Amy and Vicky, Child Porn Victims: No Joint and Several Liability

From FindLaw, a post about the Marsh Law Firm’s latest restitution case:

You’d have to imagine, at some point, that either Congress (ha!) or the Supreme Court will step in and clear up the confusion surrounding restitution for those depicted in child pornography, as well as the issue of joint and several liability of the present day possessors of the images. Though they’ve denied certiorari in Amy and Vicky cases before, the flood of circuit court confusion and circuit splintering continues.

Last September, the ABA Journal wrote an exhaustive feature on Amy and Vicky, the two victims who have had cases appear in nearly every federal Circuit Court of Appeals in the nation. In fact, they’ve had two opinions released regarding their restitution this week, including a writ of mandamus in the Ninth Circuit.

This isn’t the first time Amy and Vicky have reached the Ninth Circuit. In 2011, a Ninth Circuit panel in United States v. Kennedy vacated a restitution award in Amy and Vicky’s favor due to questions about proximate causation. The pair asked the Ninth Circuit to reconsider last year, after the Fifth Circuit came to a different conclusion. The panel, however, is bound by precedent.

Earlier this year, the Ninth Circuit kicked an Amy and Vicky case back to the district court to reexamine the issue of restitution, after finding that, contrary to the lower court’s denial, petitioners had “provided sufficient evidence to establish a causal connection between defendant’s offense and petitioners’ losses.”

In this week’s opinion, Amy and Vicky appealed that lower court’s restitution order again, this time arguing that joint and several liability for the entirety of the girls’ damages was appropriate, rather than individual liability for a portion of the damages.

To find out how the court ruled, read the entire post here on Findlaw’s Ninth Circuit News and Information Blog.

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