Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Miller: Explicit photos need not be "dominant" purpose to violate child pornography statute

In U.S. v. Miller, No. 15-13555 (April 27, 2016), the Court rejected a defendant’s argument that his conviction for producing child pornography should be overturned, because the jury instruction did not require proof that producing child pornography was “one of his dominant motives,” therefore leaving open the possibility that he was convicted even though the photographs were a mere incident of his consensual romantic relationship with the minor. The government was not required to prove that making explicit photographs was Miller’s sole or primary purpose. It was enough that it was a purpose. The Court also rejected Miller’s argument that his sentence should not have been enhanced based on his prior conviction, because this prior offense did not require proof that the victim was a minor. The Court held that the statute did not require that the prior conviction involve a minor in order for the 25-year mandatory minimum to apply.