×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

ACLU Sues Penn Prosecutor For Empty Threat of Child Porn

ScuttleMonkey posted about 5 years ago | from the can't-ever-get-them-back dept.

The Courts 590

TechDirt is reporting that the ACLU has stepped in on behalf of several teens facing the threat of child pornography charges in Pennsylvania for sharing nude pics of themselves. Unfortunately for a girl in New Jersey, she is facing much more than just a threat, as she was arrested yesterday for posting almost 30 explicit pictures of herself on MySpace for her boyfriend to see. "...the ACLU has sued the prosecutor on the girls' behalf, saying he shouldn't have threatened them with baseless charges — which haven't yet been filed — if they wouldn't agree to probation and a counseling program. The prosecutor says he was being 'proactive' in offering them a choice, but the ACLU says he shouldn't be using 'heavy artillery' to make the threats. As its attorney points out, teaching kids that this sort of behavior can bring all sorts of unwanted and unforeseen ramifications is a good idea, but threatening them with child-porn charges isn't the best way to do it."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

590 comments

Please ... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27360883)

Pics or it didn't happen.

Fuck you Linus and the horse you rode in on (-1, Offtopic)

CubeCubed (1517255) | about 5 years ago | (#27360911)

Linux just isn't ready for the desktop yet. It may be ready for the web servers that you nerds use to distribute your TRON fanzines and personal Dungeons and Dragons web-sights across the world wide web, but the average computer user isn't going to spend months learning how to use a CLI and then hours compiling packages so that they can get a workable graphic interface to check their mail with, especially not when they already have a Windows machine that does its job perfectly well and is backed by a major corporation, as opposed to Linux which is only supported by a few unemployed nerds living in their mother's basement somewhere. The last thing I want is a level 5 dwarf (haha) providing me my OS.

Re:Fuck you Linus and the horse you rode in on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27360995)

Not sure what a 'Web-sight' is, but that pretty much told me that you are a fucking moron.

Re:Fuck you Linus and the horse you rode in on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27361003)

^Way OT but LOL'd anyway.

If minors can have sex legally with each other, which they can, why can't they take pictures of it like adults can? I would think that if they are legally allowed to have sex with each other then they should be legally allowed to share sexual pictures of each other, with each other. However it should still be illegal if they tried to distribute it to the public, or profit from it.

Maybe this is the exact sort of legal case we need to change the child porn laws to be more inline with consensual sex laws. In most states it's totally legal for minors to have sex if they are within a certain age range, and have consented.

Re:Fuck you Linus and the horse you rode in on (1, Offtopic)

Mikkeles (698461) | about 5 years ago | (#27361115)

Linux just isn't ready for the desktop yet.

Yes, it is.

It may be ready for the web servers that you nerds use to distribute your TRON fanzines and personal Dungeons and Dragons web-sights across the world wide web,

That too.

but the average computer user isn't going to spend months learning how to use a CLI and then hours compiling packages so that they can get a workable graphic interface to check their mail with,

Yes, they are.

especially not when they already have a Windows machine that does its job perfectly well

I don't think that word means what you think it does.

and is backed by a major corporation,

Ditto

as opposed to Linux which is only supported by a few unemployed nerds

So, they have plenty of time to ensure it works well and to help you with your problems.

living in their mother's basement somewhere.

They save money on not having corporate headquarters and pass the savings on to you!

The last thing I want is a level 5 dwarf (haha) providing me my OS.

To reach level 5 dwarf, one needs an OS rating of (pinky to mouth) ONE MILLION.

The Children? (4, Funny)

vaderhelmet (591186) | about 5 years ago | (#27360897)

What kind of world do we live in when the children won't think of the children?!

Re:The Children? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27361079)

Indeed. All these "unwanted and unforeseen ramifications" that they are trying to engage in. I dont know what they are, but they sound bad! This has to stop.

So what do we do to protect our children from themselfs, /.?

I would suggest sending them to prision until they are 18, but then I look at the local schools and see they already are, so that dident work.

Maybe we can put them into a comma when reach 9 until they are 18?

Well /., lets hear your ideas!

Re:The Children? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27361381)

Having bad judgment is sort of the definition of childhood in legal terms.
But taking nude pics of your self is pretty harmless. And seriously, there is something about digital cameras that seem to encourage it.

