RECOMMENDATION 33

Part: 
Three
Chapter: 
2

Judges should impose substantial periods of incarceration for persons who are repeatedly convicted of obscenity law violations and when appropriate should order payment of restitution to identified victims as part of the sentence

The Commission has been apprised repeatedly of the minimal periods of incarceration and fines which have been imposed on persons who frequently violate obscenity laws.[311] In cases involving significant violations of the obscenity laws or repeat offenders, only a substantial period of incarceration will provide a deterrent effect.[312]

Judges can also enhance basic law enforcement efforts when they impose substantial periods of incarceration for these offenses. Law enforcement officers, prosecutors and society in general view the sentences imposed as a statement of the community attitude toward the crime. When minimal sentences are given, the significance of the crime is diminished.

Recidivist obscenity law violators should be viewed the same as recidivist violators of other criminal laws. Judges also should be apprised of the nature of the materials involved and the offender's affiliation with organized crime, if any. These factors must be considered before a judge can appropriately sentence an offender.

Notes

  1. There were several defendants sentenced in a Federal Bureau of Investigation in a Spectra Photo. Even in cases involving severe sexual or physical abuse minimal sentences were imposed.
  2. See, Recommendation for Judicial and Correctional Facilities in this Chapter, for a further discussion of the goals of modern penology.