Millionaire Author John Grisham Says Not All Men Who Watch Child Porn Are Pedophiles

Crime writer John Grisham has said America is unjustly jailing too many citizens for viewing child pornography. In an interview with The Telegraph, Grisham, who earned $17 million last year and tied for 6th place in Forbes’ ranking of top-earning authors, attacked the widespread incarceration of those who watch child porn.

“We have prisons now filled with guys my age. Sixty-year-old white men in prison who’ve never harmed anybody, would never touch a child,” he told The Telegraph’s Peter Foster in an interview to promote his latest novel, Gray Mountain.

Grisham, who is well known for legal thrillers such as A Time to Kill and The Firm, has sold more than 275 million copies since his 1989 debut. Grisham first joined Forbes’ top-earning author ranking in 2000, with a $36 million annual paycheck. He has made an estimated $200 million before taxes and fees in the last 14 years.

The U.S. has the world’s largest prison population, with about 2.2 million adults behind bars. Close to a quarter of the world’s prisoners are held within American prisons; the U.S. accounts for just 5% of the world’s population.

According to a 2012 report by the U.S. Sentencing Commision, in the last decade average sentences for those who possess but do not produce child pornography have nearly doubled in the US, from 54 months in 2004 to 95 months in 2010. Commission data also shows that virtually all offenders (96.3%) possess images of minors who were prepubescent or under 12 years of age.

Grisham, whose 2013 release Sycamore Row sold over 1 million copies last year, also pens children’s books in the Theodore Boone series, which follows a vivacious, young wannabe-lawyer.

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