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Alan T. Panda sentenced to '6 to 12 years'

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (4 votes)

Alan Berlin, known in the furry community as Alan T. Panda, has been sentenced to six to twelve years in prison. In May, he had been convicted of trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 15-year-old boy.

Through online chats, Berlin had attempted to arrange a meeting with the boy, with the aim of having sex in a shed in the boy's back yard. During sentencing on Tuesday, Berlin stood by his claim that he did not know that the boy was a juvenile, and thought that he was chatting with "another adult furry who was pretending to be a juvenile dolphin".

Judge Todd A. Hoover countered that Berlin was lying, and that it was "evident from the sado-masochistic (chats)" that Berlin knew the boy was underage. Hoover ordered Berlin to serve eight years on probation after completing his prison sentence, which begins on June 8. He must also register with police for life as a sex offender.

During his court appearance, Berlin stated that he had "given up his furry role-play". Defense attorney William T. Tully said he would discuss with Berlin the possibility of an appeal.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 4 (5 votes)

Let's hope the long saga is over – it's been three years and a day since the initial charge.

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (9 votes)

Well on the bright side all the guys he was flirting in will be legally old enough when he gets out.

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (6 votes)

That's terrible!

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (2 votes)

During his court appearance, Berlin stated that he had "given up his furry role-play".

Sure... I mean it's not like we haven't heard the whole "leaving the fandom," story before.

Six to twelve years is a multiple-lifetime in terms of the fandom, I wonder if anyone will remember this little saga when he's free. I wonder if he'll recognize the fandom when he seeks to return ^.^;;;

Your rating: None Average: 4.6 (5 votes)

Unless he can find a furry meet in prison, I think he won't have much choice but to give up on furry role-play.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Not knowing much about the prison system, I cannot say what (if any) access he might have via the internets. Failing that, maybe he could strike up a furry penpal newsletter type thing with other furs who have been incarcerated (going back to the roots of furry by utilizing that long forgotten snailmail 'zines approach)... though I must admit, I really don't know how long that list would be or who else is on it (guess that just means there aren't that many celeb-furs on it or we'd all share that as common furry knowledge :P ).

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (7 votes)

6-12 sounds out of proportion for illegal chatting, even when it's a dude who deserved conviction. That's more than many actual molesters get, keeping in mind that predators on the internet aren't any more dangerous than they are anywhere else. His first jury deadlocked and they had to get a whole new jury to reach this sentence. Nothing is reported about priors. It has a whiff of moral panic.

At least he won't be back here making this drama worse for quite a while.

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (9 votes)

The guy was going to do it. Simple as that. And don't tell me "planning to do it" and "did it" are completely seperate things in American law; that's why we have "premeditated murder." There was oodles of evidence to suggest this guy was going to stick his dick in that kid; just because he got caught before he could actually stick it in doesn't make him less of a criminal.

And I'm sorry, I just can't get on the side of a guy who's entire defense of "I was trying to fuck a kid" is, "dude, it's cool, it's totally a furry thing, you know what I'm saying, brah?"

The reason the first trial deadlocked in jury was because the prosecution essentially put the entire furry fandom on trial because of his bullshit defense, and the jury apparently didn't want it to look like they were passing judgement on all of us.

Just on the assfuck who was trying to stick his dick in a 15-year-old.

Your rating: None Average: 2.4 (5 votes)

I have to say, that answer trips up first thing because "planning to do it" and "did it" ARE separate. "Premeditated murder" has to have a "murder". Otherwise it's something like conspiracy. IANAL, but I'll bet the sentence for conspiring to maybe do a murder isn't worse than the sentence for actual murder. If it was, wouldn't you find that weird?

According to my linked evidence, the Alan T Pandas who chat up kids generally don't get the chance to physically do anything, no matter what their intentions are. It doesn't happen with the internet, any more than at the 7-11. Compared to friends/family/related people who are the real risks to kids, "internet predators" are boogeymen stories. Hysteria bad, keeping things in proportion good.

I wasn't on the first jury and don't know anyone who was, but they did give details about how the second jury was stacked, and it was notably different. The fact that they already screwed up is notable too.

Bad people deserve the same defense as good people. That's a core principle of justice. Sorry, I can't get with throwing out logic because a guy did a crime that causes hysteria. Is 6-12 really proportionate? That's debatable, but who knows, it's done now. I'd rather read about cartoons or something that isn't this.

