April 16, 2011

Isn't this "kind of like sending Anthony Perkins to jail for killing Janet Leigh in the shower?"

No. It's like Anthony Perkins going to jail for harassing Janet Leigh after he pled guilty to avoid a trial for murder.

56 comments:

PETER V. BELLA said...

This guy was just plain stupid.

edutcher said...

Stupid is as stupid does.

Lem said...

Where is the ACLU when you need them?

Oh yea.. they probably busy looking for another cross at a Mohave desert war memorial.

Rick Caird said...

I still don't understand what the actual crime was. It is hard to argue this is child pornography after we have just seen the YouTube video of TSA fondling a 6 year old girl under the color of protecting us from terrorists.

KLDAVIS said...

Wouldn't Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition apply? Or, does the fact that these children actually exist distinguish the case?

Darleen said...

Ok, the "comedian" was stupid. But since when is "stupid" a criminal offense?

If I had been a parent of one of those kids, I would have been annoyed enough to complain to the school, but I would be horrified at this total misuse of law enforcement.

Yikes!

Hagar said...

I would think the actual crime was something related to privacy, or whatever, by publicizing a skit that the kids had not been acting in and had not given permission for their images to be used in.

It is difficult to relate the character of the offense to the character of the punishment.

Lucien said...

Hard to think of a greater abuse of prosecutorial discretion by anyone not named Nifong. There was no crime at all.

Only the risk of conviction on the child porn charge led to a plea.

If you think such a charge shouldn't be that scary, ask the McMartins and the Amiraults.

The name of the charging prosecutor should be widely publicized and reviled, so that any potential future employer can read all about it on Google, and make a choice based n their own discretion.

bagoh20 said...

There is something wrong with our system that seems to push people to plead guilty to things they never did to avoid being convicted of something worse they never did. This makes the legal profession look pretty barbaric, and it seems to happen a lot with people pleading guilty everyday to stuff everyone knows they didn't do. It's authoritarians abusing the people and the system.

Lem said...

There is something wrong with our system that seems to push people to plead guilty to things they never did to avoid being convicted of something worse they never did.

Its Orwellian.. plain and simple.

Darleen said...

publicizing a skit that the kids had not been acting in and had not given permission for their images to be used in.

Which, AFAIK, would call for a civil solution (e.g. take down the video... which did happen)

But criminal?!?

MadisonMan said...

So it is a crime to be stupid. We are all in trouble now.

What bagoh20 said, too.

David said...

The child porn accusation was totally off the wall, and almost certainly why he and his lap dog lawyer caved. A child porn accusation is destructive, regardless of whether there is a conviction. A conviction is basically a life sentence. Your life is ruined.

The greatest threat to individual freedom today is the power of tax supported prosecutors, all the way from Special Counsel hounding presidents to cases like this.

MarkG said...

He included children in a raunchy video. That's what the crime is.

Edward said...

In Althouse's analogy, did Perkins plead guilty to murder (not real) or a lesser offense of harassment, and if the latter was the harassment movie-acted or real?

Either way, unless the harassment was a real life (not movie-acted) prosecutable offense, legitimately charged, Perkins was railroaded.

The article doesn't seem to say whether Emory pled guilty to a lesser offense to avoid jeopardy for a greater offense or pled guilty to the greater offense knowing there would be lesser punishment, nor whether that greater or lesser offense was factually applicable to Emory's actions.

The Grand Inquisitor said...

I don't really see how he's even stupid. It's a bit of a tired prank, I guess, but it's used all the time.

Maybe there is some problem if you need permission to use the kids' images and he breached an agreement for doing so, but that's a minor, civil thing.

Sadly, his lawyer says this is a good deal. He needs a different lawyer. He needs to sue his current lawyer.

Also, what a waste of our money to jail this man, or bar him from being near children in the future. What a waste of prosecutorial discretion. I assume one of the kids' parents was connected somehow. So now the taxpayer are out tons of cash instead of this parent suing him in civil court (of course, he's judgment proof if he's poor).

MisterBuddwing said...

I recall an episode of "Gomer Pyle, USMC" (yes, I watched it when it was in prime-time on CBS so many years ago) in which some sleazy magazine photographer talks Gomer into posing, in uniform, for some harmless shots on the beach. Gomer signs a release, whereupon the photog, using impressive darkroom wizardry decades before PhotoShop, superimposes pictures of all these bathing beauties onto the shots of Gomer, making it looks like he's cavorting with them.

