States consider saner 'sexting' penalties for teens
Glaring hypocrisy in post Weiner-gate era
Lawmakers in 21 states have considered bills this year that would lessen penalties for teen sexting, in which teenagers send or receive pictures of themselves in various states of undress, according to the Associated Press.
The folly of so-called sexting prosecutions, which invoke child-pornography laws to exact harsh penalties on teens, has been obvious for years. But now that US Representative Anthony Weiner has escaped any criminal charges for sending explicit pictures of himself, the absurdity can no longer be ignored.
“Let's just call this what it is: stupid,” Rhode Island state Representative Peter Martin told the AP. “These are kids we're talking about. I don't think minors should face these severe punishments just for being stupid.”
The list of teens accused of serious crimes for sending or receiving nude pictures on cell phones and computers has been growing. In 2008, a 15-year-old Ohio girl was arrested on felony child-pornography charges for allegedly sending nude cell phone pictures of herself to classmates.
A year later, six Pennsylvania teens faced similar charges for sending and receiving inappropriate pictures on cell phones. Three girls in the latter case, ages 14 and 15 at the time, were accused of taking nude or semi-nude self-portraits of themselves and sending them using their cell phones to three boys, ages 16 and 17.
Instead of charging the minors with sex crimes, many states are considering more sensible punishments, the AP said. California legislators, for instance, have proposed a law that would allow schools to simply expel students caught sexting. Florida lawmakers voted to fine sexters $60 and order community service.
And New York, where Weiner resides, has introduced a bill that would allow judges to send sexters to counseling instead of jail if prosecutors agree no harm was intended. More from the AP here. ®
decriminalizing the whole act? It's incredibly stupid that kids can get jailed or whatever for sending nude pics of themselves to begin with. No wonder the US is the laughing stock everywhere else, where kids sexting are jailed and put in the Sex Offenders Registry, and Janet Jackson showing a boob serves to enact 50's-style censorship laws. Sheesh...
Daftest thing is ...
Kids have been flashing each other since before there was writing. It's part of growing up. When the chemical soup that makes us "grow up" turns up the wick, we start exploring our sexuality. It's totally, completely normal. All animals do it.
As technology improves and becomes inexpensive/mainstream, the kids will use it. My girlfriend in 10th grade (15 years old) slipped a naked SX-70 photo of herself into my locker in highschool.
My grandfather had a daguerreotype of my grandmother naked, sent to him via post from "the old country". We ran across it when going thru' his things after he passed. According to the date on it, she was 14 and a half ... It was almost shockingly pornographic, and the accompanying letter was quite steamy & indicated that they had been having sex 18 months prior. We chose to bury the letter and photo with him; it seemed fitting somehow :-)
As a side-note to the Euros in the audience: not all us Yanks are prudes.
Adults, on the otherhand, should know better ... Even congresscritters.
 Don't worry, legal eagles, it's long gone ... She broke into my house and destroyed it 35 years ago, or thereabouts, after I dumped her because she was a slut ;-)
 What, you kids think *you* invented it?
they let the parents deal with it? why is it a crime anyway?
Yeah 40 year old man sending pictures to a 15 year old girl is creepy, and should be investigated but teens sending them to each other, at best it is something they will regret later, but it certainly is not a crime.