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Tag Archives: Child Pornography

Criminal Practice – Child Pornography – Sentencing – Restitution – Insufficient Findings (access required)

U.S. v. Burgess The 4th Circuit affirms defendant’s conviction of receipt and possession of child pornography, but vacates a restitution order requiring defendant to pay $305,220 to “Vicki,” an identified victim; the district court did not make specific findings regarding the elements of restitution, as required under the Mandatory Restitution for Sexual Exploitation of Children Act, 18 U.S.C. 2259, and the case is remanded for calculation of the loss this specific defendant caused the victim portrayed in the pornographic material possessed by defendant.

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Warrant Application – Child Pornography (access required)

U.S. v. Wellman Although a search warrant application did not include either an exemplar or description of an image alleged to be child pornography, the 4th Circuit declines to impose a bright-line requirement that such an application must include an image of the alleged pornography; the court upholds the search warrant and defendant’s conviction and sentence for possession of child pornography.

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Criminal Practice – Sentencing – Child Pornography – Preferred Medication (access required)

U.S. v. Clawson A sentencing court erred in applying the Rule 35(b) “substantial assistance” ground to reduce a sentence for distribution of child pornography from 96 months to one day; the 4th Circuit vacates the sentence reduction because it was based not on the substantial assistance provided to the government by the defendant, but on the sentencing court’s concern that defendant would not receive his preferred medication for depression and attention deficit disorder while in prison.

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Child Pornography – Deficient Warrant (access required)

U.S. v. Doyle The 4th Circuit reverses defendant's child pornography conviction because evidence seized pursuant to a deficient search warrant should not have come in under the Leon good-faith exception; information provided to the local magistrate did not show when defendant allegedly possessed pictures of nude children and whether the alleged pictures were in fact child pornography under Virginia law.

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