It's not like a future employer is going to reject someone for something they did when they were 13, and if they do they would have to admit googling for jail bait!.

Re:The Children? (-1, Troll)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | about 5 years ago | (#27361551)

The parent or owner of the phone service needs to go to jail for contributing to the delinquency of a minor and child porn. My children will not and would not do such a thing with their phone or facebook because I monitor what they are doing daily as well as other parents and kids. Any real parent would not let this happen.

Re:The Children? (1)

Niris (1443675) | about 5 years ago | (#27361615)

How old are your kids? If they're younger than 16, give it time. If they're 16+, you may just not know about it.

Re:The Children? (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 years ago | (#27361251)

What kind of world do we live in when the children won't think of the children?!

Noone under 18 is supposed to think sexually about anyone else. Didn't you get the memo? Neither did the world's teens...

It's Ironic. Or is that tragic? (5, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 5 years ago | (#27361443)

In my state, age of consent (with some exceptions) is 16, which is pretty realistic because they would just do it anyway. What isn't realistic is that they can do it... but they can't look at it.

oh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27360915)

Are the pictures still up?

I want to judge for myself whether or not they qualify as child porn.

Possession? (4, Insightful)

internerdj (1319281) | about 5 years ago | (#27360933)

The girl yesterday was apart from her distribution charges was also charged with possession of child porn. So any child may not have pictures of themselves naked. Hope everyone has burned all their photo albums with the pictures of themselves or children in the tub as infants. Because if you have not, then you are next.

Re:Possession? (4, Insightful)

Spazztastic (814296) | about 5 years ago | (#27360979)

On top of that, they were for her boyfriend. They're sending them to ONE person. Isn't the whole law to keep children from being exploited? What if they do it by their own will?

Re:Possession? (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | about 5 years ago | (#27361055)

What if they do it by their own will?

Then you charge them anyway, generate some publicity about how you are "cracking down on child porn" and ride the name recognition into re-election. Anybody who took District Attorney School 101 knows this....

Re:Possession? (-1, Troll)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | about 5 years ago | (#27361433)

> District Attorney School 101

Is that like Slashdot School 101? You know, the one where you learn to post obvious groupthink-compatible comments on slashdot and see your karma go up and up?

Re:Possession? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 5 years ago | (#27361555)

Have your observations of politics lead you to believe that it doesn't work in this manner? If so, please share. My observation of politics is that virtually all political figures will do anything they can to generate headlines (preferably with their name in it) and that elections are determined by name recognition and party affiliation.

If that makes a cynical member of the /. "groupthink", then so be it.

Re:Possession? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27361477)

Anybody who took Dickhead Attorney School 101 knows this....

FTFY

Re:Possession? (4, Insightful)

Heather D (1279828) | about 5 years ago | (#27361527)

This DA does seem to be one of those who work to give the position the reputation it now enjoys. Like many I do have some mixed feelings about the ACLU but, honestly, thank god for them. I'd have preferred seeing the parents of most of those kids get together and sue the school district though. I'm no big fan of the 'sue 'em all!' mentality but if the school hadn't been going through things that they had no business going through this would never have happened in the first place.

Re:Possession? (3, Insightful)

geekgirlandrea (1148779) | about 5 years ago | (#27361069)

Isn't the whole law to keep children from being exploited? What if they do it by their own

Yeah, right. The purpose is to reassure sexually repressed old men who are afraid that kids today are getting more action than they were at that age, and appease Puritans who can't stand the thought of anyone ever actually enjoying anything.

Re:Possession? (3, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about 5 years ago | (#27361323)

Nah... I think it can be explained easier than that. Remember the corrallary of Occam's Razor "Never attribute to Malice that which can be adequetly explained by stupidity."

Also, as has been in my email signature file for a long time "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on him not understanding it".

Its like explaining to a narcotics officer the problems with prohibition. He will tell you about the dangers of drugs, the way they have no quality control, the dangerous ways they are produced, house fires, stuff thats too pure killing people, stuff thats adulturated killing people....

Yet never once can you expect acknowledgement that if it was legal and regulated, then phizer, phillip morris, and glaxco-smith-kline would produce standard product, at known purity, at reasonable prices.... and solve ALL of those problems, leaving behind the medical issue of addiction, thats really one for the doctors.

