March 25, 2022

Judiciary Republicans Press Judge Jackson on Lenient Sentencing of Repeat Sex Offender

WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) joined Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) in asking Judge Kentanji Brown Jackson to provide the Judiciary Committee with information related to the case of Wesley Hawkins.

Sentencing guidelines for similar child pornography cases recommend an 8 to 10-year sentence. However, Judge Jackson sentenced Hawkins to a mere three months in Bureau of Prisons custody. Hawkins would later re-offend — when he would have been in prison had Judge Jackson followed the sentencing guidelines — and had to appear before Judge Jackson again.

In part, the senators wrote, “Accordingly, consistent with measures necessary to protect the privacy of the victims and other innocent third parties, please immediately provide the Committee with a copy of the probation petition that you referenced in that April 2019 order, and an explanation of what Hawkins did in 2019 that earned him twice as much time in BOP custody as your original three-month sentence. If discussing those details necessitates confidentiality, please contact the Committee to schedule a closed-door briefing on the topic. Further, please confirm whether computer monitoring software was already required prior to 2019 as part of your original sentence in the Hawkins case.”

The full text of the letter can be found by clicking HERE.

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