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November 5, 2010

"Former lawmaker gets 5 years for child porn"

The title of this post is the headline of this AP article about a New Jersey state child porn sentencing decision, which gets started this way:

A former Democratic state assemblyman who championed legislation to fight child pornography was sentenced Thursday to a five-year term for viewing nude images of underage girls.

The state Corrections Department will decide within 10 days whether Neil Cohen, 59, will serve his term in prison or a mental hospital. He could be eligible for release and placed under intense supervision in several months. Cohen represented Union County for 17 years. He resigned from the legislature after his July 2008 arrest.

Appearing pale and unsteady, Cohen did not speak during sentencing. His lawyer, Mark Tuohey, told the judge Cohen has been suicidal and has chronic depression, among other mental-health issues. He has been hospitalized for months, Tuohey said.

Judge Gerald Council imposed the sentence in Mercer County Superior Court. "This is a sad day," the judge said. "But for this incident, he had an unblemished record."

Cohen pleaded guilty in April to endangering the welfare of a child (distribution of child pornography). The five-year term was negotiated as part of the plea. The former lawmaker admitted viewing images of young girls on computers in his legislative and law offices.

Anthony Picione, the deputy attorney general who prosecuted the case, said 34 images of girls in stages of undress were found on the computers. Authorities matched some of the images to photos on the list of Missing and Exploited Children, he said.

November 5, 2010 at 06:54 PM | Permalink

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"He resigned from the legislature after his July 2008 arrest."

Was the defendant a sitting legislator at the time of the viewings? Was he engaged in legislative fact finding? What is his defense attorney doing?

This result is promising for the advocacy of demanding total e-discovery of all federal prosecutors and judges by innocent defendants. The government is the biggest downloader and purchaser of this material. If found on a government or private computer subject to e-discovery, the prosecutor can explain this material to the FBI. To deter.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Nov 5, 2010 7:46:01 PM

For his role as a hypocritical, grandstanding, d-bag legislator (overcriminalizing conduct he engages in himself) he deserves five years in prison.

But imprisoning anyone for five years for merely viewing and printing a few copies of contraband pictures is monstrous. It's over-punishing people because we can.

Characterizing what Cohen did as "distributing" dishonestly exaggerates the facts to falsely suggest to the outside world that he was in the child-porn business...as opposed to just being a tormented old bald dude with pathetic but apparently harmless compulsions.

There's something dark and sinister about those who harshly punish victimless human weakness and pathology as if it were evil. Yes, I said victimless, all the silly, elaborate, byzantine, imaginative attempts to contrive the illusion of victimization notwithstanding.

Posted by: John K | Nov 6, 2010 3:08:36 PM

John K --

"For his role as a hypocritical, grandstanding, d-bag legislator (overcriminalizing conduct he engages in himself) he deserves five years in prison."

I had been under the impression that a person, whether or not a "hypocritical, grandstanding, d-bag," deserved imprisonment only if he were convicted of an offense for which imprisonment is a legal sentence, and not because he is of low character.

I saw plenty of people of low character in my days in the USAO. I went after only those guilty of an offense under the US Code. Do you really think prosecutors should employ their personal likes and dislikes in making official decisions?

Somehow, I think you'd be the first to yelp if they did.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 6, 2010 3:44:20 PM

This is the work of the vile feminist lawyer and its male running dogs. Say someone views child porn produced in 1920. Everyone involved is dead. Yet the punishment would be similar to that of beating a living child to unconsciousness. There should be substantive harm in every crime, especially physical harm, including fear for one's life. This is a vile feminist lawyer gotcha.

On the other hand, the overwhelming majority of physical rapists by force are nearly immunized by the vile feminist lawyer and its male running dogs. The lawyer does nothing about the 100's if not 1000's of serial killers and rapists trolling our nation. Why does the lawyer protect evil? Evil generates lawyer jobs. One may not even verbally criticize one of these criminals without risking losing one's job for verbal abuse.

If viewing child porn is suborning child abuse, why is viewing adult porn not suborning prostitution? Why is prostitution illegal, again, remind me?

The vile feminist lawyer and its male running dogs has done an excellent job of something. Destroying the American family. Why? Because bastardy generates massive social pathologies, that require massive government programs and massive lawyer employment. Feminism will be seen as a hate ideology, as the KKK of 1900 is seen today. In 1900, the tenets of the KKK were self evident to a majority of Americans. The same is true of feminism in 2000. And who founded and ran the KKK? Lawyers and judges, immunizing its genocidal rampages, and the seizures of the assets of the lynching victims. These assets went to the lawyers and judges, as do the fruits of feminist ideology today.

What should have been the response to the KKK, that would have slowed it down? Waiting for the law to evolve in 100 years after all its participants are dead? No. It should have been self-help. Anybody can be reached by anybody. When the army occupied the South and lynched dozens of these KKK lawyer traitors, blacks and Jews thrived, and the economy of the South was rebounding. When the army left, in a lawyer backroom deal in 1876, without the approval of Congress, the KKK resurged. The South entered a 100 year period of Third World stagnation. When the KKK was put down, again by the military, in the 1960's, the economy of the South soared again.