Edit- forgot to mention that Sonious unintentionally brought up a real point by joking about legal age. "Planning to do a crime" is even more debatable here, because "in the future", there's a line where it stops being a crime.

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (6 votes)

To sum up and really actually put my side on the table, yes, 6 to 12 sounds awesome.

Stop whining because you just found out disgusting Internet fantasies aren't as consequence free as advertised.

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (5 votes)

Fantasy is always free, trying to pursue it though always has a price. That's true of any fantasy, legal or not so much.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (7 votes)

I'm starting to realize this is the problem people are having with this case; it's not pro-pedophilia, it's the realization that "oh, shit, I've got some fantasy sex chatlogs that make the logs this guy got put in jail for look like he was offering to tutor the kid in calculus."

This guy was not put in jail for a fictional fantasy (that would be wrong); he was put in jail for trying to make his fantasy reality. We can argue whether or not sharing of certain fantasies, even in a fictionalized context, is good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, but that's not what this was about.

Right now, you are legally able to pretend to bang a fifteen year old, or whatever, whether that's a good thing or not; let's not worry about that. This guy messed up when he decided to actually bang a fifteen year old. That he got caught before still justifies the 6 to 12 in my mind; if he had got farther along, then 12 to 24 sounds about right, actually.

Though stop acting all surprised when people call you an immoral jackhole for pretending to bone five year olds, because duh.

Your rating: None Average: 1.5 (6 votes)

Hey dude, it's not smart to say things like "whining" to your own ally, considering that I treat criminals and feeble people as still human.

It's OK to discuss things normally, and it's OK if you're a virgin. Please try not to get a boner for insulting people as deviant demons compared to your own Babbitt-like existence. It is kind of funny that some people spend time chatting about sex, while you chat about getting disgusted by it. It would be unintentionally funny of you to reveal your bland fantasy life. Keep writing about ponies and comics, and leave the repressed nerd indignance at church, K?

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (4 votes)

That is discriminatory against virgins, sir.

Also, I am offended that you did not notice I write mostly about movies. I don't think we can be friends anymore.

And for the record I am not a virgin because I am afraid of sex. I am a virgin because I am afraid of vaginas. Have you seen those things? They're like a cave, except the more men who explore it, the scarier it gets! I don't know about you, but I'm not sticking anything important in one of those.

But seriously, dude, it's a free Internet. If you don't want me judging you, get a hotel room. Metaphoically speaking.

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

Gross, genitals.

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (4 votes)

You know what, I'm just going to finish the set.

Anyway, the thing is, guys send hundreds of thousands of explorers into those caves, and such a tiny fraction ever come back! Where do they all go?

And the ones that do come back, oh my God, totally unrecognizable. And you try and ask Frankie (because all sperm have names) what happened to Franklin and Francesco and Frances (because all sperm have names, but they are variants of "Frank"), but all he can do is scream!

And you grab Frankie and start shaking him and you're all like "Pull yourself together man!" *smack*

And then after a while Frankie stops screaming.

:<

Your rating: None

Lol ok good sport ;)

Like me, sometimes vadges are nice and sometimes they are evil. Look not into the snake-haired gorgo-vadge, lest ye be turned to stone!

I cannot post more flames on greenreapers site after a nice meeting today at califur (best luck with the ursa awards)!

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Well, we only know that he was sent to prison for this set period of time, but the article does not go into further detail. It lists the one claim, but that was the main case, there are other charges he could have been brought up on.

I can only speculate, but since he was a government official, if he used any computer in his work place, it could also bring jail time, especially when partaking in a felony offence.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (2 votes)

Very true. The whole thing has been really strange. You would think if a jury deadlocks that the case should be thrown out completely, not redone till their happy. That's just bad practice and would be looked down on in science. You can't keep trying something until it gives a positive result. I'm sure most of this was done on emotions and not evidence of harm or in the interests of preventing harm.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

In fairness, the idea is to just keep doing it until you get a positive or negative result - guilty, or not guilty. If you want to compare it to science, it's as if your test is at the border of significance, and within the margin of error. This uncertainty is not a good place to stop on, which is why you have the trial to begin with.

Judges can go to great lengths to avoid a mistrial - but if decisions must be unanimous, it'll happen sometimes.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

It is to get any result but that's still a bad way to do something. Especially because you then need to ask why you should accept that answer. If something is not clear cut enough that you need to try it again why would you rely on the second decision? I'd think if you are going to retry it you should try it a third time as well to get some consensus. It's not just a minor decision, it's 6-12 years of someone's life as well as a permanent record, so if the first trial is indecisive you shouldn't let the second decide things as if there's no doubt.

