The Road to Criminalizing “Revenge Porn”

by S.B. Is society’s new outrage over “revenge porn” a signal that we’re ready to start penalizing reputational or spiritual harm? “Revenge Porn” is the non-consensual dissemination of sexual photos or videos.  It gets its namesake because the photos are typically distributed by scorned ex-boyfriends.  The private photos are usually obtained with consent, during their relationship, but are later used to humiliate the woman when the relationship turns sour. The photos are often posted on pornographic websites with a link to the woman’s Facebook, her full name, and sometime even her home address.  They are sent to the victim’s family, friends, and co-workers.  As a result, these women end up losing their jobs, and are frequently stalked and threatened.  They become depressed or even suicidal. Based on the magnitude of the harm caused, it is shocking that there is little to no recourse available to these victims in the current legal


Recap: Trials&Error: The Bernie Goetz Case

by S.S. and J.R. The Forum would like to thank all who came last night for Trials & Error: The Case of Bernhard Goetz, and to our partners, the 92nd Street Y, for hosting another fascinating event. Professor Thane Rosenbaum moderated an insightful panel to discuss the Goetz case and its importance in light of the George Zimmerman trial and controversy over New York’s “stop and frisk” policy.  The panel was comprised of key players in the Goetz trial, including defense attorney Barry Slotnick, prosecutor Greg Waples, juror Mark Lesly, and journalist Geraldo Rivera.  Each had a unique perspective of the trial and its importance today. Professor Rosenbaum began the evening with a clip of Geraldo Rivera’s 20/20 segment about the Goetz shooting. Rivera commented on the “eerie” parallels between the Goetz and Zimmerman trials.  At the time, Rivera said, crime was on the mind of New York residents and


3 Wrongs Don’t Make A Right: Examining 3 Cases of Public Outrage

by T.S. Why can’t courts just simply do the RIGHT thing? Why must politics dictate the result of the legal case? Where is the moral judge in our legal system? These are the questions that arise from a handful of the most riveting criminal cases in recent American history. This post shares reoccurring patterns between three American criminal cases that exemplify issues of racism, community divide, and legal holdings that result in public outrage. First take a look at the decision in the case of Bernhard Goetz back in 1984. Throughout the early 1980s, New York City experienced record-high rates of violent crime.  Murders during the decade averaged almost 2,000 a year with nearly thirty-eight crimes a day on the city subway. Bernhard Goetz was a white male in his late thirties. On Saturday, December 22nd 1984, Mr. Goetz was approached by four black teenagers while riding the subway downtown. When