The feminist lawyer and its male running dogs are doing the same thing to us, today, as the KKK did to the South, 100 years ago.

PS. I have advocated the total e-discovery of federal prosecutors and judges, searching for improper motives, but referring child porn to the FBI. I understand the contradiction and the hypocrisy. But the law is a certain way today, and that is still a tool that should not be left unused. This suggestion makes me a running dog of the vile feminist lawyer, but still aware of how bad, low and disgusting I am. That is more aware than the other running dogs who believe themselves righteous.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Nov 6, 2010 4:54:56 PM

Bill writes: "I had been under the impression that a person, whether or not a "hypocritical, grandstanding, d-bag," deserved imprisonment only if he were convicted of an offense for which imprisonment is a legal sentence, and not because he is of low character."

Sometimes you seem to have a decent sense of humor for one who strikes me as an archetypal authoritarian with a tendancy to strain virtually everything through a nearly impermeable filter of literal interpretation. And then there's times like this.

The suggestion hypocritical d-bags with the power to hurt others might deserve prison time was intended to be an ironic, possibly even humorous remark.

Bill writes: "I saw plenty of people of low character in my days in the USAO. I went after only those guilty of an offense under the US Code."

That's not saying much given the vast range of social and economic conduct covered by thousands of those codes and the vague, broad, sweeping statutory language that makes virtually all of us vulnerable to one or more of them.

Bill asks: "Do you really think prosecutors should employ their personal likes and dislikes in making official decisions?"

They probably shouldn't but I believe some do. Worse some also apply diabolical imaginations, typically successfully, as in the case before us in this thread. "Distributing"...for copying a couple of sad awful pictures and putting them in a drawer. Very imaginative indeed.

By "people of low character," I assume you mean virtually everyone the FBI entraps or squeezes a snitch to trade to them for various and significant favors.

Posted by: John K | Nov 7, 2010 10:35:29 AM

John K --

"Sometimes you seem to have a decent sense of humor..."

Here's one for you:

Why did the meth dealer cross the street?

OK, well, moving right along (since we know there's nothing wrong with being a meth dealer, or even if there is, said dealer, like everybody else, has been wrongfully accused by the capitalist pig war machine, etc., et al., and was cruelly denied a pardon despite the fact that, underneath it all, HE'S REALLY MR. NICEY. As are they all, as are they all).

"...for one who strikes me as an archetypal authoritarian with a tendancy to strain virtually everything through a nearly impermeable filter of literal interpretation."

It's all true. I actually DO hold the radical belief that -- now hold onto your hat -- WORDS HAVE MEANINGS. Ain't that something? Still, I can see why you'd want to muddy the meaning of ordinary language. Just recently, when Virginia executed Teresa Lewis -- the original Ms. Nicey, who, for the insurance proceeds, arranged the murder of her husband and stepson -- your word for Ms. Lewis was (I'm not making this up) a "toublesome citizen" who perhaps had engaged in a "misstep or mistake." This is the thread: http://sentencing.typepad.com/sentencing_law_and_policy/2010/09/virginia-carries-out-execution-of-teresa-lewis.html.

Ya know, I had previously thought a "troublesome citizen" was, like, a neighbor who played the TV too loud. I'm really glad I'm on this thread so I can get straightened out on stuff like that.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 7, 2010 6:20:02 PM

No need for a link. Here's the original comment, addressed, as you can plainly see, to Soronel:

"Undeserved mercy, Soronel? Who's to say who deserves mercy and who doesn't? Bill Otis? Federalist? MikeinCT?

"And tell me please, would you want any of those folks deciding whether you deserved mercy for a misstep or mistake?"

Posted by: John K | Sep 24, 2010 8:23:28 AM

Then there was this (addressed to you) after Res took the same sarcasm-ridicule tack you just did:

"Jesus, Bill. Mercy can mean looking the other away. It can mean a life sentence instead of execution.

"And did you really not understand the point I was making with the continuum or were you just being obtuse...again?

"Res, I picked up on the sarcasm. Obviously I don't consider murder a misstep or mistake. The point you either missed or chose to ignore was that I certainly wouldn't want this blog's death squad deciding whether I deserved mercy, not even for a misstep or a mistake I might have made...because frankly I doubt any of them, and possibly you as well, are capable of mercy."

Posted by: John K | Sep 24, 2010 5:58:35 PM

I'm surprised one such as yourself who values the meaning of words so highly could have read what I wrote the way you did.

Posted by: John K | Nov 7, 2010 7:14:32 PM

John K --

Well sure. When you get called on some of the astounding euphemisms you employ in a thread about the defendant's behavior (multiple contract murder, in the Lewis case), you take a step back, and say such things as that you REALLY meant to say that the killer, previously to all appearances merely a troublesome citizen, was merely at one end of that "continuum."

Yes, I take your words as you write them, BEFORE you have to backpeddle.

Since this is likely to continue, you might consider referring to a violent, remorseless, sadistic child rapist and killer -- a la' the Petit case -- not so much as "at one end of the continuum" of troublesome citizens, but as a "violent, remorseless, sadistic child rapist and killer."

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 7, 2010 9:14:28 PM

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