Court Remands Child Porn Sentence Because Judge Hates Facebook - Technologist
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Court Remands Child Porn Sentence Because Judge Hates Facebook

Laura Culver is getting another shot at sentencing for her child pornography conviction because the sentencing judge in her case doesn’t like Facebook, TechDirt reports.

And yes, you read that correctly.

Culver was sentenced to 96 months in prison for producing child pornography of a minor child under her custody and control. She argued that her sentence was procedurally unreasonable because Senior U.S. District Judge Warren Eginton made multiple references to Facebook -- which had little to no application to the facts of her case -- during sentencing. Culver claims that Judge Eginton gave "outsized influence to Facebook."

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, noting that Judge Eginton speculated that the proliferation of Facebook would facilitate an increase in child pornography cases.

The district court said it hoped Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was "enjoying all his money because ... he's going to hurt a lot of people."

The appellate court found that the Facebook rant affected Culver's substantial rights because Judge Eginton said that he would have granted a six-year sentence if not for concerns about Facebook and general deterrence.

Yeah... that's a little off topic.

The government countered that Facebook was a general reference to the Internet, using synecdoche, and that the court was merely concerned about the ways in which new technologies could facilitate child porn.

Even under that theory, however, Culver would prevail because she didn't use the Internet to commit her crime; thus the potential for Internet-facilitated bad acts shouldn't have been a factor in her sentence.

Even though Judge Eginton's Facebook tirade was unreasonable, the prison term might have been okay. The appellate court clarified, "This remand should not be construed to suggest that the sentence was substantively unreasonable. An eight-year sentence was still a twenty percent reduction below the bottom of the recommended Guidelines range."

Is this the weirdest judicial/Facebook rant you've ever heard of? Let us know on Facebook (obviously) or Google+.

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