It's nice to say they go to great lengths but that's not what a judge should be doing. What happened to "beyond reasonable doubt?" Obviously those cases are not beyond reasonable doubt.

Edit: Also it's bad form in science to just continue an experiment until you get a significant result. That leads to poor data. It's also bad form to re-examine the same data over and over to find a significant result (like retrying the same court case with no new evidence but arguing it differently as happened here) because repeated analyses increases the chance of spurious results.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

The irony is that this thread is probably going to be a "re-trail" of the one we've had already on the previous article, and here will be this one comment, sitting and saying to retry arguments is wrong.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (2 votes)

Something I forgot to add to previous message. You say the idea is to keep doing it until you get a positive or negative result. That idea itself is flawed because it ignores the, very real, possibility of that not being possible. There can be insufficient evidence to decide if someone is guilty or not. To then retry if you don't get a positive or negative is certainly fair when you don't retry if you do. That means their objective is not to get the correct answer but just the first answer an entire jury will agree with.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (4 votes)

A jury cannot (by definition) arrive at an incorrect answer because they are the finders of fact. Therefore, the first answer arrived at will be the correct answer. If there is insufficient evidence to decide that someone is guilty, then the decision should be not guilty. (In Scottish law, there is a third option, "not proven".)

With a mistrial, some have been convinced and some have not, which is slightly different. In response, the prosecution might withdraw or restate its case on a charge for which it is more certain to gain a conviction - or, it might simply try to do a better job next time (as might the defense, if it almost won an acquittal).

In practice is rare for a second trial to end with the same result, and if it does the judge might throw the case out themselves.

Your rating: None

"A jury cannot (by definition) arrive at an incorrect answer because they are the finders of fact."

But that is just wrong. It's not just a little wrong it is completely out of line with reality. Juries make mistakes all the time and innocent people suffer. To pretend that whatever conclusion they make is a fact is so ridiculous that there would be no reason to trust the court.

Haven't you heard about the Carlos De Luna case? http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/15/carlos-texas-innocent-man-death It's a report showing how a person was wrongly convicted and executed for murder while the real murderer, who was executed for another crime, actually confessed to the crime and joked that someone else was getting punished for it!

The "justice" system is far more messed up than people seem to think.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Yes, we should be sure not to confuse legal theory with reality. :-)

New evidence coming to light at the time might cause a mistrial, and if not it should be cause for a new trial later. Besides that, yes, the system isn't perfect - especially in the U.S., where far too many people are sent to prisons for long periods of time just to get them out of the way.

The theory is that the first jury to arrive at a decision is going to reach the correct one. As a practical matter, juries tend to get the harder cases; most "obvious" criminal cases go to plea bargains (e.g. Brown Leopard).

Your rating: None

I had to lol there.
"Brown Leopard was arrested for theft."
"Brown Leopard was in charge of Security at Morphicon."

*Removed extra bits from the sentences for emphasis*

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

yeah i uh

> reason.com

stopped_reading_there.jpg

Your rating: None Average: 4 (5 votes)

I said it earlier, but I'll go into it more:

While the article is good, unfortunately due to the case's recentness and therefore lack of clear-cut info in regards to all charges and findings, (unless someone was there and wishes to elaborate now, before more info becomes public access), we can only speculate as to what the extent of the reasoning behind the sentence.

Obviously, the seduction of the minor is the major charge. It is what will make the headline. And since this is not a major news story, there won't be much detail paid to everything that was brought forth. It is quite possible, say, that Mr. Berlin had used a government computer during any of those chats, at which point he could be facing charges for that. Had he transmitted any pictures, it could bring additional charges.

But, aside from that, it is my personal opinion that this is a good thing to read. His actions were deplorable. We can sit here and say, "well, he didn't actually act on them," but all that means is that they got him in time. I'd rather see him face the music now, than to hear the news he had done something more.

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (5 votes)

Great news. Don't go dropping any soap now, Pandaboy.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

classy

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

6 to 12 years?! Ouch. Glad I'm not that guy.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (4 votes)

He~al the wuur~ld
Make it a better pla~ce
Put Pandaboy in jail
Punch Paden Reilly's face ~ !

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

JUSTICE.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

Someone here sure supports child molesting.

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