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Saturday, September 20, 2014

I am broken, your honor #Jury Nullification

Before you read the following story please take into consideration the following:
1) they are speaking of images of people under 18
2) there was NO CONTACT
3) there was NO HARM, done to any of children in those images.
4) Many in law enforcement have conceded that practically all the sexually explicit images of children circulating on the net are from the same stack of yellowing pages found in the back of X-rated shops BEFORE it became ILLEGAL, only digitized. In 1977 250 child pornography magazines were circulating in the United States.
5) Those pictures tend to be twenty to fifty years old, made overseas, badly re-reproduced, and for the most part pretty chaste. Perhaps that is why federal or state agents never show journalists the contraband.
6) Law enforcement considers child pornography as images of a crime scene.
7) Title 18: 2252(a)(b) LAW is the only law where someone can go to prison for looking at crime scene images.
8) Child pornography is an images of a crime scene therefore a victimless crime because the harm has already been done by the perpetrator. Often they document the abuse of children in third-world countries. However, more commonly, Kids are making records of their own sexual exploits(sexting).
9) Those that actually sexually abuse a child to make child pornography rarely get caught.
10) Over 95% of those that sexually abuse a child are family, relatives, close friends. Less than 1% of child sexual abuse is at the hands of strangers.
11) Over 500,000 children under five were killed during the first days of the Iraq war to date it is over ONE MILLION this isn't including all the children killed in Afghanistan where is your outrage.
12) The fear industrial complex is composed of politicians, activist groups and corporations that all sell us on the idea that they can provide safety from the very dangers they are scaring us about.
13) Sensational false and/or misleading statistics underhandedly increase fear in the community, brought about by politicians, and the radical right often resulting in 'knee-jerk' reactions and legislation which does nothing to protect children from sexual and/or other violence and abuse. What this does is interfer in the lifestyle of law-abiding citizens and wastes millions of dollars of taxpayer funding.
14) Jury nullification the only TRUE path because the politicians and the child abuse industry relentlessly keeps you scared. Jurors need to nullify laws they consider unjust or incorrect, that is either immoral or wrongly applied to the defendant. Unless an actual child was harmed by the defendant they should be set free. In the past it’s been used for the Alien and Sedition Acts, the Fugitive Slave Acts and Prohibition.
15) Child Pornography is not antecedent to actual child sexual abuse to say looking at child pornography actually harms the person in the image is VOODOO. Your antipathy to child porn is noted; However unless a child is ACTUALLY PHYSICALLY HARMED any furtive attempts to say otherwise by the prosecution's use of logical fallacies are a cause for #JURY NULLIFICATION.

Dana Wilson tells judge, ‘I am broken, your honor’ at sentencing for child pornography possession
By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
BANGOR, Maine — At his sentencing Monday, Dana Wilson continued to deny he downloaded child pornography despite his conviction and said the publicity around the case has left him “broken,” financially devastated and alienated from his children.

The well-known former disc jockey was sentenced at the Penobscot Judicial Center to 2½ years in prison with all but nine months suspended for possession of sexually explicit material.

“I’ve always told people that this case is like riding through a tunnel with no light at the end,” Wilson, 63, of Brewer told Superior Court Justice Ann Murray, shortly before she imposed the sentence. “It’s been an unbelievable three years.”

The investigation that led to Wilson’s indictment 14 months ago by the Penobscot County grand jury, began in 2011. Brewer police Sgt. Jay Munson went to Wilson’s home on Feb. 14, 2011, after learning from the group Internet Crimes Against Children someone with an IP address at the home where Wilson lived had received a video known to portray child pornography, according to testimony.

Wilson’s computers were seized, and child pornography was found on both of them, the judge concluded when she announced her verdict July 1, after a two-day, jury-waived trial in June.

Monday was the first time Wilson, who did not take the stand in his own defense, has spoken about the case.

“Little did I think that I’d be here today in front of you, your honor, defending myself,” Wilson told Murray. “I’m broken, you honor. I’ve lost just about everything except my parents’ love and a few friends. I have an ex-wife and, more than likely, ex-children. I doubt that I’ll ever see my children again.”

Wilson said he never told police that his son might have downloaded child pornography on his computer but simply answered a police officer’s question about who might have been able to access his computers. The former disc jockey said Monday that the media had failed to report that information.

He also said his disc jockey and lawn care businesses failed after he was indicted June 27, 2012. Wilson also told Murray that many people, including prominent area business owners, would have come to court to support him were it not for the nature of the charge.

Wilson originally was scheduled to be sentenced last month. Murray allowed a four-week continuance so Wilson could care for his elderly parents in Florida.

Tracy Collins, assistant district attorney for Penobscot County, appeared in court Monday for Deputy District Attorney Michael P. Roberts, who was not able to attend the sentencing hearing. She recommended the former disc jockey be sentenced to four years in prison with all but one year suspended and two years of probation.

