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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Why are there NO Journalist doing investigative reporting about Child Porn to keep in check the Child Abuse Industry's Law Enforcement arm

Why are there NO Journalist doing investigative reporting about Child Porn to keep in check the Child Abuse Industry's Law Enforcement arm

In the Name of the Children: Stealing Our Freedom One Amendment at a Time

In the Name of the Children: Stealing Our Freedom One Amendment at a Time
Written by: Mike Privacy

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The above words are ones that all Americans should know by heart. They are the body and the text of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, from the Bill of Rights. These are the fundamental protections that we were all given more than 200 years ago by a group of extraordinary men from an extraordinary time, men who were able to rise above their own limitations and the partisan disputes of the day to craft a set of supplementary principles that made the original Constitution even stronger in its protection of our liberties. One of the primary reasons why the founding fathers found it necessary to add these additional guarantees was their fear that demagogic politicians might try to twist and manipulate any gaps or ambiguities in the Constitution to serve their own self-serving nefarious purposes.

Unfortunately, the founding fathers, in all of their wisdom, clearly underestimated the cleverness of the demagogues. Just this summer, a law emerged from committee in the House of Representatives that, if passed, will basically turn the Fourth Amendment into a quaint catch phrase with no relevance to life in a post-Constitutional twenty-first-century America.

Spinning the Spider Web

In a modern context, the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects certainly applies to online activities. The Internet is recognized by everyone as a private world where people have the right to protect their personal information, communications, and choices of reading material from prying eyes. This is the reason why there are passwords and anonymous usernames wherever we go, because it is a given that people do not want others to know what they have been doing when they are navigating through the virtual world from the privacy of their own computer in the sanctity of their own home.

But Congress, using the excuse that police departments and federal law investigative agencies need more access to the records of people’s Internet activity in order to effectively fight crime, is now trying to pass a new law that would force Internet providers to collect and preserve the personal information and web browsing history of every single man, woman, and child who uses the Internet for a period of one full year. The type of information that IPs would be required to save would include:
Phone numbers
Credit card numbers
Bank account numbers
Temporary IP addresses

The point of preserving all of this information would be so that law enforcement agencies could have access to it at any time of their choosing. Ostensibly, a person would have to be under investigation for a crime before such a demand could be legally made with respect to their personal Internet records. But it would take little more than a simple declaration from a law enforcement agency stating that someone was indeed under investigation to legitimize the seizing of personal information from an IP. Police departments and the FBI actually would not have to prove to anyone that a particular individual really was connected to something illegal. They only have to claim that this is the case, and the entire online history from the past year of the person they are allegedly investigating would automatically be made available for their scrutiny and perusal.

In an astonishing bit of chutzpah, the House sponsors of the bill have labeled it the “Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011.” It cannot be strongly enough emphasized, however, that this law is not aimed at individuals who are suspected of purchasing child pornography or of being involved somehow in that industry. Local, federal, and state officials would be able to seize all information retaining to the web activities of anyone identified as a person of interest in any criminal investigation, regardless of the crime involved. In fact, based on how broadly the law has been written and conceptualized, it appears that even attorneys litigating civil disputes involving “crimes” such as divorce or insurance fraud may be able to get access to this information.

Helping the Police?

Some might claim that searches and seizures of Internet records are not unreasonable when a person is suspected of criminal involvement. But there are already two laws on the books that help police investigating wrongdoers digitally: the Electronic Communication Transactional Act of 1996 and the Protect Our Children Act of 2008. The former requires IP’s to retain Internet records for up to ninety days when requested to do so by the authorities, while the latter makes it obligatory for Internet providers themselves to report any information they have that would suggest that one of their customers may have been visiting a site connected to child pornography.

With this new law, everyone will be subject to an invasion of his or her privacy based on the speculation that maybe someday all of us will commit some kind of crime. No one can guarantee that this information will be kept private when it is being preserved, nor can it be guaranteed that law enforcement agencies will always act responsibly when requesting access. Many critics of government and society have been subjected to police harassment in the past, and a law that is as broadly conceived as this one will make this kind of action much easier to get away with.

Protecting Our Children from State Despotism

The Fourth Amendment was added to the Bill of Rights because the founders wanted to make sure that the privacy of citizens could be protected from authorities who might be willing to sanction a trampling of people’s rights if they believed they were serving some “greater good.” Those who are behind the Protecting Children from Internet Pornography Act should be ashamed of themselves for hiding behind such an incendiary name that is clearly designed to manipulate emotions and intimidate civil libertarians who oppose this bill. But most importantly, their attempt to trash the spirit and the intent of the Fourth Amendment should be rejected and rejected forcefully. If this law is passed, it would give the government permission to violate our rights of privacy indirectly by allowing them to use Internet providers as unwilling proxies in their cynical and unconstitutional attempt to turn the United States into a society where Big Brother is always watching.

