Federal Judge Criticizes Sentencing Guidelines in Child Porn Case

A federal judge criticized mandatory sentencing guidelines when he sentenced 45-year-old Shawn Cheever to 10 years in prison for possession of child pornography, according to a report in the Denver Post

U.S. District Senior Judge John Kane said a five-year sentence would have been more appropriate to allow Cheever to complete required sex offender treatment and return safely to the community.

Kane issued a 40-page sentencing opinion that says the federally-imposed sentencing guidelines for child pornography possession cases are greater than necessary.Kane wrote in his opinion that his extensive research on the history of the Child Sexual Abuse Protection Act of 1994 found that there were no studies, statistics, or basis to explain or justify why the mandatory minimum of 10 years was enacted or whether any other term was considered.

Cheever’s attorney has appealed the 10 year sentence.

Read more about Judge Kane’s opinion here.

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