Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Restrictions on Disseminating Child Porn Include Pre-Trial Discovery

Ordinarily the prosecution gives copies of documentary evidence to the defense—but what happens when the crime is possession of child pornography so copying the evidence would be disseminating the pornography? See New child pornography law affects local case: New restrictions meant to protect young victims, Columbian (Vancouver, WA), June 11, 2012. The new law is 2012 Laws ch. 135, which responds to court decisions. The legislative findings state:

The decisions of the Washington supreme court in State v. Boyd, 160 W.2d 424, 158 P.3d 54 (2007), and State v. Grenning, 169 Wn.2d 47, 234 P.3d 169 (2010), require prosecutors to duplicate and distribute depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct ("child pornography") as part of the discovery process in a criminal prosecution. The legislature finds that the importance of protecting children from repeat exploitation in child pornography is not being given sufficient weight under these decisions.
You can read the House and Senate bill reports linked from here. Supporters wanted to limit the victimization of children; opponents said that the new restrictions would make defense more costly and that defense attorneys already are aware of the damage that reproduction could cause and do what they can to protect the evidence.

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