That, I think, is a more appropriate analogy - not all this Psycho stuff.

WV: mulare.

bagoh20 said...

If you were going to be wrongly convicted of something, which would you prefer, murder or any child sex charge? I wonder if pleading guilty to genocide would get you off the child molestation charge, cause I'd go for it. A mass murderer can visit the White House with honors, but a child molester?

Harry Phartz said...

The Missus and I are huge true crime addicts, and I really enjoyed The Girl in Hitchcock's Shower.

In this Youtube deal, there is no true crime. It's like synthetic or animated child pornography - i.e., sick and distasteful stuff to be sure, but no amimals were killed or abused in the making of this Pixar story.

G Joubert said...

We need to read and parse the Michigan child pornography statute they were threatening him with before criticizing the prosecutor for bringing the case or the defense attorney for calling the plea a good deal. This would appear to be the statute. I say the prosecutor could've made a colorable case.

If you dig into the story and follow the links you'll find the real problem --why he's getting jail time-- is because during the entire runup to sentencing, pre-sentencing investigation & report, etc., he never showed any remorse, never offered any apology, never even conceded he did anything wrong. That seemed to tick people off more at him.

Methadras said...

There is no fucking way this guy should be seeing jail time of any kind. He did NOTHING wrong. Literally.

Samuel Gonzalez said...

Wow, I don't see a crime other than bad jusgement or taste. But,even that would be a stretch.

The Last Tradition

Rose said...

He had no right to use any kids in his video without signed parental permission and model releases - ESPECIALLY when he altered the event, and ESPECIALLY when he altered it in that way.

Whether or not you agree with the sentence - this guy has problems, and you should be concerned that he swims in that sewer that considers this to be "acceptable" and not worthy of prosecution.

And he should be kept away from children If he finds this humorous, who knows what's next.

traditionalguy said...

Freedom of speech is an ideal that no one seems to really believe in so long as they are getting to hurt the Bad People. We have lost the freedoms we gained in the 1960 and 1970 to the new puritanical theocrats of humanism who are going for our jugular with made up Child Sex Crimes.

Coketown said...

Better throw the producers of Mysterious Skin in jail, too.

But leave Roman Polanski alone.

dbp said...

He had no right to use the kids for an alternate (or any)video, but this would seem more like a civil than criminal matter.

The parents should be able to sue, but this guy should not be treated like a criminal.

paul a'barge said...

The guy got off way too easy. Watch him in the future and see where his pedophile tendencies take him.

Come on. The guy's idea of funny is the singing of a dirty song to young children?

Oh. It was faked/edited? So that makes it less disgusting?

Do any of you have children? Are you watching them? Protecting them? Doing your freakin' job as parents? Or are your children out in the world surrounded by the likes of this mutt while you're on your laptop, ranting about this mutt's sentence?

Winning The Future (WTF)?

Oligonicella said...

paul a'barge --

"Do any of you have children? Are you watching them? Protecting them? Doing your freakin' job as parents? Or are your children out in the world surrounded by the likes of this mutt while you're on your laptop, ranting about this mutt's sentence?"

Winner of today's "Freaking out to make a bad point" award.

I have a kid and grand kids. This guy did a tasteless video with no actual child involvement.

Going on your rabidness, I'd say that mutt is better than you are.

Darleen said...

And he should be kept away from children If he finds this humorous, who knows what's next.

Oh.good.lord. You can't be serious, Rose. Like how many times have you watched Reefer Madness?

PaulV said...

Creative prosecution is similiar to creative accounting. Prosecutors get around the fact that statutory rape laws have been liberalized by charging offenders with child pronography for sending the unclothed pictures by internet of the girls who can leggaly consent to sex but are under the age of 16. Damn right people will plead to any thing to avoid being named sex offender.
By the way, Perkins got off on insanity plea so they could shoot Psycho II.

Hagar said...

Being a jerk is not a criminal offense.

However, misappropriating people's images, especially children's, and slander are civil offenses, and the parents were entitled to sue for damages on behalf of the children.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

@G Joubert

"...he never showed any remorse, never offered any apology, never even conceded he did anything wrong. That seemed to tick people off more at him."

Yes, the equivalent of being pulled over for speeding, mouthing off to the officer, and ending up spending the night in jail along with a litany of other offenses/equipment violations.

