It looks like Judge Jack Weinstein is releasing child pornography opinions almost as fast as we can blog about them. Orin has already posted about the Second Circuit reversing the sentence in United States v. Reingold yesterday. Later that same day, Judge Weinstein issued a nine-page opinion decrying the injustice of the decision — citing many interesting sources, including the Bible (many times) and Jack B. Weinstein, Every Day Is A Good Day for A Judge To Lay Down His Professional Life for Justice, 32 Fordham Urb. L. J. 131 (2004). (The link is via Howard Bashman, of course.) I wonder whether the opinion was prepared before the Second Circuit ruling came down.
It’s a minor point amid all of the disputes between Judge Weinstein and the Second Circuit panel, but it intrigued me that Judge Weinstein decided to refer to the defendant by his initials (“C.R.”) rather than his name (“Corey Reingold”). Presumably the decision was motivated by privacy concerns, but it’s not usual practice, even in child pornography cases. Here’s what the Second Circuit had to say about that:
In its opinion, as well as in various filings, the district court referred to Reingold by his initials “C.R.” We note that, at the same time, Reingold was identified by his full name in certain documents that remain electronically available from the files of the Eastern District of New York.
We identify no basis in law for shielding the identity of an adult criminal defendant. Cf. Fed. R. Crim. P. 49.1 (providing privacy protections in limited circumstances). No different conclusion obtains from United States v. Amodeo, 71 F.3d 1044 (2d Cir. 1995), cited by Reingold. At issue in that case was the propriety of unsealing an investigative report that, among other things, would have identified confidential informants in an ongoing criminal investigation and circulated anonymous and unverified accusations of doubtful veracity against uncharged persons. See id. at 1047–48. By contrast, as the named adult defendant in a criminal case in which he has been adjudicated guilty, Reingold has no expectation of privacy in his identity. See id. at 1048 (noting public’s presumptive right of access to information pertaining to judicial adjudications); cf. id. at 1050–51 (recognizing that privacy interests of “innocent third parties” may warrant exception to presumption of public access). We therefore refer to Reingold by his name on our docket and in this opinion.
In the remand opinion, Judge Weinstein refers to the defendant as . . . “C.R.”