Force people to watch 8 hours of urination, vomiting, and violent sex at Guantanamo Bay, and you're a war criminal. Force them to watch it in the Tampa Federal Courthouse, and you're a hero.
The St. Petersburg Times reports on a federal obscenity prosecution that resulted in conviction yesterday.
Twelve federal jurors drew the line Thursday for Tampa Bay area residents, saying the graphic and violent films of a Hollywood pornographer are unacceptable in their community.
They reached that decision after watching 81/2 hours of extreme pornography on a giant screen in court. At times, they winced as an adult film producer who calls himself Max Hardcore performed in scenes that included urinating, vomiting and violently dominating women.
After nearly two weeks of trial and roughly 12 hours of deliberation, jurors decided what they had seen went beyond the Tampa Bay region's community standards.
They convicted the actor and producer, whose real name is Paul F. Little, 51, of Altadena, Calif., and his company, MaxWorld Entertainment Inc., of 10 counts of selling obscene material on the Internet and 10 counts of shipping it to Tampa through the U.S. mail.
Though he resides and works in California, Little was prosecuted in Florida on the grounds that a company to which he sold his smut mailed it to Tampa, and because he'd once contracted with a company that had servers physically located in Florida to rent server space for porn sites. The real reason for the prosecution in Florida, of course, was that the Justice Department deemed it easier to convict in the Sunshine State than in the land of fruits and nuts, where they could just as easily have pursued this.
I don't condone the sort of raunch Paul Little produces at all. It sounds disgusting, but this case illustrates the difficulties, legal, political and moral, of prosecuting people for producing a product which is consumed in the home and degrades no one but the consumer. Tampa, which contains about sixty strip clubs and porn outlets, would seem to have no community standards as far as what counts as obscene. And while rhetoric like this from Little's defense attorney:
"We think it is a sad day for the First Amendment," said defense attorney H. Louis Sirkin. "We believe in freedom of speech, and this is a setback."…
Sirkin said those in the adult entertainment industry are "soldiers" in the battle to protect freedom of speech. "The soldiers have been wounded," he said. "It is not a permanent injury. It's an injury we believe will be healed."
would seem more appropriate for a James Joyce or D. H. Lawrence than a guy who makes vomiting videos, why does the federal government give a damn about this? Apart from perhaps the cast and the consumers of Little's videos, no one is injured or degraded, and as for the cast and crew they're doing it by choice.
It would seem the real victims here are the twelve jurors (plus alternates) who were subjected to the assault of watching this stuff without their consent, and the taxpayers who are footing the bill for it.
Via How Appealing