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John Grisham: men who watch child porn are not all paedophiles [updated]

America is wrongly jailing far too many people for viewing child pornography, the best-selling legal novelist John Grisham has told The Telegraph in a wide-ranging attack on the US judicial system and the country’s sky-high prison rates.

Mr Grisham, 59, argued America’s judges had “gone crazy” over the past 30 years, locking up far too many people, from white collar criminals like the businesswoman Martha Stewart, to black teenagers on minor drugs charges and – he added – those who had viewed child porn online. Full Article

Update: A STATEMENT FROM JOHN GRISHAM

Join the discussion

  1. Janice Bellucci

    Thank you, John Grisham, for speaking the truth about the absurdity of today’s sentences for the possession of child pornography. There are far too many people who have been incarcerated for far too long for this offense. It’s time for law enforcement to focus upon those who actually create and distribute it.

    • MS

      Just google’d it. Sounds like the the unforgiving public is already attacking Mr. Grisham for his statements, compassion, whatever. Then along came an apology.

  2. Tired of hiding

    They are punishing the consumer who views this material as if they did something to a child. I can tell you that you get the same punishment for viewing an image that is 40 years old and the child is a grandfather/mother by now! Good god…that is insane!

    That is very much like viewing scenes from a murder and being charged with the actual murder!

    It is rear that a high profile individual suck as John Grisham will make a public statement such as this. I admire him even more now! Hopefully more people will see through the smoke screen of lies told about sex offenders and some sanity will finally prevail!

  3. JB

    Here is a chance to take this conversation to a different forum. Unfortunately there are some very ignorant comments at this site, which is supposed to be a liberal site. Janice and others, would you all be willing to educate what I think is usually an intelligent, rational group of people?

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014919562

  4. Marie

    The link above was locked to new comments but I agree – we need to get on news sites and support him!!

    • JB

      Yes, it was locked because it’s not considered “latest breaking news.” I’ll update the link if it’s reposted in a different category.

  5. Joe

    Man’s got books to sell…. oh well.

    • MS

      Shame on the public for shaming Mr. Grisham into making an apology for sharing his opinion on a subject. Refreshing to know you can have an unpopular opinion just as long as you don’t share it with others that think they know everything. How many of those people that went on the attack have actually done any sort of research on the subject of pornography addiction and how it’s related to arrests for possession (not production). My guess….zero! Perhaps some experts on the subject (people with PhDs that have studied and written books about pornography addiction), people that can’t/won’t be swayed by the scorn of the ignorant, might be brave enough come to Mr. Grisham’s rescue.

  6. B

    The article said that those who view the depictions of the abuse are “fueling the industry”. In the Washington Post article it said that those who view the abuse are “aiding and abetting” the abuse. I guess I don’t understand the mechanics of the viewing of the abuse. What exactly does the viewer do to assist in or support the abuse. I don’t understand.

    • BillG (what! again!?)

      Mr. Grisham has touched The Nerve and we are seeing sparks fly.
      How ungodly stupid and terrified are the People.
      Somewhere here there has to be a “Follow-The-Money” thread because no civilized society or culture could have screwed up this badly.

      To *Somebody*, *Everybody* is a “Sex Offender”.. that is at some time in everyone’s life while developing into a social creature from a meatball, someone, somewhere touched the forbidden location or whatnot and instantly an ‘abuse’ took place.

      Interesting to me it is that we have no input from LGBT mouthpieces. It’s as though one of the most progressive of social movements speaks not about the RSO issue. Are there no reported instances of homosexual pedophiles being supported by the LGBT cohort? Seems passing strange in the vacuum of interest wherein the preferred subject is a “boy”..Oh, excuse me, “Twink”.

      Mr. Grisham stepped into a bag of flaming poop and now his shoes smell. Too bad, but now I’m going out and buy all his books again in hard-cover. I’m a fan and the dude can write like nobody else. Let’s all do it and earn him another few million just because he happens to be quite right.

    • Tired of hiding

      What a load of hoursesh*t that is. Most CP is not sold for profit and is amateur in nature and simple posted online in shady blogs or traded from person to person. There is NO profit being made as it is NOT SOLD. Any site would be shut down immediately. You need a billing company first of all to accept credit cards online…think Visa is going a CP site access to billing – NO!

      The supply and demand bullsh^t is yet another lie/myth that has been said so many times that people accept is as being true but it is anything but!

      The ignorance of the public can only be blamed on the lies that politicians feed them for their own selfish gain and agendas!

      • ab

        Most cp is also decades old and was not produced in the United States. The paysites are generally government sting operations. I know things the government’s of the world and victims advocacy groups don’t want people to know about cp. Most information about how horrific cp is, is overblown and provided by individuals who don’t know what they are talking about. John grisham did a brave thing by speaking against the status quo and questioning how ridiculous prosecutions are for looking at images and videos. When far worse things are shown on television. Honestly the TLC (the learning channel) [yes that’s what TLC stands for] show toddlers in tiaras is worse than 90% of the content I ever saw.

    • Michael

      The rational is, if there were no viewers, or market for the the CP, whether one pays for it or not, but, of course, many do, it would not be produced.
      Therefore, children would not be forced, thus abused, into it.
      It SEEMS a vaild point on some level.
      If some disagree, I’d like to know why.

      • B

        I understand the concept of a market. I go to the store and I want some oranges. I pay money to the grocer and I get the oranges. You give me this and I give you that. It is how a market works.

        But if there are only viewers but no exchange of money or other benefits, I don’t understand how it is a marketplace. Are there ads? Is there some other benefit to the producer? Why in the world would a producer put something like this on the internet knowing it will likely bring him a boatload of trouble?

        I’m not trying to make a point here. I really just don’t get it.

  7. ca rso

    at least he have a book to write about.
    if he does I do hope that he write that RSO have the lowest reoffend rate

  8. Tim

    I’m not aware that Mr. Grisham ever wrote a book concerning a sex offender or a paedophile. Indeed, if he had done the research, he would have made the distiction between the prediction to be attracted to children, from criminal acts. Many paedophiles never engage in criminal acts. Instead of apologizing to those suffering from moral panic, I would dearly love to see him write a book concerning a sexual offender and do the research to make another great novel that sheds needed light on a class of people few understand.

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