Likewise here... you can bet that a few years down the road, when the actual substance of these cases are forgotten, I think you are exactly right, he is going to trumpet his work in combatting the scourge of child exploitation.

Somehow I doubt his campaign ads will mention that he combatted the scourge of nearly-legal girls sending nudie pix to their boyfriends... of the bodies they have already been sticking parts of their own bodies into.

On this.... I would like to personally make an offer to the prosecutor in question. If he would like to come to my place here in Boston, I would be happy to beat the ever living crap out of him until he gets a damned clue. I know its generous of me to offer, but he seems to really need it and I would encourage him to take me up on it.

Actually, I would make the same offer to all of the DAs here in MA, since they seem to have similar needs as the clue doesn't seem to make its way into their skulls either.... so for the good of the nation, I will happily offer them the service of helping it through the brain/common sense barrier.

-Steve

Re:Possession? (4, Insightful)

geekgirlandrea (1148779) | about 5 years ago | (#27361531)

Yeah, that's probably a big part of it, but I don't think that's a complete explanation. Given that these repressive laws exist, of course people whose careers depend on enforcing them will have a strong incentive to be obtuse, but that can't explain why they exist in the first place. Drug prohibition is a particularly good example; it's hard to get rid of because now enforcing it is a multi-billion dollar industry, but it wasn't at first, and it seems unlikely that that was the primary motivation of the people who originally pushed it through decades ago. Also, I don't think I would agree that willingness to ruin an innocent girl's life with a criminal prosecution solely to advance one's career really counts as non-malicious.

Re:Possession? (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 5 years ago | (#27361293)

Obviously, she was trying to corrupt him into having sex with her by first tempting him with child porn.

I think the police need to keep an eye on him as well, because why would she send him something like this if he didn't express an interest in it?

And we need a country-wide law that will prevent minors from having access to digital video camera's, digital camera's or cell phones with digital camera's so other teens won't be tempted to do what these poor, disturbed, but well-parented teens have done.

Re:Possession? (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | about 5 years ago | (#27361605)

And we need a country-wide law that will prevent minors from having access to digital video camera's, digital camera's or cell phones with digital camera's so other teens won't be tempted to do what these poor, disturbed, but well-parented teens have done.

Is that all!What if she were to get out of a bath and look in a mirror? or worse, after having sex with her boyfriend he were to look in a mirror and see an image of her naked! hell he could just remember what she looks like naked, the only thing for it then is a lobotomy.

Re:Possession? (1)

mooingyak (720677) | about 5 years ago | (#27361307)

What if they do it by their own will?

While this doesn't sound like it's this sort of situation, what if some perv convinces young children to take pictures of themselves and send it to him? Though in any case, the last person who should ever be considered for kiddy porn charges is the child.

Re:Possession? (1)

rob1980 (941751) | about 5 years ago | (#27361409)

They're sending them to ONE person.

On the internet. (Yes, Myspace is part of the internet, unfortunately.) It may as well have been the whole world. She needs a lesson in keeping shit off the internet IMO, not a threat of kiddie porn charges.

Re:Possession? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 5 years ago | (#27361573)

Similar charges were filed elsewhere against underage children who sent pictures of themselves to "friends" over their cellphones. It was here on Slashdot a while ago.

Re:Possession? (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 5 years ago | (#27361511)

What if they do it by their own will?

The case is ridiculous, but not quite for that reason. If a minor sends an adult explicit pictures of herself, implicitly "by her own will", then he's still soliciting child porn and committing a crime (assuming he asked her to). However, the reason why this is ridiculous is that 1.) the kids were of the same age, and that 2.) she is getting charged, when if there were any crime at all, she would be the victim, not the criminal.

Re:Possession? (1)

Winchestershire (1495475) | about 5 years ago | (#27361517)

The problem is she posted them on her myspace account and were supposedly visible to anybody in her friends list. (referring to the NJ girl)

Re:Possession? (1)

bogidu (300637) | about 5 years ago | (#27361589)

So, if they were for her boyfriend, how did these 'authorities' find out about them? Did they intercept them or break into her computer to find them? Smells like a dmca violation in there some where.

Re:Possession? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27361067)

Could we go into the houses of these dimwits who are charing and/or threatening the children with kiddie-porn penalities? And if we find their or their children's naked pictures, we put them up on the 'list,' which is what will happen to all these children if they are charged.

