Federal Judge Speaks out on Mandatory Prison for CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

VOICES OF REASON ON CHILD PORNOGRAPHY; SENTENCING GUIDELINES;
and THE LEGISLATION OF PUNISHMENTS

9/23/13

I happened to be in the courtroom of Judge Charles Burton this morning at a sentencing hearing for William Stewart on pending State child pornography charges. The relevant background of Mr. Stewart and his case can be found in the article below.

Bottom line is that Stewart, an eminent oceanographer, ONE OF THE ORIGINAL EXPLORERS OF THE Titanic wreckage, and 62 years of age, got nabbed for downloading child pornography on his home computer by a trolling Boynton Beach Detective. He was indicted in Federal Court and eventually entered a plea of guilty. On January 22, 2013, he faced sentencing before Judge Kenneth Ryskamp, a veteran Federal Judge for the Southern District of Florida. Mr. Stewart was facing a minimum 12 year sentence under the Federal sentencing guidelines. Judge Ryskamp sentenced him to “only” seven years, but his remarks in doing so, are worthwhile reading, and are attached to this comment.

Incredibly, even though the Federal United States Attorney declined to appeal the Judge’s departure sentence, our State Attorney David Aronberg’s office decided the Mr. Stewart had been insufficiently punished and filed State charges for the same conduct. Mr. Stewaret’s sentencing in State Court was this morning and Judge Burton read into the record Judge Ryskamp’s remark; rejected the State’s call for additional years’ and sentenced him to concurrent time on the State’s charges hoping to assure that he spend no more time incarcerated than the seven years he already is serving.

JUDGE RYSKAMP’S REMARKS
http://tinyurl.com/o3r5ayz

BACKGROUND ON DR. STEWART’S CASE

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-09-26/news/fl-titanic-child-porn-state-charges-20120926_1_william-kenneth-stewart-state-charges-federal-court

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