The nine-month sentence will allow Wilson to be incarcerated at the Penobscot County Jail. Sentences longer than nine months must be served in a prison operated by the Maine Department of Corrections.

Collins told the judge that Wilson should serve a year in prison because he did not accept responsibility for his crimes, showed no remorse for his actions and no recognition of or empathy for the victims, the children in the video. She described Wilson’s allocution as “selfish.”

“In his statement he mentioned how this case has affected him and did not mention once how others have been affected by this case,” Collins said outside the courthouse at an impromptu press conference. “Certainly the victims who were depicted in the video have been affected, but also his family, his loved ones have been affected by this and he did not apologize to a single one of them.”

Collins also said that Wilson’s defense tactic at trial to point to his son as the person who may have downloaded the child pornography should be considered an aggravating factor by Murray.

Defense attorney Hunter Tzovarras of Bangor urged the judge to sentence Wilson to probation rather than time behind bars.

Tzovarras said that Wilson’s lack of any criminal history, his past contributions to the community, his age — Wilson will turn 64 on Friday — and his need to care for his aging parents were reasons to sentence him to probation. The defense attorney also pointed to studies that have concluded first-time offenders in possession of child pornography cases are highly unlikely to reoffend.

Outside the courthouse, Tzovarras addressed Wilson’s statements to the judge about his son.

“Since Mr. Wilson went to trial, we’ve maintained that he did not commit this offense,” the defense attorney said outside the courthouse. “Our position was that Mr. Wilson was not the person who downloaded this material and in order to give him a fair and vigorous defense, we had to suggest other possible sources of the material.”

In sentencing Wilson, Murray said that she had not considered decisions about defense strategy at his trial. She also found no aggravating factors. As mitigating factors, she cited Wilson’s lack of criminal history, his history of community involvement and his care of his elderly parents.

Wilson was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in May 2012, a month before he was indicted by the Penobscot County grand jury, for his basketball feats at Bangor’s Husson College, now Husson University, where he graduated in 1974. That honor was revoked May 29, 2013, by the hall’s board of directors, according to a previously published report.

In addition to prison time, Murray sentenced Wilson to four years of probation.

He will remain free on $500 cash bail pending an appeal of his conviction and sentence to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

If the state’s high court upholds Murray’s decisions, Wilson would be given a date to report to the Penobscot County Jail to serve the sentence.

If his conviction were to be overturned, Wilson could be granted a new trial or the case could be thrown out. He most likely would be resentenced if the justices found Murray’s reasoning in deciding what sentence to impose flawed.

Wilson’s appeal is expected to take at least a year to resolve.

He faced up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 on the Class C crime. Wilson, who has no prior criminal record, will be required to register for life as a sex offender.

Child-porn mandatory sentence is 'unjust' for youth, US judge says in response to 2nd Circuit

Child-porn mandatory sentence is 'unjust' for youth, US judge says in response to 2nd Circuit
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A federal judge in New York is letting a federal appeals court know what he thinks of its decision to reverse his below-minimum sentence for a child pornography defendant who is 19 years old.

Senior U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein included his thoughts in an order requiring resentencing. “The effect of harsh minimum sentences in cases such as C.R.’s is, effectively, to destroy young lives unnecessarily,” he wrote. The mandatory five-year minimum is “unjust,” he said, and the case “exemplifies the sometimes unnecessary cruelty of our federal law.”

The New York Law Journal and the New York Daily News have stories; How Appealing links to the opinion (PDF) reversing Weinstein by the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and to Weinstein’s response (PDF).

Weinstein didn’t identify the youth by his full name, but the 2nd Circuit did in its opinion reversing the judge’s 30-month sentence as too lenient. He is Corey Reingold, who pleaded guilty to one count of sharing child pornography through a file-sharing program called GigaTribe. Reingold had admitted downloading “a ton” of child porn during a search of his home and had also admitted to sexual conduct with a minor who is a relative, the 2nd Circuit said.

Before accepting Reingold’s guilty plea, the 2nd Circuit said, Weinstein heard from experts on adolescent brain development and child sexual abuse, and traveled with prosecutors and defense counsel to a prison facility that offers sex offender treatment. Weinstein had sentenced Reingold in a 401-page opinion that found the five-year minimum was unconstitutional.

The 2nd Circuit reversed on Thursday, finding no Eighth Amendment violation. Weinstein fired back the same day in his order.

