Meanwhile, the Sixth Circuit upheld a 17 1/2-year sentence for possessing child pornography, leading one judge to dissent (PDF):
Our "social revulsion" against these "misfits" downloading these images is perhaps somewhat more rational than the thousands of witchcraft trials and burnings conducted in Europe and here from the Thirteenth to the Eighteenth Centuries, but it borders on the same thing. In 2008 alone the Department of Justice has brought 2,200 cases like this one in the federal courts. Some trial and appellate judges are sending these mentally ill defendants ...to federal prison for very long sentences. But the 17-1/2 year sentence for [the defendant in this case] may be the longest yet. He is a 65-year-old, psychologically disabled, former minister with Type 1 diabetes with many complications. How could this sentence be "not greater than necessary" to punish this crime?The judge referred to an article last October in the Wall Street Journal, which reported: "Societal Revulsion at Child-Pornography Consumers Has Led to Stiff Prison Sentences -- and Caused Some Judges to Rebel."
H/t How Appealing.