CALiO Search

Sexting or Self-Produced Child Pornography? The Dialogue Continues – Structured Prosecutorial Discretion within a Multidisciplinary Response

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.author Leary, Mary
dc.date.accessioned 2018-08-31T16:51:09Z
dc.date.available 2018-08-31T16:51:09Z
dc.date.issued 2010
dc.identifier.citation Leary, Mary. (2010). Sexting or Self-Produced Child Pornography? The Dialogue Continues – Structured Prosecutorial Discretion within a Multidisciplinary Response. Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law, 17(3), 486-566. en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://scholarship.law.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1234&context=scholar
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11212/3944
dc.description.abstract The issues of “sexting” and “self-produced child pornography” (SPCP) have captured the attention of the media, courts, and state legislatures. A debate rages among advocates, policy makers, and reporters about how the law should address this activity. More than sixteen states have considered special legislation to address the problem and litigation has ensued. Lost in the debate are many realities including the complexity of the problem. This behavior implicates aspects of child development, child sexuality, child exploitation, teen dating violence, education, and parenting. While any deliberation about children and how the law should protect children is positive, sensationalism and oversimplification of this complex phenomenon undermine rationale debate. This article builds on the concept that the solution does not lie in the criminal law. Rather, it seeks to refocus the debate by suggesting that part of the solution depends on the formation of a comprehensive “smart” response. To accomplish this, society and its institutions (educational, social service, religious, law enforcement, legal, and civic) must come together and form a considered strategy that encourages prevention and a smart response when prevention fails. This article examines the role of prosecution, if any, in that “smart” response. This article argues against the use of blunt instruments that fail to recognize the complexity of SPCP. These extremes include “zero tolerance” policies, which in most cases do far more harm than good; decriminalization, which prevents a prosecutor from ever abusing his or her discretion, but also precludes juvenile court intervention even where the conduct is particularly egregious or the youth is in particular need of such; or an ad hoc approach by prosecutors which risks inconsistency, unfairness, and bias. This article proposes an alternative approach which balances the need for fairness with a need for flexibility: Structured Prosecutorial Discretion within a Multidisciplinary Approach. It is grounded in the recognition this complex problem covers a broad array of behaviors: from naïvely producing inappropriate images, to coercion, to maliciously distributing images of others virally. The proposed model calls for prosecutors, together with members of other disciplines, to accept a protocol whereby a variety of proposed factors are considered, in a systematic way, in evaluating cases. Structured Prosecutorial Discretion is characterized by a rejection of mandatory prosecution, exposure to sex offender registration, or adult criminal court, at one extreme, and decriminalization at the other. Structured Prosecutorial Discretion would allow juvenile court prosecution to remain as part of a multidisciplinary response for only the most egregious cases (such as vindictive distribution of the images, coercion of the victim, etc.) and only after the implementation of offender-based and offense-based protocols. (Author Abstract) en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law en_US
dc.subject child abuse en_US
dc.subject adolescents en_US
dc.subject youth en_US
dc.subject teens en_US
dc.subject minors en_US
dc.subject exploitation en_US
dc.subject jurisprudence en_US
dc.subject legal opinion en_US
dc.title Sexting or Self-Produced Child Pornography? The Dialogue Continues – Structured Prosecutorial Discretion within a Multidisciplinary Response en_US
dc.type Article en_US


Files in this item

Files Size Format View

There are no files associated with this item.

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search


Browse

My Account