Here is an excellent interview with Stanley Cohen.
Stanley L. Cohen is long-time social justice attorney and activist. For ten years he has been subjected to aggressive investigation and harassment by various agencies of the United States federal government, ultimately leading to criminal indictments being filed against him in two jurisdictions, relating to income tax matters.
On April 14, 2014 following years of litigation, enormous expense and tremendous stress to his family and his practice, he accepted a deal that includes pleading guilty to impeding the IRS tax code. He will be sentenced in October or shortly thereafter. He is now facing 18 months in prison.
The political nature of this prosecution is evident from the severity of the charges leveled against Cohen for underlying acts many of which are not even alleged to be illegal in and of themselves (for example accepting cash payments from clients, or keeping cash in an office safe), or are as benign and common as allowing clients to barter labor for legal services.
It is apparent that the motivation driving these charges is not taxes, but is in fact retaliation for Mr. Cohen’s years of standing up to governments on behalf of people and peoples’ movements. These charges are clearly intended to silence Cohen and shut down his consistent efforts to assist the politically unpopular and socially marginalized.
Stanley Cohen has a long history of standing with and for the disadvantaged and the disaffected. After coming of age as a social worker and an organizer in the anti-war and economic justice movements, he became a lawyer in 1983 and spent seven years as a public defender with the Legal Aid Society in the Bronx. Later, in private practice he continued to advocate for and represent many people the government would like to silence or put in jail: Palestinian freedom fighters, Muslim preachers, North American natives living on Indian reservations, marijuana dealers, anti-war protestors, radical squatters, the homeless, “hacktivist” information activists, members of national liberation movements, anarchists, and anti-Zionists among many others.
We the undersigned, stand in solidarity with Stanley Cohen and ask that the sentencing judge use his discretion to reduce the jail sentence to zero in light of Cohen’s many years of public service and in the interest of justice. Jailing him would be a demonstration of U.S. government retaliation against an attorney for effectively advocating on behalf of his clients and thwarting government prosecutors – the same prosecutors who now have turned their sights on him.
Please sign this petition to add your voice to the call for no jail time for Stanley Cohen.
For more information, please visit: istanleycohen.org