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Sheila J.
Democrat TX 18

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  • Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act of 2015

    by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

    Posted on 2015-01-27

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    JACKSON LEE. Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Johnson), an active and committed member of the House Judiciary Committee and ranking member on the Commercial Subcommittee.

    Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 285, the SAVE Act.

    Human trafficking is never okay. It is a vile crime that no one should be subjected to, but the SAVE Act goes too far.

    This bill would impose a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 to 15 years for posting or facilitating the posting of advertisements online. We should be eliminating mandatory minimum sentences, not creating new ones.

    This bill is not specific enough. It could potentially apply to communications providers and facilitators who are not actually engaged in sex trafficking.

    For example, an employee at an online advertising network that has no role in the types of ads they receive could face 10 to 15 years in prison for simply going in to work every day and helping advance the business. Web hosts and ad networks oftentimes do not have advance warning of the ads that are being sent to them.

    During our Judiciary Committee markup, I offered an amendment that would have removed mandatory minimums from the legislation, giving the judge hearing the case, of course, the discretion to impose a wise and just punishment.

    I believe in the overall goal of the legislation, but I do not agree with its execution. Judges, working with the sentencing guidelines, should determine sentences, not legislators.

    Mandatory minimums fail to reduce crime, they waste taxpayers' money, and often violate common sense.

    I urge my colleagues to vote against this legislation.

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