The Devil was Listening

Justice can be a fickle bitch.

Two hundred years ago, witches were burned at the stake for sorcery. Fifty years ago, it was illegal to serve alcohol to “known homosexuals”. Five years ago, marijuana was illegal in all fifty states.

Not so long ago, depression and insanity were prima facie evidence of demonic possession or unthinkable evil, not chemical imbalances. Shell shock was the result of cowardice instead of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Why? Why do the standards by which we evaluate criminal behavior change?

Blame science.

New evidence yields insights into human nature and forces us to recognize that what we once classified as wrong or evil or aberrant may be just on the far end of the spectrum of normal behavior. Maybe someday judges and juries will be able to peer directly into the hearts and souls of defendants and determine the true intent of every defendant, but until that day, our courts stand on shifting sands of public policy and ever-changing inchoate sense of right and wrong.

Nowhere is that more true than in the case of United States v. Stanley G. Rothenberg.
Pick up your copy of Stan's book A Devil was Listening on Amazon today

Only 15 more years before Stan is released from prison. For thought crimes. This could be you.

Stanley G. Rothenberg is living proof of the injustice in sentencing for sex crimes. An openly-gay man subject to the prejudices that older men face in a youth-oriented society, Stan wandered into the free-for-all of internet chat rooms, looking for the worldwide web equivalent of phone sex.

But the more time he spent talking dirty on the internet, the more jaded he became, and he realized what it was that really excited him -- hearing other people talk about depravities that they'd committed. Stan had no desire to engage in any of the actual activities -- if they were even true -- but listening to people talk about their own illegal fringe experiences turned him on.

But what started as a freaky turn on turned into something much more serious -- a "pre-invented crime" that skirted the edges of entrapment while laying the groundwork for invoking the most serious sentencing upgrades available to a federal court. 

The conclusion? A life sentence for an elderly man who just wanted to talk dirty on the internet.
Stan Rothenberg

About the Author

Stanley G. Rothenberg: 

Stan is currently serving a life sentence in federal prison for talking dirty on the internet. Sure, he's done some things wrong and he accepts responsibility for them. But what he didn't do -- and how he got railroaded -- well, that's a different story.

To learn more, order your copy of The Devil was Listening: How Stanley G. Rothenberg, a 64-year-old man, was sentenced to life in prison for talking dirty on the Internet.  Stan is now 74 years Old. 
The Devil was Listening - a book by Stanley G. Rothenberg