©2011 Off the Grid News

Outrageous: Homeland Security Raids Innocent Couple’s Home And Forces Woman To Strip Written by: Tara Dodrill

Outrageous: Homeland Security Raids Innocent Couple’s Home And Forces Woman To Strip

Written by: Tara Dodrill Current Events July 23, 2014
swat raid -- woman stripped
A Florida woman claims the Department of Homeland Security forced her to strip naked and then handcuffed her during a no-knock raid at dawn that turned up nothing and left them wondering the purpose behind the invasion.
According to Kari Edwards, she and her boyfriend were both forced to disrobe and were restrained for two hours while her house was searched by the SWAT team officers.
The early morning DHS raid reportedly occurred on June 10 just after 6 a.m., with a helicopter and an armored vehicle accompanying the SWAT team to the home, Edwards said. (Watch video below.) If the woman’s accounting of the incident is correct, her pet cat was deafened by the flash bangs used as her front door was smashed in.
“They busted in like I was a terrorist or something,” she told the Tea Party News Network. “An officer demanded that I drop the towel I was covering my naked body with before snatching it off me physically and throwing me to the ground. While I lay naked, I was cuffed so tightly that I could not feel my hands. For no reason, at gunpoint. Agents refused to cover me no matter how many times I asked. They spent about two hours trashing my house, even smashing clear glass shower doors and a vintage statue.”
Edwards was reportedly employed by the Department of Homeland Security in the past and stated during an interview that some of the men conducting the raid were from that agency. The Florida woman also maintains that when she asked why the raid was ordered and which agency they worked for, the men would only answer that they were “police.”
Edwards claims that the officers called her “retarded” and “stupid” for asking who they were. The former DHS worker and her boyfriend both said that the men conducting the raid wore multiple styles of uniforms.
The lingering smoke from the flash bang grenades also allegedly caused breathing troubles for Edwards’ boyfriend, who has asthma. Before leaving the property the DHS agents handed the woman a warrant signed by U.S. District Judge Jonathan Goodman. The warrant supposedly authorized the agents to search electronics and computers. Despite claims about alleged child pornography activity, none of the computers were reportedly seized from the home. The boyfriend fixes computers.
Rutherford Institute representative and constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead cited multiple incidents which led him to believe the Department of Homeland Security is a “beast that is accelerating our nation’s transformation into a police state through its establishment of a standing army, A.K.A. national police force.”
According to the most current statistics available, DHS employs 240,000 full-time workers and has an operating budget of about $61 billion.
“The DHS routinely hands out six-figure grants to enable local municipalities to purchase military-style vehicles, as well as a veritable war chest of weaponry, ranging from tactical vests, bomb-disarming robots, assault weapons and combat uniforms,” Whitehead said. “This rise in military equipment purchases funded by the DHS has, according to analysts Andrew Becker and G.W. Schulz, ‘paralleled an apparent increase in local SWAT teams.’ The end result? An explosive growth in the use of SWAT teams for otherwise routine police matters, an increased tendency on the part of police to shoot first and ask questions later, and an overall mindset within police forces that they are at war — and the citizenry are the enemy combatants.”
Surveillance camera footage from the home shows the agents arriving, but no other footage was recorded because a DVR was allegedly ripped out by the DHS agents.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Treating sex as dangerous is dangerous in itself. We need to be matter-of-fact about what is, after all, a fact of life, by Judith Levine

Treating sex as dangerous is dangerous in itself. We need to be matter-of-fact about what is, after all, a fact of life. Judith Levine

Again, there is danger, the mother of morality—great danger—but this time displaced onto the individual, onto the nearest and dearest, onto  the street, onto one's own child, one's own heart, one's own innermost secret recesses of wish and will.
 —Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil (1886)

This book, at bottom, is about fear. America's fears about child sexuality are both peculiarly contemporary (I am certain I would not have had the same troubles twenty-five years ago) and forged  deep in history. Harmful to Minors recounts how that fear got its claws into America in the late twentieth century and how, abetted by a sentimental, sometimes cynical, politics of child protectionism, it now dominates the ways we think and act about children's sexuality. The book investigates the policies and practices that  a f f e ct children's and teens' quotidian sexual lives—censorship, psychology, sex education, family, criminal, and reproductive law, and the  journalism and parenting advice that begs for "solutions" while exciting more terror, like those trick birthday candles that reignite each time you blow them out.

The architects and practitioners of all the above use the term child protection for what they do. But, as the stories of real children and families in this book show, they often accomplish the opposite. Indeed, the sexual politics of fear is harmful to minors.

