A new bill in New Mexico has made 'sexting' legal for teenagers. Governor Susana Martinez signed into law people aged between 14-18 who share nude photos of each other will not face child pornography charges or be sent to prison.
But according to the Las Cruces-Sun News, Martinez is opposed to the amendment and wants to address the matter in separate legislation next year. In a statement she said: "I don't support the so-called 'sexting' amendment, as I believe the reasoning behind it is misinformed and it was not carefully considered."
State Senator George Muñoz defended his legislation exempting teenagers that send explicit photos to each other by saying: "Kids will be kids, and they're going to make mistakes.
"You can't punish them for the rest of their lifetime with a charge of child pornography… if they're consensually sending photos back and forth."
Steven Robert Allen, policy director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, which helped write the legisalation, said: "Most people, from a common sense perspective, agree that this is not behaviour that should be criminalized.
"It's misguided behavior and certainly something where parents should get involved. But kids shouldn't be charged… It's just absurd."
The new law stipulated 10 year and 11 year sentences for possessing and distributing child pornography and was established in response to a state Supreme Court which stopped prosecutors from filing multiple charges based on the number of pornographic images or videos.