My friend Arthur (not his real name) had a bench trial on a couple of weeks ago and the judge found him guilty of possession of child pornography. He had two housemates who had already pleaded guilty, both to possession and to having sex with a 15 year old.
Freud said that we are all teeming cauldrons of emotion. I laugh at the truth of that -- except when I’m crying over how eager we are to punish others. The behavior is wrong, but the other two men are serving 15 year sentences and Arthur stands to get that much because he didn’t take a plea agreement for time served. (He is not charged with having sex with the 15 year old.)
Arthur has pled guilty twice to sex offenses, the first time when he was 18, the second time when he was 23 and just out of prison. He says he was innocent and indeed 18 year olds most commonly confess to crimes they did not commit. He is one of three siblings, all of whom were abused as children.