Harmful to Minors, Judith Levine

Over ONE MILLION where is the Outrage

VOO-DOO LOGIC and logical fallacy;
F. Gillice

Over 500,000 children under five were killed during the first days of the Iraq war to date it is over ONE MILLION where is the outrage.  What is the US government doing?  They are arresting people here in the USA for doing NO HARM to a child, having NO CONTACT with a child, or NO child VICTIM where those arrested have their lives ruined with many committing suicide for ALLEGEDLY looking at a photo, video or both of someone a day shy of their 18th. birthday. The conviction rate is high over 95% and it cost over $32,000.00 per inmate/yr. of TAXPAYER dollars to house those imprisoned . That come to $258,048,000/yr and they been doing this for well over 15yrs. which now come to app. $3,870,720,000.00/yr of your TAXPAYER dollars this country doesn't have to house individuals that allegedly looked at a photo,video or both of what law enforcement calls a crime scene image in which the viewer causes NO HARM. Law enforcement says the person viewing underage medium is injuring the child in the photo video or both. Apply that VOO-DOO logic to say watching the twin towers collapse or photos of the 500,000 children under five killed in the first few days of the Iraq war over one million to date. Would you be complicit in those deaths? If you watched a youtube video of a store being robbed or bombs being dropped on a society are you then complicit of that crime and all those deaths as well? This is the VOO DOO logic law enforcement uses.

Most of the child pornography that is confiscated by law enforcement officials in the United States has been imported from foreign countries. (Taylor & Clemetson, 2001). Aficionados and vice cops concede that practically all the sexually explicit images of children circulating on the net are the same stack of yellowing pages found at the back of those X-rated shops, only digitized. These pictures tend to be twenty to fifty years old, made overseas, badly re-reproduced, and for the most part pretty chaste. That may be why federal agents almost never show journalists the contraband. When a journalist did get a peek at a stash downloaded by Don Huycke, the national program manager for child pornography at the U.S. Customs Service, in 1995, they were underwhelmed. Losing count after fifty photos, they put aside three that could be called pornographic; a couple of shots were of adolescents masturbating, half-dressed twelve-year-old spreading her legs in a position more like a gymnast’s split than split beaver. The rest tended to be like 15yo’s with a 1950s bob and a grin.

The promotion of exaggerated, or even false, ‘statistics’ on such issues is not a new phenomenon. However there appears to be a growing trend in the United States as well as the rest of the world giving new life to out of date statistics that have previously been found false or misleading. Many of these “statistics” originate from child abuse industry in the USA and UK. They need to keep the public scared in order to keep the tax dollars flowing increasing their funding by government and/or public donations in the name of the,”child”. 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.

Whenever somebody’s trying to scare me the question I ask myself who is benefiting from it, and in what way and how big is the danger more importantly is it really? Is it big, is it small, or is it just that they stand to benefit by making us scared? (The ‘Fear Industrial Complex’ How the Media, Government and Corporate America Bank on the Business of Fear”, John Stossel & Natalie D. Jaquez, ABC News 20/20, 23)

Kenneth Lanning former Supervisory Special Agent, Behavioral Science Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy remarked in April of 1992, about Child Sex Rings: A Behavioral Analysis For Criminal Justice states, “Some professionals (dealing with child sexual abuse) however, in their zeal to make American society more aware of this victimization, tend to exaggerate the problem. Presentations and literature with poorly documented or misleading claims about one in three children being sexually molested, the $5 billion child pornography industry, child slavery rings, and 50,000 stranger-abducted children are not uncommon. Isn’t the problem is bad enough? Why does Law Enforcement embellish logical fallacies coupled with Gothic Melodramas, false and misleading news conferences.

It’s not necessary to exaggerate the issue of child sexually abuse. Professionals those in Law Enforcement and the social sciences should cite reputable and scientific studies noting the sources of information. Real science demands child abuse industry professionals use real science and not some rehashed paper thrown together quoting cohorts with a publish or perish mentality perpetuating the golden egg they made for themselves. While everyone was out working hard trying to provide for there families the child abuse industry along with their lobbyists snuck in the back door infiltrating that which they can not derive from the voter. They put in motion using the federal government one of the biggest grabs for tax dollars in recent times all using the currant, “child abuse” rhetoric. What happened? The masses fell for it including the USA’s Supreme Court hook line and sinker without even a question because it is about,”The Children”. When the exaggerations and distortions are discovered, their credibility and the credibility of the issue are lost.

