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MADISONVILLE, La. – Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and the other Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee today sent a letter asking Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to provide information related to the case of Wesley Hawkins.

“During your confirmation hearing, you were asked by multiple members about the extraordinarily lenient sentences that you have given to child pornography offenders. Your sentences for child pornography offenders were routinely less than the sentences recommended by the sentencing guidelines and less than the sentences recommended by the prosecutors—in fact, you gave reduced sentences far more often than did average federal judges,” wrote the senators.

“In one specific case that was addressed at the hearing, you sentenced a man named Wesley Hawkins, who distributed child pornography on the internet. The sentencing guidelines recommended a sentence of about 8-10 years. As a result of a plea agreement, the prosecutors in the case recommended a 24-month sentence, and your own probation office recommended 18 months. You, however, sentenced Hawkins to a mere three months in [Bureau of Prisons] custody for his crimes. In 2019—when he would have been in prison if you had followed the sentencing guidelines—Hawkins apparently did something that caused you to send him back to BOP custody for six months in a halfway house, along with instituting new restrictions on his computer usage,” they continued.

“Your lenient sentencing in the Hawkins case was the subject of significant interest in the Committee’s review of your judicial record. Our review of your nomination requires that the Committee fully understand the circumstances that informed your actions in this case. . . . please immediately provide the Committee with a copy of the probation petition that you referenced in that April 2019 order, and an explanation of what Hawkins did in 2019 that earned him twice as much time in BOP custody as your original three-month sentence,” the senators concluded.

The letter is available here.