The Texas Prosecutor, Jan-Feb 2018

How much child porn evidence is too much?

Child pornography cases are just awful. There’s no other way to put it.1 Judges and juries don’t want to hear them, and most prosecutors do not want to handle them, let alone child pornography evidence. But seeking justice in these cases is vital to protect these innocent victims.
    Sentencing child-porn defendants demands a tough balancing act for prosecutors. In Dallas County, we often recommend prison sentences for even first-time offenders, but we allow them to plead guilty and ask the judge for probation in an open plea. That sets the stage for putting on a solid punishment case so the judge (or, in some cases, jury) can set a just punishment.
    There are so many variables. Defendants range from teenagers to octogenarians and can be both men and women, though a significant percentage of the cases, at least from what