Supreme Court: Indefinite Prison for Having Photos, But Violent Robbers Set Free

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"Offenders" who did nothing but possess (and maybe watch) photos and movies, can be held indefinitely, after their jail terms are over. But violent robbers must be freed after their term is over. Strange justice.

People who watch tasteless photos (youth erotica, or real child porn) in the privacy of their own home, first spend years in jail, then can be held indefinitely, the US Supreme Court confirmed. People who rob, threaten, pick fights, bully, hurt children while driving drunk, infant beating nannies, dads who put their toddler into the microwave and turn it on, all these offenders are set free after their prison term is over.

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that federal officials can indefinitely hold inmates considered “sexually dangerous” after their prison terms are complete.[...]

“The statute is a ‘necessary and proper’ means of exercising the federal authority that permits Congress to create federal criminal laws, to punish their violation, to imprison violators, to provide appropriately for those imprisoned and to maintain the security of those who are not imprisoned by who may be affected by the federal imprisonment of others,” said Justice Stephen Breyer, writing the majority opinion.

So far, so good. I wonder, though, why don’t you add dangerous violent people, who habitually commit violent robberies, habitually drive drunk and get involved in accidents, gang banger bullies who will return terrorizing others on the street Or repeat arsonists! The idea is good, just why exactly worried about sex offenders only?

The act, named after the son of “America’s Most Wanted” television host John Walsh, was challenged by four men who served prison terms ranging from three to eight years for possession of child pornography or sexual abuse of a minor. Their confinement was supposed to end more than two years ago, but prison officials said
there would be a risk of sexually violent conduct or child molestation if they were released.

Here is the serious problem: People who possessed computer files, a set of 0’s and 1’s that decode into the depiction of some nude teenagers, can be detained indefinitely? They are a danger for society for possession of computer files? Even if it were the rare and unusual case that they possessed real violent rape photos of 5 year olds, what danger do these people pose to you, me, or our kids? Did they abuse? No! did they even take the photos? No! So why all the fuzz?

So the Supreme Court legalizes locking up, indefinitely, people who in the privacy of their home look at pictures? To protect whom? I worry about being run over by a habitual drunk driver, my kids being beaten up by a gang bully or robbed by a violent drug addict in urgent need to rob 5 times a day to support his drug addiction. But why should I care about a guy who stares at child porn in the privacy of his home? No matter how gross the pictures might be! And one can go to jail for nude photos of 17 year olds.

Now some guys were convicted for sexual abuse of a minor. As the Human Stupidity blog has pointed out, 17 year olds get convicted of this crime for having oral sex with 15 year olds. Or 22 year olds for consensual sex with 17 year olds. And we don’t worry about violent people who kill, mutilate? Or habitual prison rapists?

The guys “only” got 3-8 years.  One can get such a jail term for possessing a few photos of nude 15 year-olds. At current sentencing practices for child porn or "child abuse", these guys probably did not commit real violent sex offenses on prepubescent children. Because the terms are relatively low, certainly these people were not convicted for habitually snatching 5 year olds to violently penetrate them. For such transgressions, the law would make sense. But even then, why not hold indefinitely people who habitually bully, rob, assault, beat and knife children, adolescents, or adults?

Additional Comments

Was the Supreme Court’s real issue not federal vs state power? Yes, but …

Yes, the Supreme Court should not really take full blame for this distortion. They just upheld unjust laws passed by lawmakers. But the law they upheld was about singling out non-violent “offenders” for possesion of photos.

Is this really about indefinite detention for watching photos? Yes!

I could not believe this either. The judges talk about protecting society from violent predators. But as the Human Stupidity blog shows language distortion in the service of the Child Porn Witch Hunt and Teenage Sexuality, it is quite possible that they think watching nude adolescent photos or innocent 16 year old sex acts is violent.

The act, named after the son of “America’s Most Wanted” television host John Walsh, was challenged by four men who served prison terms ranging from three to eight years for possession of child pornography or sexual abuse of a minor. Their confinement was supposed to end more than two years ago, but prison officials said there would be a risk of sexually violent conduct or child molestation if they were released.

See, another top news source confirms that some were there only for possession of photos and Videos.The NY Post is more specific about one case below:

At arguments in January, Solicitor General Elena Kagan–now nominated to serve on the Court–told the court that federal prison officials found about 15,000 inmates with histories of sexual violence or child molestation, but only 105 who were determined to have a mental illness making it “reasonably likely” they would commit such offenses in the future.

