Friday, April 29, 2011

U.S. v. Maier (9th Cir. - April 27, 2011)

Michael Maier is a police officer for the Navy.  He's stationed at the United States Naval Air Station at Lemoore, California.  He's bored.  He's lonely.  He's 26 years old.

He's also a huge fan of child pornography.  So when Yahoo! notices that he's been sharing some kiddie porn files, and notify ICE of this fact, they raid his dormitory room.  And discover lots of kiddie porn.

When he's arrested, Maier admits that the stuff is his, says that he's addicted to child porn, and says that his addiction disgusts him but that he's been unable to stop.  He says he'd made anonymous reports about other child pornography viewers who he came across in his porn-swapping activities in an effort to come to terms with his compulsive behavior.  But he's guilty, and pleads accordingly.

He provides agents with his computer passwords and user names and passwords for his online accounts.  His information leads to agents discovering seventy-four other people involved in child pornography with whom Maier conversed during a five-month period.  He pleads guilty without a deal:  He simply asks for mercy and forgiveness.

What's the appropriate sentence for this remorseful former Navy police officer with no prior criminal record for reviewing internet-only child pornography?

Seventeen and a half years in prison.

Hope you enjoyed half of your twenties.  See you when you're 43.

He'd have been better off murdering someone.