Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) challenged Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on her history of handing down lenient sentences to child sex offenders —particularly a case involving Wesley Hawkins, a man who was convicted of a child pornography offense in 2013 and then again in 2019.
“The sentencing guidelines for this offense called for a sentence of 97 to 121 months, or eight to ten years,” Cotton explained. “The prosecutors asked for 24 months; you sentenced him to three months.”
“We’ve heard a lot about this case and your three-month sentence of Wesley Hawkins,” the senator continued. “But you got another crack at him in 2019, judge. In 2019, you sent Wesley Hawkins back under conditions of confinement with the bureau of prisons for six months, with additional restrictions on his computer usage.”
“That’s twice the amount of time in custody that you sentenced him to in 2013. What did Wesley Hawkins do in 2019, judge?” Cotton asked, to which Jackson responded, “Oh, I don’t remember, senator. I have a lot of defendants who I’ve sentenced.”
Do you really expect this committee to believe that you don’t remember what happened in this Hawkins case?”Cotton asked.
“Yes, senator, I do expect you to believe; that’s my testimony.”
“Well, I don’t find it credible, judge,” Cotton continued. “It’s been in the news for days — you’ve been asked about it probably more than any other case you’ve ever had, and I just don’t find it credible that you weren’t prepared for that matter in 2019.”
“You know what I think?” he added. “I think he got caught with child pornography again, and wouldn’t have if he had been in prison for the eight to ten years that the guidelines called for in 2013 when you first sentenced him.”
Watch the clip above.