Max Hardcore's Films Too Hardcore for Obscenity Jury?

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Max Hardcore's Films Too Hardcore for Obscenity Jury?

Fri May 30, 2008 @ 09:29AM PST

Posted by Matthew Heller



The squeamish reactions of jurors to only 40 minutes of "gonzo" porn have persuaded a Florida judge to reconsider her decision to have them watch 8-1/2 hours of it in the obscenity trial of producer Paul Little, aka Max Hardcore (left).

"Jurors squirmed in their seats, squinted their eyes and frequently looked away" while viewing just one of the gonzo videos that prosecutors intend to use as evidence against Little, the St. Petersburg Times reported. The videos feature scenes of Little, who stars in and directs his movies, inflicting pain and humiliation on female actresses.

Prosecutors originally planned to show jurors some 2-1/2 hours of segments produced by Little, but U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew agreed with the defense that, in order to decide whether the films are obscene, jurors should see them in their entirety. After the brief initial viewing, Bucklew reconsidered. "I think it will be very difficult for this jury to sit through five of these," she said.

In a rare obscenity prosecution, the Justice Department has charged Little with five counts of using a computer server to sell obscene matter and five of delivering obscene matter through the U.S. mail. Little insists his films are protected by the First Amendment.

UPDATED: Judge Bucklew has decided to let the prosecution and defense screen as much or as little of the videos as they deem necessary. Just after she ruled, a male juror sent her a note asking, "Your honor, would it be at all possible for clips to be shown to the jury instead of the movie in its entirety?"

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