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John Grisham: Cut Those Who Look At Child Porn Some Slack

Kaitlan Collins White House Correspondent
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John Grisham, attorney and bestselling author known for his legal thrillers, finds sentences in child pornography cases too harsh, saying some guys who download child pornography aren’t “real pedophiles.”

In a recent interview with The Telegraph about the U.S. judicial system, Grisham said the nation has “gone nuts with this incarceration” situation in the past 30 years.

“We’ve got prisons now filled with guys my age, 60-year-old white men, in prison, who have never harmed anyone. Who would never touch a child, but they got online one night, started surfing around, probably had too much to drink whatever and pushed the wrong buttons, and went to far and went into child porn or whatever.”

He told a story about a friend of his who was caught in a sting operation as proof.

“A friend of mine, ten years ago, was drinking. His drinking was out of control. And he went to a website — it was labeled, 16-year-old wannabe hookers, or something, some stupid website. And it said, 16-year-old girls. So he went there. Downloaded some stuff. It was 16-year-old girls who looked 30. You know, they were all dressed up and whatever. He shouldn’t have done it, it was stupid. But it wasn’t 10-year-old boys and he didn’t touch anything. And golly, a week later there was a knock on the door. FBI. And it was a sting set up by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to catch people—sex offenders. And he went to prison for three years.”

While the Memphis lawyer said he had no sympathy for “real pedophiles,” he believes many people who receive long sentences don’t deserve them.

Grisham faced heavy backlash after he made the comments, and issued a statement apologizing on his website Thursday.

(Photo: jgrisham.com screen capture)

(Photo: jgrisham.com screen capture)