Re:Possession? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27361193)

The girl yesterday was apart from her distribution charges was also charged with possession of child porn. So any child may not have pictures of themselves naked. Hope everyone has burned all their photo albums with the pictures of themselves or children in the tub as infants. Because if you have not, then you are next.

I am all for stopping pedos around the world and child porn but this is NOT child porn, this is a excuse for the authorities to make some money. The girls are TEENS for fuck sakes and same age most likely. And to reply on your comment, I best be reported to the feds for having a picture of me in my undies when I was 4, because I might just molest myself. Sometimes this law is abused and I'm sick of it, next just thinking of your boyfriend/girlfriend if same age or near will be a felony. My my, can we call this the United Soviets of America?

- Dan (dmare1979@gmail.com, flame me, praise me, do what you want, but I am human.)

Re:Possession? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27361613)

I might just molest myself

Might? I molest myself on a regular basis!

Re:Possession? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27361237)

Even more important is the implication that minors are no longer allowed to take baths, as that requires them getting naked. And you can forget about physical examinations--"turn your head and cough" will be a thing of the past. How wonderful!

Re:Possession? (1, Flamebait)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 5 years ago | (#27361271)

Teaching children that their bodies are illegal leads to fear, guilt, and shame. Really no different than religion or any other form of mind control.

Re:Possession? (1)

falconwolf (725481) | about 5 years ago | (#27361379)

Hope everyone has burned all their photo albums with the pictures of themselves or children in the tub as infants. Because if you have not, then you are next.

This points out a big problem with child porn laws and child porn charges. Several years ago in a photography class I took in college this came up. A parent had taken photos of their child(ren) taking a bath, heck my mom had photos of this in our family album, and turned the film in for development. Some worker at the lab saw the photos and called police. If people have a problem with that, I wonder what they thought of the movie "Three Men and a Baby [imdb.com]".

Falcon

Re:Possession? (4, Funny)

Idiomatick (976696) | about 5 years ago | (#27361487)

Probably like they just wasted an hour and a half of their lives they will never get back. But I suppose that's most people.

Stupid is as stupid does (0, Flamebait)

cdrguru (88047) | about 5 years ago | (#27360945)

Why anyone should have a problem with this is beyond me. These teens can be making plenty of money with nude pictures, or they can benefit all of humankind with their generousity. Because anyone who saw them probably saved them and they are now for sale.

Face it, if people will pay for naked pictures of teen-age girls, teen-age girls are going to get their pictures taken. Trying to stop it is futile, like trying to stop music piracy.

You can call the consumers perverts, but who is to say their lifestyle choice is any less valid than any other? In an age of utter and complete moral relativism, who is there that can really judge anything.

Re:Stupid is as stupid does (0, Troll)

atari2600 (545988) | about 5 years ago | (#27361027)

You are a fucking idiot. The problem is not "people will pay for naked pictures of teen-age girls, teen-age girls are going to get their pictures taken". The problem is "people will pay for naked pictures of teen-age girls, teenage girls are being forced to have their pictures taken". Like I said, you are a fucking idiot.

Re:Stupid is as stupid does (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | about 5 years ago | (#27361085)

So this girl in New Jersey forced herself to take pictures of herself? How insidious. I'm not sure how to combat this threat, but I think nuking New Jersey should be amongst the options.

Re:Stupid is as stupid does (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27361569)

Nuking New Jersey may be a good idea regardless of this threat.

Re:Stupid is as stupid does (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 5 years ago | (#27361155)

You are a fucking idiot. The problem is not "people will pay for naked pictures of teen-age girls, teen-age girls are going to get their pictures taken". The problem is "people will pay for naked pictures of teen-age girls, teenage girls are being forced to have their pictures taken". Like I said, you are a fucking idiot.

Did you also take "A Modest Proposal" at face value?

Re:Stupid is as stupid does (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 5 years ago | (#27361465)

Actually, I thought the problem was that prosecutors get tunnel vision from the law and feel the need to exert their authority to the fullest extent of the letter of the law.

Or more to the point, that they like being able to say "look at all we did" and know they never have to give real facts that anybody with a voice is going to bother checking. So they have incentive to pretty much fuck over anyone they can get the littlest bit of dirt on.

