Child pornography okay for liberal legislators…
Ray Haynes] 9/19/05
know what is really wrong in Sacramento? Witness Mark Leno—the
Chair of the Assembly Public Safety Committee. He is the one
person in the Assembly most responsible for our policy towards
crime and punishment and he was appointed to that important
post by our Democrat Speaker, who was elected by the Democrat
majority in the Legislature.
on national television this week, and said that he did not
believe that possession of child pornography should be a felony
in this state. Never mind that some child was sexually molested
and abused in the making of that despicable material. Never
mind that some criminal made lots of money off the commission
of that sexually violent behavior. Never mind that the person
who possesses the material made the molestation possible by
buying the material. Nope, never mind all that. Mark thinks
it shouldn’t be a felony.
Haynes is an Assembly member representing Riverside
and Temecula. He serves on the Appropriations and
Budget Committees. [go to Assembly Member Haynes website
at California Assembly][go to Haynes index]
you ask? Here is his quote from the interview on the Bill O’Reilly
O’Reilly: Child pornography - you don’t
think should be a felony?
Leno: First offense, I don’t believe it. Because we have
a flawed three strikes law in California. We’re the only
state in the nation that can send someone away for life for a
nonviolent or non-serious offense. And until we fix that in our
three strikes laws, I’m reluctant to make new felonies
for just about anything.
What is wrong with
this statement? First, it assumes that there is something wrong
with putting someone who possesses child pornography
away in jail for the rest of their life. Child molestation is
a violent felony; making and possessing child pornography is
aiding and abetting the molester. Under the law, the accomplice
to the crime (in the case those who aid and abet the crime) is
guilty of the same crime as the one who commits the crime. It
is not hard to justify a life sentence for child molestation—and
just as easy to justify a life sentence for making, selling and
possessing child pornography.
However, let’s assume that life for child pornography
is too harsh, what is wrong with sentencing someone to life if
it is their third strike, even if it is “nonserious or
nonviolent?” Under California’s current law, no one
can go to jail for life unless they have already committed two
serious or violent felonies. Two victims of the worst kind of
crimes—robbery, homicide, rape, mayhem and the like—already
exist. Why do we have to wait for a third victim before we as
a society conclude that the perpetrator ought not live among
the good people any more?
raped and cut off the arms of a college student a few years
ago, and left her for dead on the side of the freeway.
She didn’t die so he only got fifteen years, and with our
lenient good time/work time credits at the time, he only served
about ten years. When he got out, no one in California wanted
him, so he moved to Florida, which has a weaker three strikes
law. He stole a baseball cap, and then stole a camera. Under
California’s law, after stealing the camera, he could have
been sentenced to life in prison, and people like Mr. Leno would
cry about the camera thief and how unjust it was that he would
spend the rest of his life in prison.
Except Singleton then
killed a woman. Now he is in jail for the rest of his life
in Florida, but a woman had to die to get
that to happen. If that woman lived in California, she would
still be alive—and that is why our three strikes law is
right, and why people like Mr. Leno are wrong. This stuff isn’t
rocket science, it just requires a little common sense—something
in short supply in Sacramento. CRO
Haynes is a California Assembleyman representing Riverside
and Temecula and frequent contributor to CaliforniaRepublic.org.