We all get humor, but what was this guy thinking? If he used my kid, too, I would insist he destroy/erase the edits at the very least. What he did was very stupid and he clearly did not consider the ramifications.

Eileen said...

Maybe I'm mistaken, but I was under the impression that a good deal of child pornography is actually photoshopped from images taken off the web.

Whether true or not, when you post your children's photos online, do you expect them to be used in that way? Does it bother you to know they could? What if you knew for sure they were? Why wouldn't the guy who made, and maybe even sold, the images, be criminally liable for engaging in child pornography? You really want to call that "free speech?"

I realize that's not exactly what this guy has done. But as a parent, if it were my child, I'd be sick, and prison and a lifetime of ostracizing would be too good for him.

Of course, Dukakis may have been more forgiving if it happened to his kids. Whatever.

I think this guy is a bum, and the offense is real.

WV: ocarthys -- a form of mccarthyism that deals with fear of child pornography. Go ahead, accuse me.

Saint Croix said...

I think the defense attorney should be disbarred. I think the prosecutor should be disbarred. This is an insane miscarriage of justice. All of these fuckwits swear an oath to follow the Constitution and this is indefensible.

Holmes said...

@Eileen- what you wrote was sick. I mean, people misquote people all the time and take their words and then make it look like they're threatening the President, so therefore your writing a comment is a crime. (That seriously makes as much sense as what you just wrote)

Robert Cook said...

"Ok, the 'comedian' was stupid. But since when is "stupid" a criminal offense?"

Ever since hysteria-driven waves of witch hunts over the last two decades or so in this country have sent many probably or certainly innocent people to prison for improbable or fantastic alleged crimes of pedophilia.

Now, in many states, or perhaps nationwide, laws have been passed such that one need not actually photograph children in sexual circumstances to be prosecuted for producing child pornography. One can be prosecuted, as this young man was, even for fabricated juxtapositions of children-or images of children, including drawings--with other images or in contexts of a sexual or implied sexual nature.

Saint Croix said...

I think we should prosecute the prosecutor and the defense attorney for contempt of court, maybe even suborning perjury. And if the judge is happy with this, lock his ass up, too. As far as I'm concerned, what they have done is the real criminal behavior. And they should not get away with it just because they are "doing their job." My ass they are.

tim maguire said...

Prof., this is a perfect illustration of why I side with you over Meade on the question of spending a million dollars to fight online child predators in Wisconsin.

They want us to picture John Wayne Gacy, but we're really talking about Evan Emory.

Robert Cook said...

"There is something wrong with our system that seems to push people to plead guilty to things they never did to avoid being convicted of something worse they never did. This makes the legal profession look pretty barbaric, and it seems to happen a lot with people pleading guilty everyday to stuff everyone knows they didn't do. It's authoritarians abusing the people and the system."

Um...this is the intrinsic nature of the system we have built over many years of "get tough on crime" election campaigns by politicos running for office, exploiting exaggerated fears by the populace of runaway crime, and by the ancillary removal from trial judges of the discretionary power to levy sentences appropriate and proportionate to the circumstances unique to particular cases. Judges may no longer judge, but are merely rubber stamps to the legislatures, handing out the sentences that are prescribed by law and which may not be mitigated by the judges even where they would wish to do so.

This is what we, the public, wanted and this is what we got. It does not "look pretty barbaric," it is, plainly, brutally barbaric.

That which has become the norm--police officers tasing citizens as offhandedly as sneezing; children being handcuffed and jailed for schoolroom disruptions, or tried "as adults" and sent to adult prisons; SWAT teams breaking into homes, committing assault and destroying property, disproportionate in many, if not most cases, to the circumstances that brought them to the homes to begin with--would have been national scandals 20 or 30 years ago, and would have ignited the fear and anger of the populace at a police state gone mad.

Today, such actions are ignored, laughed about, or applauded.

Nate Whilk said...

This guy gets threatened with a child porn conviction just for editing, but the adults involved in the "Single Ladies" performance with real, live dancing kiddies got NOTHING?

Ridiculous.

gs said...

1. bagoh20 said...There is something wrong with our system that seems to push people to plead guilty to things they never did to avoid being convicted of something worse they never did.

Among politicians, this is known as 'giving law enforcement the tools they need'.

2. Good to see the guy is going to prison. I've been worried that the budget crisis would impact that national treasure, the prison-industrial complex. Thank goodness the government remains committed to keeping America Number One is incarceration rate.

