On May 15, 2014, the Second Circuit issued a decision in United States v. Lockhart, Docket No. 13-602-CR, applying several canons of statutory interpretation to a child pornography statute.
In Lockhart, the EDNY sentenced the defendant to a minimum term of ten years for possessing child pornography, following “18 U.S.C. § 2252(b)(2), which requires a minimum term of imprisonment of ten years . . . when a defendant is found guilty of possessing child pornography and was previously convicted under state law of a crime ‘relating to aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse, or abusive sexual conduct involving a minor or ward.'” The defendant appealed on the ground that his previous conviction did not involve a minor or ward. The Second Circuit affirmed the EDNY, in a lengthy but well-worth-reading discussion of the applicable canons of statutory interpretation: Continue reading