FIRST STEP — the leniency legislation being pushed by the left, by some conservatives, and by Jared Kushner — is the gift that keeps on giving to federal felons of all stripes. Much of the leniency is extended to federal drug felons, a group that does not include citizens who merely possessed marijuana. But it also encompasses many sex offenders.
FIRST STEP provides for the early release from prison of those who obtain “credits.” The legislation does exclude some categories of felons from eligibility. However, as we have seen, in the case of those convicted of gun crimes and selling fetanyl, there are loopholes that would render many such felons eligible to get out of jail early.
The same is true for child pornographers. The relevant language appears in the exclusion list — i.e., the list of people ineligible for early release credits in one section of the bill. It reads:
A second or subsequent conviction under any of paragraphs (1) through (6) of section 2252A(a), relating to certain activities relating to material constituting or containing child pornography.
This means that the exclusion from early release only applies to second-time offenders. First-time child pornographers are eligible for early release. They would be eligible to have up to one-third of their prison sentence knocked off.
Team Leniency includes some influential evangelicals. I wonder what they, and more importantly the broader evangelical community, think about letting child pornographers out of jail early.