The Strive for Fair Punishment
There was a young man named Tony. At the age of 18, he met and fell in love with a girl whom his friends also knew. While they became really close, it did not occur to him to ask about her age. Their relationship became much deeper and consensual sex was one of the things that happened between them. Their sexually highlighted relationship was soon discovered by the girl’s dad. It became clear to Tony that he was having sex with a 17-year-old girl. Of course, the girl’s father was enraged and sought to put Tony in jail. Through statutory rape charges, the young man was detained in an adult detention facility.
The girl’s father also made the complaint heavier by accusing Tony that he knew that the girl was a minor right from the start. Tony’s detention in the facility was because of the fact that everything happened on a weekend. His parents hired legal counsel. However, when they went to the detention center, they were informed that the young man had been transferred already to an unknown county jail. Their efforts to finally locate him and get him out of jail temporarily, paid off a couple of days later.
It is to be noted that Tony has a clean record and hasn’t been in trouble with the law before. He had just finished his high school studies and was employed in the car servicing industry. For his failure to do a simple age check, he was subjected to life-changing traumatic experiences and was punished severely by the law. He is now a registered sex-offender.
Meanwhile, Roger, a disabled 50-year-old man, was living a solitary life in his simple apartment. From time to time, some of his relatives would come to deliver him basic supplies. His access to the Internet became his tool to view the world and actually get boredom out of his way. Of course, he was not immune to temptation caused by the easy accessibility of porn materials online.
Along his journey through pornography enjoyment, he came across materials that covered teens and children. While being busy doing this, he was also actively involved in an online friendship with another individual. In the course of their daily communication, they started sending child pornography materials to each other. Soon enough, Roger was picked up in his home by law enforcers for the charge of possession of child porn materials. The decision of the law was fast and he was sentenced to 5 years in prison.
Again, it must be noted that Roger was another good citizen and he had no criminal history. Because of his condition, the law could have permitted “house arrest” with full restriction on Internet access. Generally, he was harmless to anyone and his stay in jail just made the government spend tax dollars on his special medical care.
The cases above show that each individual really broke existing laws. However, one should be reminded that under these circumstances, it is important to look not only on the kind of the crime committed but also the nature of the one who was found guilty. Sexual predation wasn’t in Tony’s nature. It wasn’t his M.O. to go out and serially assault underage girls. He was a model citizen whose future is now in pieces because of a simple miscalculation of judgment. Roger was also another good citizen. His presence outside jail wasn’t really a big threat to the community as a whole.
Of course, this is not to say that Tony and Roger be let go unpunished for what they have done. These and other similar cases out there are perfect examples of the need to evaluate carefully the side of the guilty party in order to come up with appropriate penalties for specific violations of the law.
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