Our society remains unwilling to make sexuality part of a comprehensive health education program in the schools. The idea that curious, young or old minds are vulnerable to bad thoughts, which may lead to bad acts is the founding principle of obscenity law. Society driven by logical fallacies spread by the child abuse industry remains at a high alert status and is anxious to the point of hysteria about young people and sex. Our public health policy concerning sexuality education appears to be ideologically motivated rather than empirically driven. This paper is about fear; America’s fears about child sexuality. The architects and practitioners of oppression use the term, “child protection” for what they do; However I have found the opposite to be true, because the sexual politics of fear is harmful to those under 18. This is not a new phenomenon back in 1868, an English anticlerical pamphlet called The Confessional Unmasked
was deemed obscene and punishable because its text might, “suggest to the minds of the young of either sex, and even to persons of more advanced years, thoughts of a most impure and libidinous character.” (Marjorie Heins, INDECENCY: The Great American Debate over Sex, Children, Free Speech, and Dirty Words, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Monograph Paper #7, 1997, 4)

Witch hunts alchemized the pornography scare which later became a more general panic over child sexual abuse with NO empirical evidence to support their claims. Radical Right Feminist, right wing fears and worries about children’s vulnerability to adult sexual desire has reified the therapy and child abuse industry’s. They have taught themselves to uncover abuse in every female patient’s past; It’s very lucrative. They saw profanity in the form of abortion, divorce, homosexuality, premarital teen sex, and sex education everywhere encroaching on sanctity. To them, it made sense that adults, with Satan as chief gang-banger, were conspiring in, “rings” to rape innocent children. Such myths have survived because they are useful for the left as well as for right conservative and patriarchal agendas. Republican crime bills have been indicting and sending innocent and victimized children to trial as adults tossing who are their most powerful weapon; However the right increasingly draws on a vocabulary of child protection as the bulwark of their campaign against multiculturalism, feminism, Internet expression and queer politics. The negate any meaningful political response to this conservative agenda which must reassess childhood innocence.

Curiosity energizes and ennobles. Thoreau said, “The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.” Listening lifts people. Curiosity keeps people coming back whether there is a new gadget or not, because they know they might learn something new. Law Enforcement has learned from the social sciences on how to cultivates curiosity which make their, “child porn pull marketing”work. Curiosity keeps people engaged long after Law enforcement present their daily, “Gothic melodramas”where prosecutors and agents stand behind a podium all lined up in front of the camera and plastered on the front page of the news papers. There they demonize child porn and connect you to their pedophile drama while pretending to shut it down. They providing a person not just titillation but assurances by them they are our righteousness protectors. A curious person would want to find out more because thats human nature and they know it.

According to police files, 95% of allegedly abducted children turn out to be “runaways and throwaways” from home or kids snatched by one of their own parents in divorce custody disputes.(. Laliberte, “Missing Children,” 77.) Studies commissioned under the Missing Children’s Assistance Act of 1984 estimate that between 52 and 158 children will be abducted and murdered by non family members each year. Extrapolating from other FBI statistics, those odds come out between 1 in 364,000 and fewer than 1 in 1 million.(According to the FBI, “classic” abductions, in which a child is taken by a nonfamily member more than fifty miles from home, held overnight, and ransomed or murdered, number two hundred to three hundred annually, or 1 child in every 230,000 (as of 1997).) A child stands a greater risk of dying in a car accident: 25% to 75% times greater.

A pedophile,” depending on the legal statute, the perception of the psychologist, or the biases of the journalist, can be anything from a college freshman who has once masturbated with a fantasy of a twelve-year-old in mind to an adult who has had sexual contact with an infant.(. Marina Warner, “Little Angels, Little Monsters,” in her Six Myths of Our Time (New York: Vintage Books, 1994)) Pedophiles are not generally violent, unless you are using the term sexual violence against children in a moral, rather than a literal, way. Its perpetrators very rarely use force or cause physical injury in a youngster. (. John D’Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman, Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America (New York: Harper and Row, 1988), 12-14, 43.)

Nine in forty five million children are raped and murdered: slim odds, sure, but if it happens to your baby, who cares about the statistics? Our culture fears the pedophile, say some social critics, not because he is a deviant, but because he is ordinary and I don’t mean because he is the ice-cream man or Father Patrick ONeil. No, we fear him because he is us.

Literary critic James Kincaid traced this terror back to the middle of the nineteenth century. We relish our erotic attraction to children, says Kincaid (witness the child beauty pageants in which JonBenet Ramsey was entered). but at the same time we also find that attraction abhorrent in which I believe we have become Congnative dissonant. This being a direct result of miss information perpetuated by Law Enforcement, government and the media who fail to go after the truth and more or less collude. (like what we witnessed in public shock and disgust at JonBenet’s “sexualization” in those pageants).

So we project that eroticized desire outward, creating a monster to hate, hunt down, and punish. (. James R. Kincaid, Child-Loving: The Erotic Child and Victorian Culture (New York: Routledge, 1992); and James R. Kincaid, Erotic Innocence: The Culture of Child-Molesting (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1998)).

