3 results for month: 05/2014
Our challenge is to craft a restitution statute suited for this unique kind of crime. We are meeting that challenge today by introducing the Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act. Amy and Vicky are victims in two of the most widely distributed child pornography series in the world. They know how difficult it is to seek restitution for ongoing harm caused by unknown people.
In Response to Recent Supreme Court Decision, Senators Hatch and Schumer Introduce Bill to Strengthen the Law for Child Pornography Victims
Hatch and Schumer both signed onto a friend of the court brief in the Paroline case. “Amy” and “Vicky” are the victims in two of the most widely-distributed child pornography series in the world.
The Amy and Vicky Act does three things that reflect the nature of these crimes: (1) it considers the total harm to the victim, including from individuals who may not yet have been identified; (2) it requires real and timely restitution; and, (3) it allows defendants who have contributed to the same victim’s harm to spread the restitution cost among themselves.
The bipartisan legislation is cosponsored by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).
The Amy and Vicky Act creates an effective, balanced mandatory restitution process for victims of child pornography that responds to the Supreme Court’s decision in Paroline v. United States. It does three things that reflect the nature of these crimes.
First, it considers the total harm to the victim, including from persons who may not yet have been identified.
Second, it requires real and timely restitution.
Third, it allows defendants who have contributed to the same victim’s harm to spread the restitution cost among themselves.
- A victim’s losses include medical services, therapy, rehabilitation, transportation, child care, and lost income
- If a victim was harmed by a single defendant, the defendant must pay full restitution for all her losses
- If a victim was harmed by multiple individuals, including those not yet identified, a judge can impose restitution on an individual defendant in two ways depending on the circumstances of the case
- the defendant must pay “the full amount of the victim’s losses” or, if less than the full amount,
- at least $250,000 for production, $150,000 for distribution, or $25,000 for possession
- Federal law already provides a mechanism for creating a restitution payment schedule
- Multiple defendants who have harmed the same victim and who are liable for the "full amount" are jointly and severally liable and may sue each other for contribution to equalize their restitution obligation. (the Supreme Court said in Paroline that this is important)