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House Passes Bill to Impose Mandatory Minimum for Teenage “Sexters”

TeenPhone

Sexting is the process of taking a pornographic image of oneself and texting it to another person. The practice has grown popular amongst a variety of age groups, and in particular, teenagers. However, what was once an act that might have called for school suspension and being grounded by a parent, may, in the future, become legal grounds for a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence thanks to Republican lawmakers in the House, as reported by Reason.com.

15 Years for Consensual Sexting?

The bill “will punish the very people it indicates it is designed to protect: our children,” stated Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) on the House floor. She went on to say that the bill would, “exacerbate overwhelming concerns with the unfair and unjust mandatory minimum sentencing that contributes to the overcriminalization of juveniles. . .” And that may be putting it lightly, considering the fact that the bill would also impose a mandatory minimum 15-year sentence upon consenting teenage sexting, in addition to unwanted reception of sexting from one teenager to another teenager or child.

An Appalling Bill that Could Unjustly Ruin the Young Lives of Thousands, or a Moral Obligation

While some Democrats have called the bill “particularly appalling,” in regards to the ferocity at which it would persecute young, and immature, lovers, Republican opponents believe that there is a higher calling for the bill to uphold the moral fabric of society. According to Representative Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana), who quoted Scriptures 13 in defense of the bill, ”I, for one, believe we have a moral obligation, as any just government should, to defend the defenseless.”

An Attempt to Acquire Sexting Pornography Carries the Same 15-Year Minimum Sentence

The bill, if it becomes law, would also apply to teenagers who attempt to get a hold of sexting images. This “attempt or conspiracy” to obtain image would also pertain to a boyfriend or girlfriend who tried to get their partner to provide consenting sexting images. Or, according to Representative Bobby Scott (D-Virginia), “If a teenager goads a friend to ask a teenager to take a sexually explicit image of herself, just by asking, he could be guilty of conspiracy or attempt,” which would be punishable by a minimum of 15 years in prison.

Call the West Palm Beach Law Office of the Skier Law Firm Today

The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country, though our extreme rate of locking citizens up did not begin until the war on drugs and mandatory minimums, according to The Sentencing Project. This bill would only increase the problem of over punishment in our country and the state of Florida, and would destroy countless lives and families in the process. Even a lesser punishment of a few years in prison will haunt your child throughout their life as they fail over and over again to receive student loans, mortgages, and good-paying jobs.

If your child has been charged with child pornography or if you have been charged with child pornography, we strongly urge you to seek legal help at once. Call the Skier Law Firm in West Palm Beach today at 561-820-1508 for help.

Resources:

sentencingproject.org/criminal-justice-facts/

reason.com/blog/2017/05/31/house-overwhelmingly-supports-bill-subje

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