U.S. court tosses lengthy child porn sentence

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ATLANTA — A recent federal appeals court ruling may be the first in the nation on whether a judge can give a harsher sentence to a child pornography defendant who sent documents to someone he thought was a minor.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a child pornography defendant’s sentence of more than 17 years in prison.

The Daily Report said (http://bit.ly/v1rDRA ) the Nov. 14 decision found that the government had to prove the defendant sent pornography to someone who is actually a child — not just an adult posing as one — to justify a lengthier sentence.

The ruling centered on David Fulford, an Alabama man who pleaded guilty to three child pornography counts.

He claimed his sentence was improperly inflated, but prosecutors said he deserved the stiffer sentence.

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