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HomeVideoWATCH: Jackson rejects Graham's accusations over sentencing in child pornography cases

WATCH: Jackson rejects Graham’s accusations over sentencing in child pornography cases

In a tense exchange, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., accused Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson of not meting out harsher punishment in her sentencing decisions in child pornography cases.

Graham, who continually interrupted Jackson in his line of questioning, said the nominee failed to move forward with sentencing “enhancements” that would make defendants’ jail time longer.
Jackson rejected the senator’s accusations, saying she followed the sentencing process that Congress had laid out.

“Senator, every person in all of these charts and documents I sent to jail, because I know how serious this crime is,” Jackson said. “Every person I discussed the harm of these terrible, terrible images to the victims who are portrayed in them. I talked about what this crime does to the children who are being abused in these photos.”

She added: “And on the other side of their terms of imprisonment, I ensured that they were facing lengthy periods of supervision and restrictions on their computer use, so they could not do this sort of thing again.”

Jackson explained that sentencing guidelines for child pornography had been decided when physical mail was the method of distribution and before the internet had changed the nature of the crime so that the amount of child pornography possessed was no longer an indication on its own of how serious the offense was.

“All I can say is that your view of how to deter child pornography is not my view,” Graham told Jackson at the end of his allotted time. “I think you’re doing it wrong.”

At the end of the exchange, Sen. Dick Durbin, Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Congress had “failed” to implement new sentencing guidelines in these cases.
“She is not currently not an outlier in sentencing, and 70 percent of judges face the same dilemma and wonder why congress has failed to act,” the chairman said.

Wednesday was the Senate committee’s final day to question Jackson, who was nominated by President Joe Biden in February to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. If confirmed, she will be the first Black woman on the high court. On the final day of the hearings March 24, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear from friends and colleagues of Jackson about her temperament and approach to the law.

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