liberal than many prosecutors in this country. In every case, in United States v. Hess there was a mandatory, statutory minimum of 60 months and you imposed 60 months because you had no discretion. In United States v. Nickerson, there was a mutual agreement of the parties and that was at 120 months, and that is what you imposed. 

“In every other case, United States v. Chazin, the prosecutor asked for 78-97 months, you imposed 28 months. Twenty-eight months is a 64% reduction.

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson.  (Getty Images)
Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson. (Getty Images)

“In United States v. Cooper, the prosecutor asked for 72 months, you imposed 60 months. That was a 17% reduction. 

"In United States v. Downs, the prosecutor asked for 70 months, you imposed 60. That was a 14% reduction. 

"In United States v. Hawkins, the prosecutor asked for 24 months, you imposed three months. That was an 88% reduction. 

"In United States v. Savage, the prosecutor asked for 39 months, you imposed 37. That was a 24% reduction. 

"In United States v. Stewart, the prosecutor asked for 97 months. You imposed 57. That was a 41% reduction.

(Screenshot, FNC)
(Screenshot, FNC)

 

“Every single case, 100% of them, when prosecutors came before you with child pornography cases, you sentenced the defenders to substantially below -- not just the guidelines, which are way higher -- but what the prosecutor asked for on average of these cases, 47.2% less. 

"Now, you said, to make sure the voice of the children was heard. Do you believe in a case, like United States v. Hawkins, when the prosecutor asked for 24 months and you sentenced the offender to only three months, do you believe the voice of the children is heard when 100% of the time your sentencing those who are in possession of child pornography to far below what the prosecutors are asking for?"

Judge Jackson: “Yes, senator, I do.”

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