“There is a large span in the scale of defendants subject to anti-child pornography laws, from those most culpable who produce or arrange for this filth, to the passive adolescent who saves or automatically passes on what he observed through automatic file sharing, with no mens rea as to possible harm,” Weinstein wrote. “In imposing a sentence on individuals in the latter group—with no danger of acting out—a statutorily mandated five, ten, or fifteen year sentence plus post-prison lifetime restraints on where the defendant can live or work and with whom he can associate, is so unnecessarily destructive as to evoke the dread that the sentence itself constitutes a grave injustice—a sentence shockingly divergent from the American criteria for defensible penology.”

When Anyone Can End Up Being “A Child Pornographer”

When Anyone Can End Up Being “A Child Pornographer”
Pedophilia Laws Need Reform Written by Quinn Norton

Last year, Bitcoin had a bit of scare. It’s possible to include comments in the cryptocurrency’s indelible ledger, and someone had anonymously included links to child porn — an apparent attempt to legally poison the blockchain. In theory, it meant everyone with a bit of Bitcoin could have been accused of sexually exploiting children.
What this really tells us is that the laws around this sensitive and terrible issue are incoherent, and don’t help children.

Imagine this:

A teen girl going through puberty snaps four pictures of herself in four different underwire bras to share with her doctor. She’s recently become a D-cup and is struggling with back pain. She’s trying to figure out what kind of bra and what kind of posture will help. She uses her father’s photo management software on his computer to save the photos so she can take them in later to her doctor.

Her father is a geophysicist working with large sets of data and images. He has taken a portion of his work put it in a shared folder on the internet, so that other scientists can get access to the data. Without realizing it, his teen daughter has put her photos into a subfolder of his shared folder.

Another geologist reads a post on a small mailing list giving a link to the shared folder, and uses software that grabs everything and the subdirectories, storing them on his laptop for later use, on his way out the door. He leaves the country, attends a conference, does some field work, and quite sometime later returns. At this point he has not only not looked at the data, he has forgotten he has it on his laptop. As he re-enters the country, he’s pulled aside by CBP and asked to turn on and enter his password on his laptop. He does so. They copy the contents, and finding the pictures, turn the case over to a local prosecutor.

The geologist is charged with having child porn, his defense financially destroys him, he is painted to his community as a child molester, and eventually convicted and sentenced to 10 years.

This may sound crazy, but every part of it has already happened — just not together. Cases similar certainly have. Children have been accused of child porn for taking selfies in bras, people gathering datasets have ended up with illegal files they had no idea existed, and police have charged people based on unrelated searches, and put them in jail for material they didn’t know they had.

Child porn cases where someone provably has pictures of children are nearly impossible to fight. If I hated you, and I made a throw away mail account and sent you a file called “Very Important.pdf” but it was actually a .zip file of child porn, I could call the police and claim you had child porn in a disguised file — and that might well be enough to ruin your life, even if everyone involved was pretty sure you never even saw the pictures. Possessing child porn in digital form is against a law that isn’t realistic in the digital world.

It is upsetting to think that prosecutors are so inhuman and irresponsible as to charge people with crimes they know aren’t in the spirit of the law, but it happens every day. The career incentives are that investigations must lead to charges, and charges must lead to convictions. Prestige and pay are based on this, so once something is investigated prosecutors are motivated to make sure someone goes to jail. To let people ‘off the hook’ endangers one’s job, even if the reason to let them off is innocence. We can’t depend on prosecutorial judgment when we discuss the law.

Sexual exploitation of children is a horrible thing. But what the law describes as child porn and child porn related offences are often not sexual exploitation of children. Even when children are being sexually abused or exploited, the law and society usually respond terribly. Most laws around sex are in desperate need of reform, since they punish victims and dehumanize disadvantaged young people. But often the digital imagery of children which people have are just another set of digital sequences that wander around the net and get lodged where they don’t belong.

Right now, the law effectively treats every bit of crufty data, every teenage file system mistake or selfie indiscretion as if the possessor had abused the child themselves. This is insane, and it doesn’t help children — it distracts time and attention from the real ways children get hurt. The laws around digital possession are almost a lottery for ruining lives, which you enter by having an internet connected computer. Legal experts and legislators need to stop hiding from the risks of digital life and put their expertise towards fixing this.

Could Gold Medal Gymnast McKayla Maroney Face Child Pornography Charges?

Could Gold Medal Gymnast McKayla Maroney Face Child Pornography Charges?
By Lauren Walker

McKayla Maroney
McKayla Maroney of the U.S. celebrates with her silver medal in the women's vault victory ceremony in the North Greenwich Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 5, 2012. Brian Snyder/Reuters

A new “We the People” petition is asking that the Obama administration charge gold-medal gymnast McKayla Maroney with production or possession of child pornography because the recently leaked nude images of her were taken when she was underage. And it’s not as outlandish a request as you may think.

The U.S. Department of Justice defines child pornography as “any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor.” In an effort to protect children, Congress and state legislatures have cast a wide net, deeming production, possession or dissemination of child pornography illegal, regardless of who is responsible. If the average under-18 American is caught in a “sexting” scenario by law enforcement in most states, they could face these felony charges. If convicted, they would have to register as a sex offender.