Herman’s work was at the front edge of a horrifying suspicion, the truth of which is now firmly established. Even if child-sex crimes against strangers are rare, incest is not. Like pedophilia, it’s hard to say how common it is, since incest figures are almost as mud died as those of adult-child sex outside the family. On one hand, child abuse statistics are notoriously unreliable; for example, of the 319,000 reports of sexual abuse of children in 1993, two-thirds were unsubstantiated.( National Incidence Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect, vol. 2 (Washington, D.C.: Department of Health and Human Services, 1993))

When child pornographers first came to public light in 1976, researchers found them to be feeble beast and an even worse businessman. In fact, they were almost bankrupt. Raids aimed at cleaning up Times Square for the Democratic Convention uncovered only a minuscule cache of kiddie porn. (Lawrence Stanley, “The Child Porn Myth,” Cardozo Arts and Entertainment Law Journal 7 (1989): 295-358) But those few stacks of dusty, decades-old black and white rags, already illegal, were enough to launch a crusade. A child psychiatrist, Judianne Densen-Gerber, who founded the drug rehabilitation empire Odyssey House in New York led the team that would epitomize the anti CP forces. Joined by a vice cop, Sergeant Lloyd Martin, of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Agencies of government eliminated and collected child pornography from the private sector. Now Law Enforcement agencies have become the sole reproducers and distributors of child pornography where virtually all advertising, distribution, and sales to people considered potential lawbreakers is being done by the federal government, in sting operations against people who have demonstrated through, for instance, membership in what agents regard as a predisposition to commit a crime. Thought crimes!!

Instead of indicting our Monday night football buddies, rather than indict the family, though, we circle the wagons and project danger outward. “Screen out anyone who might be damaging to your child. Whenever possible, assume childcare responsibilities,” the FBI’s Kenneth Lanning advised the readers of Life Magazine; “Tell your kids that if an adult seems too good to be true, maybe they are.”(. Jennifer Allen, “The Danger Years,” Life, July 1995, 48.) During the 1960s and 1970s, sex panic gave way to sexual liberation, including, for a brief moment, the notion that children had a right to sexual expression. “Sex is a natural appetite,” wrote Heidi Handman and Peter Brennan in 1974, in Sex Handbook: Information and Help for Minors. “If you’re old enough to want to have sex, you’re old enough to have it.”. (Heidi Handman and Peter Brennan, Sex Handbook: Information and Help for Minors (New York: Putnam, 1974))

Capitol Punishment: The Troubling Consequences of Federal Child Pornography Laws

Capitol Punishment: The Troubling Consequences of Federal Child Pornography Laws
Capitol Punishment: The Troubling Consequences of Federal Child Pornography Laws



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lost in the System by, The accidental felon (

Lost in the System
by, The accidental felon (
It seems like virtually every week there’s another case of prosecutorial misconduct that gains national attention in the media.”[1]

 - Cardozo Law Professor Ellen Yaroshefsky

Were it simply a matter of law, I believe that I could still be exonerated. The law is very specific: Unintentional, “accidental” contact is, by definition, not illegal. With no sexual interest in children or child pornography and no deliberate activity, I’ve always believed myself morally innocent of the crime. And now that I understand what the law says I know that I am legally innocent as well, an understanding which has given me hope through this horrible time. 

But ironically, this liberating knowledge actually adds to my despair: Innocence means little in today’s legal climate and is no guarantee of vindication and freedom. As an example, consider the recent situation where prisoners were found to be legally innocent of the crime which sent them to prison.[2]The Justice Department refused to even consider their release until the cases were publicized by USA Today and championed by the ACLU. In fact, prosecutors actually argued that the prisoners should be kept locked up, for crimes they had not committed, merely because of “procedural issues,” a stance that says a great deal about the one-way, “conveyor belt to conviction” mentality of the Justice Department—which didn’t even want to tell the prisoners they were innocent.[3]

I suppose it’s a kind of comfort to realize that fate didn’t single me out for abuse; my experience is, sadly, all too common. Being vulnerable to unexpected or even undeserved prosecution is part of the price one pays for living in America today. (See, for example, the stories and facts in “A Sewage Blunder Earns Engineer a Criminal Record” in the Wall Street Journal.[4])

Trivializing the law by turning it into “Aha!” moments against the careless or unwary does nothing about the problems that the statutes were written to solve: the actions of those who “consciously and deliberately” engage in the crime, the “only” ones the law was meant to punish.[5]Harvard Law Professor William Stuntz confirms that “Punishment deters crime only if crime, not innocence, receives punishment.”[6]

Federal prosecutors are supposed to seek justice, not merely score convictions,” say the authors of a USA Today report[7]which uncovered hundreds of examples of malfeasance and abuse of power. Their six-month investigation, which revealed a “pattern of serious, glaring misconduct,” showed that instead “prosecutors have repeatedly violated that duty in courtrooms across the nation.” Some of those abuses put innocent people in jail.

