From a law review by Stephen Smith (2008, Jail for Juvenile Child Pornographers? A Reply to Professor Leary, 15 Va. J. Soc. Pol’y & Law) concluding that prosecutors should only pursue charges against teens for consensual sexting if it aids catching adult sexual offenders:

We need not celebrate what some might describe as the “sexual liberation” of teenagers. If we really want to help children (and we should), we should not pursue prosecution-based strategies that are likely to do minors more harm than good. We should instead concentrate our efforts, as a society, on dealing with the many sexual predators and other dangerous criminals in our midst – and, so far as the criminal law is concerned, leave the Romeos and Juliets of the world alone, even if their love happens to be memorialized in forms less appealing than iambic pentameter.

What does it mean to be “against the sexual liberation of teenagers” but for “leaving Romeo and Juliet alone”?

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