You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

U.S.

  • Uncertainty fuels speculation on Ferguson decision
    FERGUSON, Mo. – The final weekend before the Thanksgiving holiday passed without a grand jury decision on whether to indict a Ferguson police officer, fueling new speculation about the timing as protesters demand justice for Michael Brown.
  • Probe begins in fatal shooting of boy by officer
    CLEVELAND – A 12-year-old boy has been fatally shot by Cleveland police after brandishing what turned out to be a replica gun, prompting a legislator to call for such fakes to be brightly colored.
  • US judge to sentence reputed drug-lord lieutenant
    CHICAGO – A reputed lieutenant of captured Mexican drug lord Joaquin `El Chapo’ Guzman was to be sentenced today for his part in a $1 billion conspiracy to traffic narcotics to Chicago and cities.
Advertisement

Supreme Court tosses $3.4 million award to child porn victim

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Wednesday said a federal law limits how much money victims of child pornography can recover from people who viewed their images online, throwing out a nearly $3.4 million judgment in favor of a woman whose childhood rape has been widely seen on the Internet.

The justices said in a 5-4 ruling that courts can order people convicted of child pornography to pay restitution to their victims, but only to the extent that there is a strong tie between the victim’s losses and the convicts’ actions.

In this case, Doyle Randall Paroline was held liable by a federal appeals court for the entire amount of the woman’s losses, though his computer contained just two images of her.

Justice Anthony Kennedy said for the court that federal judges should exercise discretion in awarding restitution. The case involved a woman known in court papers by the pseudonym “Amy.” Her losses have been pegged at nearly $3.4 million, based on the ongoing Internet trade and viewing of images of her being raped by her uncle when she was 8 and 9 years old.

The ruling steered a middle ground between the woman’s call for full restitution and Paroline’s claim that there was no relationship between his conduct and the woman’s losses, so that there should be no award of restitution.

Justices Samuel Alito, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan joined Kennedy’s opinion.

Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, said the restitution law as written should mean that Amy gets nothing. In a separate dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said she would have upheld the full award.

Advertisement