Prosecutors are now “part of a culture in which winning the case [is] the primary operative motive,” according to investigators for the U.S. Senate.[8] The Northern California Innocence Project released its own study documenting hundreds of other instances of judicial misbehavior by state and federal attorneys. “Prosecutorial misconduct is a serious problem,” said project director Kathleen Ridolf. “Prosecutors know...they can commit misconduct with impunity.”[9]

Professor Yaroshefsky, speaking before a national panel specially convened to address such misconduct, stated, “We do know we have a serious problem.”[1] The public, too, is growing increasingly aware of prosecutors’ lack of accountability. The media is full of stories of misbehavior, from the breathtakingly “illegal” actions of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens’ conviction[8]to the clueless DA who can’t understand why a woman who claims to have been falsely convicted of manslaughter won’t stop clamoring for justice, repeatedly suing the courts to have her case reexamined. She’s served her time. When does this end?” complained District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III, apparently forgetting that for a person unjustly convicted of a crime, the answer is “never.”[10]

Let’s be clear—government prosecutors are partisans in the criminal justice system,” says Erik Luna, himself a former state prosecutor. “Although charged to ‘do justice’ they often seem preoccupied in an occupation in which job performance is typically evaluated by conviction rates.”[11] Prosecutors are the A+ students. They’re not used to losing,” says Loyola law professor Laurie Levenson.[7] Joel Rudin, a practicing defense lawyer for nearly twenty-five years, says, “Prosecutors hold all the cards and the opportunities for success are so small. It’s become nearly impossible to fight the system.[12]

Prosecutors not only hold all the cards, they are typically convinced of a moral infallibility which justifies nearly any action. “Prosecutors think they are doing the Lord’s work and that they wear the white hat. When I was a prosecutor I thought everything I did was right,” says Jack Wolfe, a former federal prosecutor in Texas and now a defense lawyer. “So even if you got out of line, you could tell yourself you didn’t do it on purpose or that it was for the greater good.”[7]

All this conviction-driven activity has a predictable result: Arrest and imprisonment have become dominant factors in American life, touching nearly everyone. Three million people—one in every hundred—are now behind bars, and one out of every fifteen Americans will be at some point in their lives. At present one person in every thirty-five is on some form of “supervised release” (probation).[13][14]

We are a nation of inmates compared to the rest of the world. With only five percent of the world’s population we have twenty-five percent of the world’s prisoners, a higher percentage of our citizenry than the “repressive” countries of Russia, Iran, Cuba, or Communist China.[15][16] Prisons are full of people who had no intention of breaking the law,” say Roberts and Stratton, who conclude that “American jails are overflowing because almost everyone indicted is convicted.”[17]

Senator Jim Webb, who has studied the problem extensively, laments, “Either we are the most evil people on earth or we are doing something very wrong.”[14] Just the titles of the books I’ve been quoting are enough to describe the disturbing reality of contemporary judicial process:

The Collapse of American Criminal Justice[6]
Constitutional Chaos: What Happens When the Government Breaks Its Own Laws[18]
Go Directly to Jail: The Criminalization of Almost Everything[11]
The Tyranny of Good Intentions: How Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice[17]
Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent[19]

These books weren’t written by cranks, crackpots or “black helicopter” nutjobs but by respected law professors, a former Cabinet official, a judge, the former head of the ACLU and even ex-prosecutors. Despite their substantial political differences, they all agree: the administration of justice has gone seriously awry. Senator Webb says, “America’s criminal justice system has deteriorated to the point that it is a national disgrace.”[14]

Professor Stuntz says plainly, “America’s criminal justice system is badly broken” and explains one reason why:
Guilty pleas and the quick bargains that precede them have become the system’s primary means of judging criminal defendants’ guilt or innocence. Given the quick-and-dirty character of the bargains, the judging is bound to be done badly.” With nearly all federal prosecutions ending in pleas, he writes that the lack of careful investigation “virtually guarantees that a significant number of innocent defendants are pressured to plead to crimes they did not commit.”[6] A defendant’s ‘guilt’ is, more often than not, preordained by the grand jury’s indictment,” says Federal Judge John L. Kane.[20] Merely being accused of a crime is enough to be convicted and imprisoned.

In theory, our legal system functions on “due process,” rules about the way things are supposed to be done. Defendants have rights, including what the Supreme Court has called “an overriding presumption of innocence,”[21]which touches not just the trial, but all stages of the criminal proceeding—including the decision of whether to prosecute at all.