One of those prisoners was Graydon Comstock, who in November 2006, six days before completing a 37-month federal sentence for possession of child pornography, was certified as sexually dangerous and denied release.

This guy watched photos and videos on his computer. As shown on this blog (Child Porn Witch Hunt) people get prosecuted for just having a single photo in some browser cache, by accident, or buying an innocent bootleg DVD at a swap meet. But let us suppose he had really vicious photos. What damage does he do to you, to me, or to our kids? NONE!

But the violent street robber and mentally deranged arsonists, that get set free after their terms, they worry me. Or the gang members who went to prison school with their fellow gang bangers and come out worse then before. They worry me, and our kids.

He and several other such prisoners sued, claiming that Congress assumed powers only states can exercise.

At the arguments in January, Kagan said the power to confine such prisoners was implicit in the government’s duty “to run a responsible criminal justice system.” The law aims “to make sure that sexually dangerous, mentally ill people don’t fall through the cracks between federal custody and the re-establishment of state control,” she said.
Read more:[...]

Aren’t there similar Human-Stupidities, unjust witch hunts? Yes!

Yes, there are other injustices, persecution of victimless crimes, stupid needless restrictions of human freedom to pursue their life and happiness. But none as vicious as the Child Porn Witch Hunt and Teenage Sexuality persecutions.

The  Human Stupidity blog actually is NOT specifically about child porn. It just so happens that child porn is one of the most blatant example of irrational unjustified witch hunt. There are other topics described here Human Stupidity: irrational brainwashed dogmatism in otherwise intelligent people:

Obsessive repression of teenage sexuality. An enormous legal apparatus, under the guise of protecting 5 year olds from clear obvious abuse (no extra law is needed for that because penetrating a 5 year old is severe bodily harm) ends up arresting 17 year old girls for sending their own nude photos to their boyfriends.  A 17 year old guy Ganarlow Wilson got a 10 year jail sentence for getting a blow job from a 15 year old girl, similarly Marcus Dixon got jail for having consensual sex with a peer.

Negating right to die for the terminally ill.  We are a liberal society that respects self determination and individual dignity. And we are not a religious state, so why do religious people want to force incurable cancer sufferers to rot and die slowly? If we let our dog die like this, the humane society would sue us for cruelty with animals.

Obesity, unhealty food, sedentary lifestyle: due to misguided evolutionary mechanisms (hunter gatherers don’t have McDonalds, chocolate, unimited all you can eat buffets) we tend to eat wrong and be lazy to make unnecessary moves. Add to this industry greed, …. and we have a health epidemic. Why don't we jail advertising staff and food executives for lifelong damage done to minors through overeating and childhood obesity?

Year-long jail terms for planting marijuana in your attic for own consumption is a bit similar to the child porn witch hunt.

  • Repression of drugs as harmless as marijuana at the cost of waging wars in Colombia, jailing a considerable percentage of the population
  • at the same time allowing alcohol and tobacco to kill thousands of people. There seems to be some kind of contradiction and inconsistency.
  • The US Supreme Court voted six-three that medical use of marijuana was illegal in a vote last week, despite laws in 11 states that permit its use. The court ruling puts the federal government at odds with many in the scientific establishment and with public opinion.

    The federal US Drug Enforcement Administration raided Ms Monson’s home and confiscated marijuana plants that she had grown for her own use. Ms Raich received marijuana free from a friend. Both are reported to have followed their doctors’ advice to use marijuana and said that they would continue to use their home grown drug. Californians voted to legalise marijuana for medical use in 1996. Perhaps 100 000 of the state’s 35 million residents are thought to use the drug legally.

    Here, after decades, public opinion is turning

    US newspapers including the New York Times , the Washington Post , Newsday , the Chicago Tribune , the Dallas Morning News , and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer criticised the court’s decision that medical use of marijuana should be illegal. The Washington Post said, “The government’s crusade against medical marijuana is a misguided use of anti-drug resources; that doesn’t mean it’s unconstitutional” (7 Jun 2004, p A20).

    When will public opinion turn on child porn and underage sex?

    Maybe after people get 20 year jail terms for possession of a copy of "Blue Lagoon", a Hollywood move that nowadays clearly fulfills the criteria for child porn: Underage actors playing sex scenes meant to depict an underage couple having sex.