They seem, to me, to be the epitome of "When you have a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail". Mixed with a misguided notion of doing good, by exercising the state sanctioned use of violence against everyone and anyone who steps out of line in their sight.

They are likewise not encouraged to make sense or logic.

I have seen statements by DAs that wantonly used logical fallacy after logical fallacy to make their case. (a high percentage of people incacerated for violent crimes test positive for marijuana on intake processing.... somehow proving that A implies B, means that B implies A.... it was wrong on the SATs, its wrong in public discourse.)

-Steve

Re:Stupid is as stupid does (0, Troll)

Shakrai (717556) | about 5 years ago | (#27361097)

but who is to say their lifestyle choice is any less valid than any other?

Because their lifestyle is based on something (child porn) that harms other human beings during production?

Re:Stupid is as stupid does (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27361521)

but who is to say their lifestyle choice is any less valid than any other?

Because their lifestyle is based on something (child porn) that harms other human beings during production?

How did it harm anyone during production. Did her camera shoot out a laser beam igniting her hair on fire when she willingly took pictures of herself.

I encourage the /.'ers to RTFA (5, Insightful)

umeboshi (196301) | about 5 years ago | (#27360965)

... so you don't miss the part about the 14 year old girl in New Jersey who has been charged with possesion of pictures of herself.

Re:I encourage the /.'ers to RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27361279)

I'll suggest /.'ers don't RTFA. It might contain pictures as illustrations.

Re:I encourage the /.'ers to RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27361515)

You should take your advice and RTFA yourself, cause if you did, you would have noticed this:

a 14-year-old girl has now been arrested for child porn possession and distribution for posting nude photos of herself on MySpace for her boyfriend to see. At least in that case, they say they won't charge friends who viewed the photos as well.

so it was obviously public for all to see

I wonder.. (1)

patcpong (952524) | about 5 years ago | (#27360981)

.. what IS the best way to do it? Especially from the position of a district attorney or other government law enforcement agent.

Not defending the prosecutors or anything, but just honestly wondering how make sure the teens understand the consequences of what they're doing...

Re:I wonder.. (3, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 5 years ago | (#27361137)

Personally, since "my body, my choice" (abortion) law applies to teenagers, I'd personally say that the same should apply to this situation. If they want to take or distribute nude photos of *themselves*, then there shouldn't ANY "way to do it", best or not. The government should butt the heck out of the situation.

Re:I wonder.. (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 years ago | (#27361171)

Umm... Do nothing?

Taking naked pictures of yourself and distributing them is, arguably, stupid; and kids are hardly renowned for their wisdom; but that doesn't mean that the state needs to become involved.

Coercive power is all well and good when dealing with crime; but it is a lousy tool for teaching responsibility. "Hey, kid, the consequences of your actions are so severe that, in order to teach you that actions have consequences, I've had to impose a bunch of synthetic consequences on you. Enjoy life on the sex offender registry."

If, in fact, their actions have consequences, then I suspect that the kids will learn about them soon enough, no need to impose artificial ones. If they don't turn out to, then there is no need(or ethical reason) to impose any. Their parents should definitely have the "doing stupid things is a bad idea" talk with them; but the DA can GTFO.

Re:I wonder.. (1)

Shizawana (633191) | about 5 years ago | (#27361235)

And what are those consequenses exactly?

Re:I wonder.. (1)

patcpong (952524) | about 5 years ago | (#27361361)

Possibly a nude image of you floating around your school/the internet forever.

If that's what you want or you don't mind if that happens, fine, more power to you. However, I wonder how many teens doing this are actually thinking through their actions. I know when I was younger I was often caught up in the moment and did things I later regretted...

You can argue that these people need to make their own mistakes so they can learn from them, but the difference now is that these mistakes might hang around permanently (the internet has an odd habit of not letting things die)...

So If I Attempt Suicide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27360985)

Am I going to get charged with attempted premeditated murder?

Jesus Christ this country's legal system is about as clusterfucked as our current administration.

Re:So If I Attempt Suicide (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 5 years ago | (#27361355)

Jesus Christ...

Religion is a big part of the problem given its direct and indirect influence on so-called "morals" in the US and other countries.

No doubt about it (1)

marcus (1916) | about 5 years ago | (#27361397)

You'll get agreements from all sides on that comment.

It's been that way for quite some time and shows no sign of getting any better.

