Courts Struggling to Implement Paroline Ask Congress to Fix the Law

Last week, another federal district court struggling to implement the Supreme Court’s decision in Paoline admonished Congress to fix the law.

In a child pornography restitution case, Chief Judge Anne L. Aiken of the United States District Court for the District of Oregon, declared:

While I, like the [Supreme] Court, am confident of a district court’s ability to implement the causation standard approved in Paroline, the results are unlikely to serve the stated purpose of § 2259 and fully compensate victims for their losses. As noted by the dissent, “experience shows that the amount in any particular case will be quite small—the significant majority of defendants have been ordered to pay Amy $5,000 or less. This means that Amy will be stuck litigating for years to come.” Id. at 1734 (Roberts., C.J., dissenting) Such piecemeal results hardly remedy the “continuing and grievous harm” caused by the repeated exploitation of child pornography victims. Id. at 1726. While I do not necessarily agree with the dissent that “[t]he statute as written allows no recovery,” I certainly agree with the admonition that “Congress [should] fix it.” Id. at 1735 (Roberts, C.J., dissenting).

United States v. Galan, 6:11-CR-60148-AA, 2014 WL 3474901 (D. Or. July 11, 2014)

Over 100 members of Congress are co-sponsoring the Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act of 2014. It’s time for Congress to move quickly to “fix it.” Child pornography victims have waited long enough.


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