Consider the use of the Internet and the subject of child pornography.
It is all too easy to land on a site publishing pornography.
The intention must be to stop the use of children in pornography.
Nobody would argue against the stopping of website views that put money into the pockets of publishers. And obviously children will continue to be sexually abused if money can continue to be made publishing child material. I make no distinction between child sexual abuse and paedophilia in this article.
It has come to my attention that views of pornographic websites are automatically recorded on the viewing computer. By law these images are termed “downloads”…. notwithstanding special equipment is required to view them, as they are electronically placed.
This raises several issues.
1. How many people realise the definition of “downloading”?
2. Certain images are deemed criminal under penalty of prison.
3. Constant police complaints of overload are not reduced by “blind” prosecutions.
Only the viewer will ever know for certain why he/ she was watching or loading child images.
4. Should police initially record an official warning of such activities? Only then to proceed with prosecutions and the use of extensive police time in setting up and putting criminal cases through the Courts?
5. Many defendants will qualify for Legal Aid. The cost of this procedure to the State is enormous. Solicitors, magistrates, probation staff, and judges fees are very high. Seems choices of solicitor and barrister are important too.
6. To save time and money defendants are likely to be offered the option to plea bargain. This procedure requires intimate knowledge of the law and procedure. How many people make this important decision that greatly affects the now and the future fully knowing what they are doing?
To me the process leading to prosecution is poor. Procedure in many cases could be stopped at the start. Thus saving enormous amounts of time, resources and money. Local police could play the greatest part in this saving. Seems to me there is the possibility of box-ticking and bolstering of government statistics. Something, if at all true, contributes nothing in the quest to eliminate paedophilia.
The plea bargain (also plea agreement, plea deal, copping a plea, or plea in mitigation) is any agreement in a criminal case between the prosecutor and defendant whereby the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a particular charge in return for some concession from the prosecutor. This may mean that the defendant will plead guilty to a less serious charge, or to one of several charges, in return for the dismissal of other charges; or it may mean that the defendant will plead guilty to the original criminal charge in return for a more lenient sentence.
A plea bargain allows both parties to avoid a lengthy criminal trial and may allow criminal defendants to avoid the risk of conviction at trial on a more serious charge. For example, in the U.S. legal system, a criminal defendant charged with a felony theft charge, the conviction of which would require imprisonment in state prison, may be offered the opportunity to plead guilty to a misdemeanour theft charge, which may not carry a custodial sentence.