But in practice, these protections of rights and due process become meaningless if a defendant can be tricked, threatened, or otherwise coerced into pleading guilty to a crime he didn’t commit.
Stuntz notes that “The various trial rights the Constitution guarantees apply only to defendants who take their cases to trial. Guilty pleas waive those rights, and the state is free to use even extortionate threats to induce pleas.”[6]
The parallels to my case are dismayingly exact. I was subjected to apathy, incompetence, lies and threats in order to get me to agree to a plea. The protections of due process and defendant’s rights—including the right to understand the decisions I was compelled to make—were ignored in favor of manipulation and trickery intended to goad me blindly down the path to prison.
In theory I should have been presumed innocent and my explanation accepted as truth until disproved by actual evidence, instead of speculation and wishful thinking. With all the evidence pointing to innocence and no proof of guilt I shouldn’t have been charged with the crime.

But in practice prosecutors didn’t have to bother about the lack of evidence or proof; even without it, they knew they could easily bully me into pleading guilty. The standards of presumption of innocence and properly-handled investigation were discarded as detrimental to the overriding need to get the conviction. Evidence favorable to me was withheld or ignored; my actions misrepresented and inflated to serve the prosecution.

I never meant to acquire child pornography and have always denied any such intention. There is no evidence to show that I deliberately did so. But this lack of intent, specifically addressed by the law, was rendered irrelevant by my coerced plea; the meaning of the law neutered by opportunism and a disregard for the truth. 

The Supreme Court makes it plain: “The purpose and obvious effect of doing away with the requirements of guilty intent is to ease the prosecutor’s path to conviction.”[21] Laws were not written to make “accidental felons.” They were written to protect society and punish the guilty. But “nowadays if you get caught up in the criminal justice system they’re gonna take a piece of your ass—one way or another,” according to former Manhattan prosecutor Hugh H. Mo.[12]

Once a year a neighbor or a friend or someone I know will come up to me and say their son or daughter or their co-worker got arrested,” says defense attorney Diamuid White.[12]“And they will invariably say they can’t believe how they were treated. It’s always someone who’s pro-police and pro-law-and-order—until it comes home and they see how things actually work. They’re always shocked.”

What a nightmare:
  • To be charged with a crime that hadn’t even occurred to you to commit;
  • To have the tools of your life, your memories and career stripped away, making your existence precarious and empty;
  • To be arrested, publicly humiliated, abandoned and immediately presumed guilty by everyone of the worst kinds of crimes;
  • To be tricked by your own attorney into assisting the prosecution;
  • To be given a brutally long sentence after a contradictory and ineffectual pretense of a defense;
  • To be cheated out of your opportunity to appeal;
  • To then finally discover, in prison, that you didn’t actually break the law; that you were merely a powerless, manipulated scapegoat for a conviction-driven system whose own investigator reported evidence that you were innocent of your charge.

How would you feel about it?
What would you do?

1. a b Helen W. Gunnarsson, “Panelists Examine How Prosecutors Can Be Held Accountable for Misconduct,” Bloomberg BNA Criminal Law Reporter (Vol. 91, No. 19, p. 677), 15 August 2012
2. Brad Heath, “Locked Up But Innocent,” USA Today, 14 June 2012
3. See also Beth Schwartzapfel, “No Country for Innocent Men,” Mother Jones Magazine, January/February 2012
4. Gary Fields and John R. Ershwiller, “A Sewage Blunder Earns Engineer a Criminal Record,” The Wall Street Journal, 12 December 2011
5. “Child Pornography, the Internet, and the Challenge of Updating Statutory Terms,” Harvard Law Review, Vol.122:2206, 2208-2211, 2009
6.a b c d William J. Stuntz, The Collapse of American Criminal Justice (Belknap Press/Harvard, 2011)
7.a b c Brad Heath and Kevin McCoy, “Prosecutor’s Conduct Can Tip the Scales,” USA Today, 23 September 2010
8. a bKevin Johnson, “Prosecutor’s Conduct Illegal,” USA Today, 29 March 2012
9. Brad Heath and Kevin McCoy, “Prosecuting Offices Immunity Tested,” USA Today, 6 October 2010
10. Thomas J. Prohaska, “Convicted of Homicide but Convinced of Justice,” Buffalo News, 8 February 2012
11. a b Gene Healy (editor), Go Directly to Jail: The Criminalization of Almost Everything (Cato Institute 2004)
12.a b c Craig Horowitz, “The Defense Rests—Permanently,” New York Magazine, 4 March 2002
13. “Too Many Laws, Too Many Prisoners,” The Economist, 22 July 2010
14.a b c Senator Jim Webb, “What’s Wrong With Our Prisons?” Parade Magazine, 29 March 2009
15. Adam Gopnik, “The Caging of America,” The New Yorker Magazine, 30 January 2012
16. Fareed Zakaria, “Incarceration Nation,” Time Magazine, 22 April 2012
17. a b Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence M. Stratton, The Tyranny of Good Intentions: How Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice(Random House Inc., Three Rivers Press, 2008)
18. Andrew P. Napolitano, Constitutional Chaos: What Happens When the Government Breaks Its Own Laws (Thomas Nelson, 2006)
19. Harvey A. Silverglate, Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent (Encounter Books, 2011)
20. US v. Vanderwerff, US Dist Ct Colorado, 2012 US Dist LEXIS 89812, No. 12-cr-00069 (June 28, 2012)
21.a bUS v. Morrissette, 342 US 246, 96 L Ed 288, 72 S Ct 240

