Senate Republicans mishandled the Ketanji Brown Jackson hearings in the familiar way that politicians do. There were too many efforts by individual politicians to play to their social media audiences. And the hearings went ahead without the full release or availability of materials on her caseload.
While some conservatives opposed making the hearings about her work in child abuse cases, the material that is emerging continues to be horrifying.
I’m not one for trigger warnings, but I would strongly urge caution in following the link. And I’m only going to quote so much of it here.
What becomes obvious is that Ketanji Brown Jackson protected a level of unmitigated evil that we have not seen from any Supreme Court nominee until now and Senate Republicans failed to properly make the case in a coherent and unified manner.
In the eight child-porn cases that came before her court, former D.C. District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson heard horrifying details of “sadomasochistic” torture of young kids — including “infants and toddlers” — yet challenged the disturbing evidence presented by prosecutors and disregarded their prison recommendations to give the lightest possible punishments in each case, according to transcripts of sentencing hearings obtained by the Post.
Paul Sperry’s work here is really important.
In July 2020, Jackson gave the bare minimum sentence to a defendant convicted of distributing images and videos of infants being sexually abused, and who had boasted of molesting his 13-year-old cousin, even though she knew the defendant refused “to take full responsibility” for his crimes, a transcript reveals.
There are more details at the link. Suffice it to say it’s horrifying stuff.
Jackson herself admitted that the felon was at “risk of reoffending,” the transcript further reveals. But she declined to enhance his prison time based on the amount of porn he distributed, arguing such enhancements were “outdated” and “substantially flawed.” She acknowledged the average sentence nationally “for similarly situated defendants” was 81 months, but she gave him the statutory mandatory-minimum sentence of 60 months, which was short of the nearly six years prosecutors asked for. In addition, Jackson gave him credit for time served starting from when he was first incarcerated in October 2018, so technically she gave him only 38 months, or a little over three years, in the pen. Downs is scheduled for release in December.
It only gets worse from there.
In her April 2021 sentencing of child porn distributor Ryan Manning Cooper, Jackson contradicted the findings of prosecutors, dismissing the crimes they described as “on the more egregious or extreme spectrum” of child porn as not “especially egregious.”
“I don’t find persuasive the government’s arguments concerning why they think that this is a particularly egregious child pornography offense, which means I struggled to find a good reason to impose a sentence that is more severe in this case,” she argued.
This is what Ketanji Brown Jackson considered not “especially egregious”.
Prosecutors also busted him with a video of a “pre-pubescent boy being penetrated anally and orally” by an older male.
Democrats and their media insist that if you object to this, you’re a racist.
Jackson cited “mitigating factors,” including letters family members sent to her describing Cooper as “kind, hard-working, dependable, loving. I have no reason to doubt those representations.” Striking a sympathetic tone, she advised the defendant: “There are going to be a lot of restrictions that the law places on you because you are a convicted sex offender, and you’re going to need the support of these people during this next phase of your life.”
I’m sure she has their support now.
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