Thursday, June 12, 2008

Shock Art Judge Alex Kozinski Pauses the Ira Isaacs Obscenity Trial While the Judge's Website is Reviewed ~ by Legal Pub




When does art constitute pornography? Judge Alex Kozinski may not be the one to decide since he has granted a joint motion to suspend the Ira Isaacs "shock-art" trial after the prosecution requested time to look at the judge's Web site. The jury is to return on Monday. (Judge Kozinski is in the first photo.)
So far the jury has seen several hours of videos depicting bestiality and extreme fetishes.
Judge Kozinski is chief justice of the 9th Circuit but is serving as a trial judge in the obscenity case of Ira Isaacs. Isaacs allegedly produced and sold movies depicting bestiality and sexual activity involving feces and urine. His own attorney, Roger Jon Diamond, finds it disgusting but argues that it is a constitutionally protected form of art.

Information on the judges site can be found at: LA Times: Judge has sex site?
Additional coverage of the trial can be found at: " Watch more on the art vs. porn debate »

Isaacs is 57. He is a Los Angeles advertising agency owner. He calls himself a "shock artist." He claims that he is, "...fighting for art." He plans to testify as his own expert witness. One can expect a rehash of previous obscenity battles involving authors James Joyce and D.H. Lawrence.
Isaacs argues that his art has therapeutic value for people with fetishes depicted onscreen.
At times, Isaacs sold as many as 1,000 videos a month at $30 apiece. The FBI then shut him down. An indictment was issued against Isaacs on a variety of obscenity charges, including importation or transportation of obscene material for sale. Such prosecutions have become more common since the U.S. Department of Justice Obscenity Prosecution Task Force was created.

The test of obscenity still hinges on a 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that held that a work is not legally obscene if it has "literary, artistic, political or scientific value."
Each of the four counts against Isaacs carries a five-year maximum prison sentence. Isaacs could also be ordered to forfeit assets obtained through his video sales. Similar cases are likely to be brought against others if Isaacs is convicted.

It seems that if people did not purchase the porn, there would not be a market for its production. A market place of moral consumers would greatly reduce the perceived problem. However, one can not help but observe that under the 1973 definition, much of what our politicians say and do could be declared obscene since it lacks "literary, artistic, political and scientific value." In this day and age of scrutiny, jokes that may once have been considered humor no longer produce as many laughs...

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful reason to delay a trial?

Anonymous said...

Depends what is on the judges website!

Anonymous said...

Wow, jokes may not be politically correct, but come on... that does not make them obscene. This judge is becoming an unfair target in my opinion...

Anonymous said...

Obsenity, I know it when I see it

Anonymous said...

Simply scum!

Ms Calabaza said...

This guy is the Chief Justice for the 9th Circuit? What kinda sense does he have? He needs to be disqualified for stupidity, methinks.

Joel A. Brodsky said...

Judge not, lest you be judged.

Ms Calabaza said...

Mr. Brodsky,

you're right, of course I shouldn't judge, but why would a man with such a position have a web site with incriminating photos and info. . . in the proverbial words of Dr. Phil "what was he thinkin'?" . . .

colleency said...

Are judges selected for a particular case according to their areas of experience / expertise, or is it pure chance which cases go before them?

Do judges do research before a case?

I'm wondering if his website listed sources he's used in researching this case.

Not defending him - just wondering.

Joel A. Brodsky said...

I have some questions about this case too. Why is an appellate judge acting as the trial judge? I don’t ever recall seeing this happen before. I am sure it is highly unusual if not unprecedented. Also, why is the prosecution and not the defense making an issue of the judges web postings? If this is declared a mistrial at this stage based on a prosecution motion I believe double jeopardy would attach and the defendant would walk. Seems to me that there is a lot going on here, more than meets the eye. I am interested in seeing how this highly unusual situation plays out. Legal Pub, please keep track of this one.

Anonymous said...

Here comes da judge...

Ms Calabaza said...

Happy Father's Day to Legal Pub and all the dads who comment here!

Enjoy your day.

Ron said...

Pubmeister,

Very interesting story about the judge. Isaacs sounds like he is creating some really sick stuff. Kozinski seems like an inappropriate judge to hear a case like this one, unless you feel Isaacs should be judged by a peer...

What are the chances Isaacs just happened to get a judge like Kozinski? The defense must have loved the choice in judge for the case.

Embarrassing for conservatives that Kozinski was a Reagan appointee, and a potential Supreme Court judge??? Not now, I hope.

Blaming the son is a nice move by the good judge when things get tough.

Anonymous said...

When the going get tough...