Failure to DEFEND by, The accidental felon (

Failure to DEFEND
by, The accidental felon (
While a criminal trial is not a game in which the participants are expected to enter the ring with a near match in skills, neither is it a sacrifice of unarmed prisoners to gladiators.”
US v Twomey; 510 F 2d 634, 640 (2nd Cir., 1975)

The public defender:
  • Neglected to explain the nature of the “knowingly receiving” charge, and ignored the ramification of “intent” contained in the statute, even after my behavior was explained to her;
  • Failed to challenge the Presentence Report despite my objections, instructing me instead to write a legally-useless letter to the Judge, telling “my side of the story;”
  • Insisted on an immediate acceptance of the plea and appearance at a plea hearing despite knowing I was suffering severe prescription antidepressant withdrawal;
  • Failed to correctly describe the plea agreement as a negotiable contract, instead presenting it as an “all or nothing” deal and threatening me with a sentence of 45 years if I refused it as offered;
  • Presented me with a single plea page to sign, rather than going over the agreement point-by-point as she was ethically bound to do. Instead, she assured me, in my depressed withdrawal, that there was “no point” in reading it, thereby concealing the fact that the plea specified an 8-to-10 year sentence instead of the 5-year sentence she’d promised if I signed;
  • Filed a sentencing memorandum that merely described the escalating punishments for child pornography, which not only failed to describe my actions, circumstances or state of mind but didn’t even mention me by name.

The court-appointed attorney:
  • Changed his advice completely, from recommending a withdrawal of the plea at our first meeting to enthusiastically endorsing it at our second. Like the public defender, he threatened me with an increased sentence if I challenged it in any way;
  • Advised me to agree to the charge of receiving as stipulated by the plea, incorrectly assuring me it was possible to get a lower sentence if I did so;
  • Failed to challenge the PSR’s factual errors, including important computer issues, despite being fully aware of their implications;
  • Misrepresented the sentence demanded by the receiving charge, telling me it carried no mandatory minimum, though it does, thereby falsely justifying keeping the plea;
  • Arranged for a psychosexual examination he’d claimed was worthless instead of the supposedly-more relevant one on which we’d agreed;
  • Dismissed the psychologist at a critical moment during sentencing, allowing the prosecution to impugn both the psychologist’s credentials and the report’s favorable findings without any effective rebuttal;
  • Stopped visiting or consulting with me over two months before the sentencing hearing. During that time he set his phone to reject my calls from jail, despite many unresolved issues and questions.
  • Withheld the published article (the original “letter”) from the Judge against my instructions, despite his assurances to me that it would serve to mitigate the errors in the PSR;
  • Neglected to write a personalized, relevant sentencing memorandum to replace the generic one written by the public defender, or in any way address my unique circumstances and behavior as required by 3553(a) law;
  • Failed to get defense material to the Judge within the expected timeframe, forcing the Judge to make a hasty assessment of the material;
  • Advised me, during sentencing, to lie to the Court; 
  • Stopped me from recanting my lie when the Judge offered me an opportunity to do so;Claimed, during sentencing, to have discussed with me a motion to withdraw the guilty plea, when in fact the motion was:
            a) filed by the public defender, not the court-appointed attorney, and not filed until six full days after I’d moved to
fire her, and it was;
            b) immediately rendered null and void by her subsequent dismissal. Not only did the attorney have no control over the motion, he’d never discussed it with me as an option at all;
  • Failed to cite, as required by law, the precedent set by the resentencing of “Mr. E,” even though a comparison of our respective behaviors would have been critically instructive and highly relevant to my case;
  • Refused to visit me after sentencing to explain my options; 
  • Denied me my right to appeal, or respond to the Court through an Anders brief; (My plea contains no waiver of any such rights.)
  • Ignored my repeated registered mail requests for the files which would enable me to pursue my own defense, thereby actively hindering my ability to do so;
  • Misrepresented the law in an attempt to excuse his behavior and prevent me from pursuing further legal action.