CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Restitution for child porn

Eric Posner has a post critiquing the Supreme Court's approach at Slate.com. In part, addressing how much should be paid to the victim by the convict:

How much should he have to pay her?

Zero, three of the conservative justices argued in dissent Wednesday. All $3.4 million, argued Justice Sonia Sotomayor, also in dissent. Something, held the majority, in an opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy. The conservatives got the law right, Sotomayor got the morality right, and Kennedy—characteristically trying to have it both ways—created a muddle.

. . .

Kennedy essentially tells district court judges to go figure it out. He uses vague directives for determining the restitution awards like “reasonable and circumscribed.” On the scale between zero and $3.4 million, where does that fall? Who knows? When a court goes squishy like this, you know something is wrong. Kennedy certainly could have been more precise if he had wanted to, but precision would have exposed the defects in his argument.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/crimprof_blog/2014/04/restitution-for-child-porn.html

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