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7th Cir News: Child Porn, Law School Dedications and More

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By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on September 11, 2013 3:56 PM

Reporting on a depressing case of child pornography was just too much for us, so we're trying to even things out, if possible, by letting you in on other judicial related news from around the 7th Circuit ...

New Law School Dedication

Indiana Tech is dedicating its new law school in Fort Wayne on September 14, 2013, reports the Daily Reporter. The charter class began session on August 26th. For the dedication ceremony, Judge Easterbrook of the Seventh Circuit is speaking, along with Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

Remembering Wisconsin Justice Donald Steinmetz

Last week, Donald W. Steinmetz, a Justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court passed away, reports the Journal Sentinel. He is remembered most for his decision in Jackson v. Benson, which upheld Milwaukee's school choice program, which was later upheld and cited by the U.S. Supreme Court.

A former colleague, Justice Gableman told the Journal Sentinel: "By the time I got to know him, he was the model, like the kind of grandfather everyone wishes they had .... Always welcoming, always willing to hear your issues, personal or professional."

U.S. v. Hodge

Larry Hodge pleaded guilty to multiple child pornography offenses and was sentenced to 1,380 months imprisonment. As mitigating evidence in his sentencing hearing he offered the testimony of psychiatrist Dr. Louis Cady. The district court noted some of Dr. Cady's findings regarding Hodge's own abuse as a child, but not all. Hodge appealed claiming that the district court ignored some of Dr. Cady's notes and that constituted procedural error. The Seventh Circuit did not agree.

First, the court noted that Dr. Cady did not actually see the photos or videos in question. Instead, he conducted his analysis purely on the filtered version of events that Larry Hodge told him. The court noted: "Given the shaded version of the offense conduct that Hodge provided Dr. Cady, the prospects of Hodge's rehabilitation may not have appeared as rosy to the judge as they did to the psychiatrist."

It's questionable how much Dr. Cady's findings would have helped Hodge even if the court had relied on his notes. Because of the nature and seriousness of the offenses, the effect on the victim, the goals of deterrence and protecting the public, and the sentence lengths for other similar crimes, it doesn't seem like anything Dr. Cady said would change the court's decision and rise to the level of procedural error.

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