Fla. Judge Rules Max Hardcore Must Begin Prison Sentence

Slav Kandyba
TAMPA, Fla. — U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew denied Max Hardcore’s attorneys’ request to delay the sentence while they appeal the conviction to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal.

Bucklew ruled that Hardcore’s attorneys did not present a compelling enough reason that his sentence would be likely overturned on appeal.

“We respectfully disagree with Judge Bucklew’s analysis,” attorney H. Louis Sirkin told XBIZ.

The setback was partially expected because filing a motion to stay the sentence pending appeal with the trial court is called for under legal procedure, Sirkin said. Now that it has been done, the motion will be lodged with the appeals court.

“Hopefully it will be filed by the end of the week,” Sirkin said.

The filing will be done in Atlanta, where eventually, the appeal will be decided, he said. It may take anywhere from seven months to a year. If it is unsuccessful, Sirkin said he was prepared to take it to the nation’s highest court.

“Ultimately we hope to get this issue before the U.S. Supreme Court,” he said. “We’re optimistic.”

Sirkin assumed the lead role in the appeals process, attorney Jeffrey Douglas, who represented Hardcore at the federal trial, recently told XBIZ.

The request to postpone the prison sentence hinged on seven issues that Hardcore’s attorneys plan to pursue on appeal. They included the constitutionality of federal obscenity statutes; publication of DVDs; the court’s refusal to recuse itself; evidence of Hardcore’s lack of knowledge that DVDs were shipped via U.S. mail; jury irregularities; lack of obscenity on the video clips and DVDs; and federal obscenity statutes and the Internet.

Bucklew denied the issues, writing in her response that just because they may lead to an overturned conviction on appeal, they were not likely to do so.

First Amendment attorney Lawrence Walters told XBIZ he thought Hardcore’s “defense raised some good faith legal issues that have at least a shot of reversal on appeal.

Still, it was “a long shot,” he said.