Decades in prison for child pornography
But what about a 200 year prison sentence for possession of child pornography, even without having sex with a child? In Arizona, a high school teacher named Morton Berger received just that, 10 years for each possession of 20 different child pornographic media. When he appealed on the Constitutional basis that it amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, the Arizona State Supreme Court ruled the 200 year prison term is not constitutionally excessive.
PHOENIX (May 10, 2006) - A 200-year prison term for a man convicted of possessing 20 separate items of child pornography is not constitutionally excessive, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
In a 4-1 ruling, the majority said the state Legislature is free to decide that those guilty of this crime must serve at least 10 years in prison. And they concluded lawmakers also are free to mandate that the sentences be served consecutively, with no possibility of early release -- effectively making it a life term.
But the decision drew a stinging dissent from Justice Rebecca Berch. She pointed out that the high school teacher in this case -- who did not produce the materials but simply downloaded them from the Internet -- could serve less time for a crime spree that included second degree murder because the law allows that sentence to be served concurrent with other convictions.
Morton R. Berger, who was a history teacher at Cortez High School, was arrested four years ago based on his possession of photographs, computer video files and computer photo files of children, all younger than 15, in sex acts. Prosecutors dismissed 15 counts but got convictions on the remaining 20.
Based on requirements of state law, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Ruth Hilliard sentenced Berger to the minimum 10 years consecutive terms on each count. He appealed, arguing that violates the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which prohibits "cruel and unusual punishment."
Child sex predator laws. Hate crime laws. Drug laws. They're all increasing in severity and hurting the Sailer crowd the most. The message is simple, don't fall into suicidal dead-end situations with Steve Sailer and his kind.
Speaking of child sex predators, Dateline NBC will be airing a new episode of "To Catch A Predator" on Tuesday night, January 30.