John Grisham apologizes for controversial comments on sex offenders

Novelist John Grisham is in hot water over his controversial remarks that some sex offenders deserve less harsh prison sentences. (Andy Kropa / Invision / AP)

John Grisham, novelist behind popular books like "The Firm" and "The Pelican Brief," caused a social media uproar over his recent comments regarding sex offenders and child molesters.

Grisham was speaking with The Telegraph when he called for lighter sentences for certain people who have been convicted of sexual offenses. The novelist explained that a friend of his had been sentenced to three years in prison after being nabbed in a child porn sting by the Canadian Royal Mountain Police.

"Many of these guys do not deserve harsh prison sentences . . . They haven't hurt anyone. They deserve some type of punishment, whatever, but 10 years in prison?", Grisham questioned.

"We've got prisons now filled with guys my age, 60-year-old white men, in prison, who have never harmed anyone . . . but they got online one night, started surfing around, probably had too much to drink whatever and pushed the wrong buttons, and went too far and went into child porn or whatever," Grisham told The Telegraph. "There is so many sex offenders - is what they are called - that they put them in the same prison. Like they are a bunch of perverts or something. Thousands of them. We've gone nuts with this incarceration."

It wasn't long until Grisham's comments caused an uproar online, with many social media users weighing in on the novelist's controversial statements.

Grisham issued the following apology on his website on Thursday.

Anyone who harms a child for profit or pleasure, or who in any way participates in child pornography-online or otherwise-should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. My comments made two days ago during an interview with the British newspaper The Telegraph were in no way intended to show sympathy for those convicted of sex crimes, especially the sexual molestation of children. I can think of nothing more despicable. I regret having made these comments, and apologize to all.

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