USA! USA! USA!

3. Our world leadership is no reason to get complacent. Way too many things that I disapprove of have not yet been turned into crimes and torts.

Palladian said...

I'd like to relish this rare opportunity to say: I completely agree with Robert Cook.

Think of the children!!! is one of the most effective tools to use when destroying people's lives and instituting the worst sort of "laws".

And now this guy may potentially be brutalized in prison for his "offenses" against the children!!!. But, of course, the kind of people who bay for the scalps of witches love that sort of extra-judicial punishment.

Palladian said...

You know, the children!!! can freely read this blog, with all its vile and offensive comments posted by people who use obscene language and discuss breasts, defecation, graphic details of gay sex, and all other manner of filth! It's like freely giving pornography to the innocent children!!! Everyone here, including the proprietor, should be arrested and executed!!!

J said...

Darleen gets it mostly raht, at least on this topic of overzealous prosecutors and krimefighters. It was stupid but not k-porn.

(That doesn't excuse Darleen's Ayn Randian delusions on most other topix tho)

gs said...

1. Palladian, I second your remark about brutalization in prison. In fact I excluded it from my previous comment because I couldn't formulate humor black enough to address it.

National disgrace.

2. "keeping America Number One is incarceration rate" -> "keeping America Number One in incarceration rate"

paul a'barge said...

@Darleen: Like how many times have you watched Reefer Madness?

Like, are you comparing pedophilia to marijuana?

Because if you are, you might want to make an appointment to have your morality-equivalence zone looked at. I think you have a problem.

Darleen said...

Darleen's Ayn Randian delusions

Oh fer cryin out loud. I'm not an Objectivist and I was a registered Libertarian for about 4 years.

Heavens! A belief in small government adhering to Constitutionally enumerated powers is Randian delusions? Belief that individuals are ends in themselves and not the means of other men is Randian delusions?

:::sigh:::

Darleen said...

Like, are you comparing pedophilia to marijuana?

Are you, like, saying bad comedy leads to pedophilia?

Maybe you can get an arrest warrant out on Sacha Cohen, you know, just to be safe before he does anything.

Darleen said...

Robert Cook

Is it really a case of "get tough on crime" or does the fact we have gone out of our way to emasculate the citizen by demonizing self-defense?

Or Lawsuit Lotteries by way of making a population timid in responding to petty incidents least they be sued into oblivion?

Or a whole generation or so propagandized that all sorts of behavior is never the responsibility of the person behaving badly and only Professionals should take care of it? <---Really, how else to explain the teachers who hid themselves in a closet while an eight year old had a tantrum and the police were called?

Skyler said...

Let's hope that this plea was part of a plan to lessen the punishment while at the same time preserving a right to appeal. He did preserve the right to appeal, didn't he? If not, I'd really wonder what kind of lawyer that is if he advised his client to plead guilty. I don't even understand what the charge could possibly be.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Methadras said...

Someone want to tell me what crimes this guy committed outside of poor taste and not good comedy? Is a public school not a public place? How then did this guy get permission to enter into a public school? Did he not get permission?

bagoh20 said...

According to this prosecution, Dave Chappelle should be in jail, since this video DOES use actual children and is pretty damned raunchy.

http://youtu.be/TZHTFsw2Eqg

Holmes said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDmJcDvaBGU&feature=player_embedded

The person who made this should clearly be jailed too. Such indecency.

Revenant said...

It is offensive that criminal charges were ever brought in the first place.

Oh well. Contemporary American society is completely insane where children are concerned.

Laika's Last Woof said...

The problem with defending this under the Ashcroft "work of art" exception is that the kids in the video are real.
How a pornographic video depicting real children is made is immaterial -- it is the finished product that matters. The "art exception" only applies when the children are fake -- not when the action is fake.
I do think the punishment is too severe. The letter of the law was violated, but the spirit of the law was, too, by the harsh punishment -- this guy was not a hard-core child pornographer, just very stupid and lacking good judgment. Making him go to trial would've sufficed to scare the crap out of him, and a fine would've been justice enough.

"... whereupon the photog, using impressive darkroom wizardry decades before PhotoShop, superimposes pictures of all these bathing beauties onto the shots of Gomer ..."
Unless Gomer himself was the "photog" your analogy fails. The comedian was not the hapless victim of someone else's editing prank.