And many teens have gotten trapped in this web. A quick Google search yields numerous examples, like the recent case of 17-year-old Virginia teen who was handed two felony charges—possession and manufacturing of child pornography—for sending his 15-year-old girlfriend an explicit video.

Newsweek Magazine is Back In Print

The case received public attention when Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Claiborne Richardson told the teen’s defense lawyer that her client must either plead guilty or police would obtain a search warrant to take pictures of his erect penis for proof. Prosecutors ultimately decided not to seek or use these images.

Though the teen was convicted of both charges, the judge said he would consider dismissing them if he stays out of trouble for a year. If the charges are not dismissed, he could be incarcerated until he is 21 and possibly remain on the sex offender registry for the rest of his life.

In a 2010 case, eight students from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, ages 13 to 17, were charged with possession of child pornography for sending nude photos to each other—and in one case a short video of oral sex. In another Pennsylvania case, three teenage girls sent nude selfies to three male classmates and all were charged with child pornography felonies.

And all of these minors are hardly alone in participating in underage sexting. According to a recent study from Drexel University, out of the 175 undergraduate students polled about their behavior as minors, 28 percent reported engaging in sexting that involved photos.

But Nancy Gertner, a retired federal judge and current faculty member at Harvard Law School said it is extremely unlikely that Maroney would get in trouble for these images: “Very rarely are these self-produced images being charged when they were made in consensual settings.”

Some states, feeling existing laws inadequately address the situation, have passed legislation targeting self-produced child pornography. But there has yet to be national movement for it. Australia, which has child pornography laws similar to those in the U.S., is leading the charge in the other direction. New legislation there calls for underage people who sext each other to no longer be charged with child pornography or put on the sex offender registry.

Court urges rewrite of child porn law

Court urges rewrite of child porn law
Gov. Martinez: Decision will put children at risk for more abuse
By Barry Massey

Associated Press
Posted: 04/21/2014 05:34:01 PM MDT

SANTA FE >> New Mexico's highest court on Monday overturned more than two dozen convictions in separate child pornography cases in a ruling that drew sharp criticism from Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, a former prosecutor.

The court said the defendants can be charged with only one felony count of possessing child pornography despite having many pornographic images of children.

The court said state law is unclear about the circumstances under which prosecutors can bring more than one charge against someone for possessing multiple pornographic images of children.

A Martinez spokesman, Enrique Knell, said the court's ruling "will place children at risk."

"Hundreds of children, including infants, can be repeatedly abused and exploited by these predators, with images and videos preserved on a single computer, and prosecutors should have the ability to charge those individuals with multiple crimes," Knell said in a statement. "This decision allows predators to victimize kids over and over again, for an extended period of time, without fear of additional jail time."

In issuing its 4-1 decision, the state Supreme Court recommended the Legislature rewrite the law against possession of child pornography.

The court, in separate cases from the Clovis area, said James Michael Olsson and William Ballard can each be charged with only one count of possession of child pornography.

Olsson pleaded guilty to six counts after initially being charged in 2005 with 60 counts and later having that increased to 152 counts. Authorities said he had photographs in three binders and images on a computer.

A jury convicted Ballard of 25 counts of child pornography possession in 2009, but the Court of Appeals later reduced the convictions to five counts. He had video files and digital photographs on a computer's external hard drive, authorities said.

Possession of child pornography is a fourth-degree felony, with convictions carrying a sentence of up to 18 months in prison.

However, the court's majority said state law doesn't clearly indicate the "unit of prosecution," such as whether there's a separate violation of the law for possessing each individual pornographic photograph or digital image of a child in a prohibited sex act.

Because state law is "insurmountably ambiguous," the court said it was applying the "rule of lenity" to decide the cases in favor of the two men and conclude that they could be charged with only one count of the crime — each count covering all of their pornographic images.

The justices recommended the Legislature change the law to reflect modern advances in technology that allow the electronic storage of large amounts of data and images.

The Court of Appeals had reduced Ballard's convictions to five — one for each time he used his computer to download pornographic video clips and photographs of children. The state Supreme Court rejected that reasoning, however.

Justice Edward Chavez disagreed with the court's majority decision and outlined his view of when prosecutors could bring multiple charges.

"I conclude that the unit of prosecution for possession of child pornography is based on the number of different child victims participating in distinct prohibited sexual acts, or the same child or children participating in distinct prohibited sexual acts," Chavez wrote in a dissenting opinion.

Under that interpretation of the law, Chavez wrote, a defendant could be charged with two counts of the crime for possessing a single computer storage device if it had images of the same child participating in a prohibited sexual act and other images depicting the child in a second sexual act.