Sexting is the art form that gave us naked Blake-Not-Blake-Lively, so it's understandable that New York lawmakers don't want to discourage it too much. But while Lively-Not-Lively is of age, a not-yet-legal generation is sexting with reckless abandon! Thus a new bill that proposes a slap on the wrist rather than getting slapped with a child pornography conviction that will follow them for the rest of their lives.
Brooklyn assemblyman Alan Maisel has co-sponsored the "Cyber Crime Youth Rescue Act" with the aim to keep teenagers from "getting themselves into serious trouble for adolescent behavior." New York is the latest in a growing number of states that are creating legislation that gives prosecutors the power to be more lenient in cases where juveniles have been found guilty of distributing naked or sexually explicit photos of themselves or others.
According to a survey conducted by the National Campaign to Support Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy about 20 percent of teens admit to sending the occasional sext. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's a conservative figure. Which means that if these sorts of crimes continue to be prosecuted as felonies, the sex offender registry is going to get really long, and honestly pretty watered-down.
The bill allows first time offenders to avoid prosecution by participating in an "educational reform program" that teaches them that sending naked pictures of yourself is not okay (unless you're super hot or a celebrity). The class would stress "the nearly unlimited ability of an infinite audience to utilize the Internet to search for and replicate materials." Forget teens, this sounds like something that should be mandatory for all humans, with continuing education for politicians and their weiners.