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Child Pornography and the Restitution Revolution

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dc.creator Lollar, C. 2013-09-19T16:26:13Z 2013-09-19T16:26:13Z 2013
dc.identifier.citation Lollar, C. E. (2013). Child pornography and the restitution revolution. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 103, 343.
dc.description Victims of child pornography are now successfully seeking restitution from defendants convicted of watching and trading their images. Restitution in child pornography cases, however, represents a dramatic departure from traditional concepts of restitution. This Article offers the first critique of this restitution revolution. Traditional restitution is grounded in notions of unjust enrichment, and seeks to restore the economic status quo between parties by requiring disgorgement of ill-gotten gains. The restitution being ordered in increasing numbers of child pornography cases does not serve this purpose. Instead, child pornography victims are receiving restitution simply for having their images viewed. This royalty-type approach to restitution amounts to a criminal version of damages for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. To justify this transformation of restitution, courts have come to rely on several commonly accepted, but flawed, theories about the impact of child pornography. Because these theories are unsupported by social science or law, they divert attention from remedies that could better alleviate the harms of child pornography. Rather than restoring victims and encouraging them to move forward with their lives, restitution roots victims in their abuse experience, potentially causing additional psychological harm. Restitution in its new form also allows the criminal justice system to be a state-sponsored vehicle for personal vengeance. This Article calls for an end to the restitution revolution, and proposes several alternative approaches that better identify and address the consequences of child pornography.
dc.format pdf
dc.publisher Washington University in St. Louis Legal Studies Research Papers
dc.subject Abuse-sexual
dc.subject Courts
dc.subject Exploitation -- child pornography
dc.subject Interpreting
dc.subject Masha's Law
dc.title Child Pornography and the Restitution Revolution
dc.type Text

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