Author John Grisham Defends Viewers Of Child Porn, Says Sentencing Is Too Harsh[Update]

John Grisham is a best selling author and a lawyer. His legal thrillers have taken the world by storm, achieving him the pinnacle status that every author dreams of achieving. However, recent remarks centered around the harsh sentencing for those who view child porn may be detrimental to his writing career.

John Grisham shared his thoughts on child porn viewers with the Telegraph on Wednesday. The remarks came during an interview for his newest novel, Gray Mountain. Grisham feels that most individuals that view child porn are not pedophiles or miscreants, but instead victims of the courts. He justified his views by saying the men and women that view child porn do not hurt anyone.

“We have prisons now filled with guys my age. Sixty-year-old white men in prison who’ve never harmed anybody, would never touch a child,”

He went on to say, “But they got online one night and started surfing around, probably had too much to drink or whatever, and pushed the wrong buttons, went too far and got into child porn.”

John Grisham did state that he has no “sympathy for real pedophiles” and “please lock those people up.” However, those who have viewed child porn by accident, or even on purpose without actually touching a child, should be spared the harsh sentences that are handed out. Currently, there are over 2.2 million sex offenders in jail, each reaching into varied depths of sexual offenses, including child porn.

Jon Brown, of the children’s charity NSPCC, does not side with Grisham that no one is harmed when someone, sober or intoxicated, views child porn.

“[E]very image is a real child who has suffered and every time these images are clicked on or downloaded it creates demand that ultimately fuels more child abuse.”

The writing community is not without its share of controversy, and the fans can be volatile and unconditionally supportive of their favorite authors. It is unknown how John Grisham’s remarks will impact the sales of his newest book, if at all. It is possible that his public remarks on child porn viewers could provide just the publicity needed to increase sales, or it could lead to his final reverie.

John Grisham does not feel that viewing child pornography should go unpunished, but up to 10 years in prison is a rather harsh penalty.

“These are people who haven’t hurt anybody. They deserve some type of punishment, whatever, but 10 years in prison?”

How do you feel about John Grisham’s views on those that watch child porn?

[Update]

Since the original posting, John Grisham has reportedly issued an apology via CNN. He remains adamant that those who harm children directly should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. However, he stands by his comments, but states that they were not to show sympathy for those that view the content.

“My comments made two days ago during an interview with the British newspaper The Telegraph were in no way intended to show sympathy for those convicted of sex crimes, especially the sexual molestation of children. I can think of nothing more despicable. I regret having made these comments, and apologize to all.”

[Photo Courtesy: Time Inc]

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