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Prosecution Dilemmas and Challenges for Child Pornography Crimes: The Third National Juvenile Online Victimization Study (NJOV‐3)

By Wendy Walsh, Janis Wolak and David Finkelhor


Results from the National Juvenile Online Victimization (N‐ JOV) Prosecutor Study indicate that prosecutors use a mix of strategies to handle defendants who possess large amounts of child pornography (CP). Prosecutors reported difficulties with computer forensics and the police investigation, but not so much with defense strategies. One‐quarter of prosecutors who dealt with CP cases had one that went in front of a jury in the past 2 years. Nearly half of prosecutors would like clearer guidelines about the types of CP cases accepted for federal prosecution. Purpose The prosecution of child pornography possession has in‐ creased in recent years, as the internet has enhanced its avail‐ ability and law enforcement has refined its techniques for its detection. But this prosecution has raised many issues about the consistency in standards, problems with the statutory framework, and the suitability of the punishments being sought. This bulletin explores prosecution dilemmas and chal‐ lenges for child pornography crimes. It examines 1) charging decisions and difficulties encountered; 2) the resolution of child pornography cases; and 3) prosecutor experience with other aspects of cases, such as risk assessment, judges ’ rul‐ ings, and referring for federal prosecution. The appendix pro‐ vides results on additional questions. The data come fro

Year: 2013
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