Biden’s Supreme Court Nominee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, in 2013 sentenced convicted sex-offender 19-year-old Wesley Hawkins to a total of three months in prison, three months of confinement at home, and six years supervision – ultimately at a halfway house. He had been found guilty of possessing child pornography where boys 8 to 12 years of age were depicted in sex acts in 17 videos and 16 images. Apparently because he wasn’t already a career criminal, Judge Jackson felt she didn’t have to follow the laws in sentencing him as a convicted felon. In fact, she was lenient beyond even the prosecutors’ request.
The federal guidelines for sentencing in cases of this nature called for Hawkins to receive a prison sentence of eight to ten years. However, his lack of criminal history had already prompted prosecutors to request that he serve only two years in prison despite his then defense team requesting a sentence of only a single day in jail with five years of supervision.
So why three months? Why not three days? If the Judge couldn’t follow the federal guidelines, why could she not at least have followed the prosecution’s request? This reduced sentence clearly demonstrates to those convicted of possession of child pornography that there are little to no consequences in her courtroom. She makes her own rules.
This past week during the Senate Confirmation hearings, Mr. Hawkins seemingly came to her aid in an interview with the Washington Post. He expressed a degree of thanks to her for only sentencing him to three months in prison, acknowledging that he received far less prison time than many other sex offenders convicted for child pornography possession. Hawkins should thank her, she disregarded the federal guidelines for him and as a convicted felon he got off with essentially a hand slap.
While Mr. Hawkins appears to be in a somewhat better place today, what of the victims of such pornographic abuse, those in the videos and photos which he possessed? What kind of light sentence can they expect? Where is their justice? Years of counseling to combat the emotional/physical trauma inflicted in their lives won’t begin to resolve the harm they have experienced. Laws are there to protect them, as well as see those who do harm to others receive a just recompense for their actions. Neither the victims nor Mr. Hawkins saw real justice in Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s sentence.
Finally, this demonstration of how easily she bends the rules for the convicted felons that pass through her courtroom, reveals to all of America how little regard Judge Jackson has for the rule of law so defined as “the mechanism, process, institution, practice, or norm that supports the equality of all citizens before the law, secures a nonarbitrary form of government, and more generally prevents the arbitrary use of power”. As such, Judge Jackson’s clearly arbitrary use of her power demonstrates that she cannot be trusted to uphold the Constitution of theses United States which would be her responsibility on the highest court of the land.