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Tampa Tribune: With Book Deal Imminent, Max Hardcore Jury Delivers Oscar-Level Performance

Tampa- It is fair to say that no one will ever confuse “filmmaker” Paul Little with Frank Capra, perhaps churning out flicks like “It’s A Wonderful Urinal,” “Mr. Smith Goes Wee-Wee” or “It Happened One Night – And You Don’t Want To Know What It Was.”

This is the fate of someone who makes a living as, not only a pornographer, but also a purveyor of such depraved, sick, twisted (and that’s just the opening credits) material, it would make Larry Flynt look like Walt Disney.

Little, who goes by the Olivieresque stage name of Max Hardcore, was convicted last week in a U.S. District Court on 10 counts of distributing obscene material through the Internet and the mail.

When he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew (who had to be wondering during the graphic trial if this is why she went to law school), Little faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each conviction, which might suggest the defendant could well experience real life mirroring his films once he lands in the slammer.

Somehow it seems a poetic irony for a porn film auteur of tinkling, that while so many of his movies featured violence, vomiting and urination; it’s altogether possible Little himself experienced a bit of No. 1 at the hands of the federal judicial system.

For it seems that while a panel of Little’s peers deliberated his fate, the jury room morphed into a boardroom.

Jurors declined to elaborate on their decision to convict Little, noting they had decided to pursue a book deal about the case.

Or put another way, while the jury was supposed to be objectively pondering whether a man will spend many years in prison, they were entering into a potential business relationship the success of which could be determined by the outcome of the trial.

Uh, just where is the real obscenity here? Naughty movies? Or entrepreneurial jurors?

“I am concerned by that,” said Jennifer Kinsley, one of Little’s attorneys.

“The conviction would have enhanced the value of the book deal.”

Maybe Paul Little is a really, really bad guy, a really sleazy guy, too. And maybe Little is to the art of moviemaking what Pablo Escobar was to the pharmaceutical industry.

But there is a reason why Lady Justice wears a blindfold, why the scales of justice are evenly balanced: People going on trial for their freedom are entitled to a fair shake from the criminal justice system.

Kinsley said that among the many areas Little will appeal his conviction, certainly the appearance of a jury engaging in a for-profit agreement will be among them.

We have laws that prevent public officials from engaging in lobbying activities for a period of time after they leave office.

Certainly an argument can be made that jurors cannot attempt to aggrandize themselves until at least the trial is – over?

Paul Little found himself in the dock accused of being a smut merchant, a man with no sense of dignity, or propriety, a man indifferent to community standards and most of all a cheesy, declasse opportunist more interested in profits than common decency.

You might say he, indeed, was judged by a jury of his peers.


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