Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette praised the Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee for advancing his legislation aimed at strengthening laws which protect Michigan families from child pornography. The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the bills unanimously on September 25, 2012 following testimony by Assistant Attorney General Kelly Carter. The bills, which target those who would create or distribute child pornography, now head to the full Senate for consideration.

“When our child pornography laws were written in the 1990’s, the Internet was still in its infancy stage,” said Schuette. “Today a child predator produces child pornography, and it can be over the entire world within a matter of minutes. These bills are a commonsense step to helping victims realize their constitutional ‘…right to be treated with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy throughout the criminal justice process.’

“We all owe Senators Casperson, Hansen, and Hildenbrand a big ‘thank-you’ for introducing and advocating for these bills.”

The following bills now head to the full State Senate for consideration:

  •  SB 1209, introduced by Senator Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba), amends the code of Criminal Procedure to more effectively allow prosecutors to use evidence gathered in undercover police operations against child predators at sentencing.
  • SB 1313, introduced by Senator Goeff Hansen (R-Hart), ensures children are not re-victimized through the legal process by restricting who has access to child pornography during the discovery phase of criminal trials.
  • SB 1314, introduced by Senator Dave Hildenbrand, (R-Lowell Township), strengthens Michigan’s laws against child pornography by expanding the definition of “produce” or “make” to specifically include the making of new copies.

Earlier this month, Schuette’s Violent Offenders Fourth Felony legislation (VO-4), aimed at removing career violent criminals from Michigan’s streets, passed both chambers of the legislature with strong bipartisan support. It now awaits the governor’s signature to become law