This disturbing case involving a criminal defense lawyer up against the FBI came to our attention via Jonathan Turley’s blog. In his post, Jonathan muses: “I fail to see why such a case would motivate the FBI when we are awash with child pornography that needs to be prosecuted. There is also the concern that the FBI took such action against a lawyer or expert who appeared in opposition to a federal prosecution. I have great qualms over the implications of this case for the practice of law.”
Thomas Jefferson once opined that: “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear their government, there is tyranny.”
Bingo. If your criminal defense lawyer risks prosecution for defending you against the government, we are indeed in a very sorry state. When Tuck read the following story, he remembered the quote above, adding, “This is scary.”
Oh, yeah, we sure do agree with that! Read on, and tell us, what do you think?
Ohio Lawyer Forced To Admit To Child Porn For Trial Exhibit of “Morphed” Images and Then Hit With $300,000 In Damages
A case out of Ohio raises in my view some highly disturbing questions on the expanding reach of pornography laws. The Sixth Circuit has upheld a $300,000 award against an Ohio lawyer for his use of a trial exhibit in a child pornography case. Dean Boland wanted to show how an innocent picture can be converted into a pornographic picture without actually causing a child to engage in the displayed conduct.
In order to avoid federal prosecution, Boland had to apologize publicly and admit to possession for child pornography. He was then hit with the damage award from the featured children despite his statement in court that these children did not participate in the depicted acts.
Here is how the court described the underlying facts:
In February 2004, Dean Boland downloaded images of two identifiable children, given the unidentifiable names Jane Doe and Jane Roe for purposes of this litigation, from a stock photography website. See Doe v. Boland, 630 F.3d 491, 493 (6th Cir. 2011). Boland digitally manipulated (“morphed”) the photographs to make it look like the children were engaged in sex acts. In one picture, five-year-old Jane Roe was eating a doughnut…