5th Amendment? (4, Insightful)

GPLDAN (732269) | about 5 years ago | (#27360987)

IANAL, esp. a constitutional one: However, this seems to get into 5th Amendment territory. You can't be underage, post pictures of yourself on the internet, and be charged with child pornography distribution as a minor. The act of distributing lewd material inherently assumes that you are not a party in the material itself, or at LEAST, that you are not the ONLY party in the material. If anything, you could charge the minor with public nudity or something, but not a pornography charge. That's ludicrous.

Re:5th Amendment? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27361493)

well, since they're minors, they cannot own anything; whatever they have belongs to the parents/guardians....

OH NO! Her Parents have CHILD PORN!!!!!1!1!

Only today... (5, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 5 years ago | (#27360989)

Only today can someone be sent to jail and put on a sex offender's registry for sexually abusing themselves. Clearly, she is a danger to children and shouldn't be allowed to live within 2000 ft of a school building or daycare for the rest of her life. And certainly, every time she applies for a job this should come up on her background check. Oh, and don't forget to force her to notify her neighbors that she's a sex offender.

I am so tired of the "let's make an example of them" mentality that is used to justify this crap.

Re:Only today... (5, Funny)

SQLGuru (980662) | about 5 years ago | (#27361059)

Only today can someone be sent to jail and put on a sex offender's registry for sexually abusing themselves

I'm glad they couldn't charge me when I was a kid for sexually abusing myself.......I did it quite often.

Re:Only today... (5, Insightful)

internerdj (1319281) | about 5 years ago | (#27361143)

All from a law that is meant to ensure no one screws up a child's entire life before they can make reasonable decisions about their actions...

Re:Only today... (5, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 5 years ago | (#27361445)

I've got a thought, maybe it's a crazy one or maybe it's a good one, I don't know. Every law that congress passes should have a section titled "Purpose" which describes, in detailed but plain English, what the goal of the law is. When cases go to trial, the judge and jury review the law and also the stated purpose of the law and unless the trial is fulfilling the stated purpose, no crime has been committed.

This does two things. One, it prevents wanton abuses of the system by those looking to make a name for themselves or make an example of others. Two, it requires that lawmakers actually stop and think about what the law is intended to do and, hopefully, think about whether the more technical portions of the law actually will achieve that aim.

Good news! (4, Funny)

TheCarp (96830) | about 5 years ago | (#27361607)

Well, as you know, sex offenders are very likely to reoffend. Sex offenders who offend against children are extremely dangerous today. This prosecuror is doing his part to change that.

By making these girls sex offenders abusing themselves, well... soon they will be too old to reoffend! Thus drastically lowering the recidivism rate for sex offenders!

Don't you think it would be great if we could lower the number of sex offenders who reoffend later? Shit, measures like this could result in a 90% drop in reoffence rates!

-Steve

Probation? (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 years ago | (#27360997)

the ACLU has sued the prosecutor on the girls' behalf, saying he shouldn't have threatened them with baseless charges -- which haven't yet been filed -- if they wouldn't agree to probation and a counseling program

Probation? That's still an admission that she did something illegal. If you don't own your own likeness, that's a problem. It would not be the first time the ACLU completely missed the point. (Yes, I'm still glad they exist, on the balance.) Counseling is only really an admission that she did something not socially acceptable... which is therefore an acceptable statement to make. But even probation is an obscene punishment for distribution of your own likeness.

Re:Probation? (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 years ago | (#27361227)

I think you parsed the sentence wrong. The DA said "Agree to probation and counseling, or I'll press charges"(incidentally, is that really what "rule of law" looks like?). The ACLU said "WTF? you shouldn't be threatening them at all."

It was the DA, not the ACLU, who proposed probation and counseling.

Re:Probation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27361285)

I do not think this means what you think it means.

Seems as though the prosecutor used child pornography charges as a cudgel to convince the girl to accede to probation and a counseling program. The ACLU stepped in because they thought the threat was excessive.

How does this qualify as pornography? (1, Redundant)

Aram Fingal (576822) | about 5 years ago | (#27361047)

This question is so obvious that I'm probably going to end up getting modded redundant but here goes anyway. My understanding is that something has to include sexual acts to be considered pornography. Nudity, by itself, is not pornography. Either the charges are baseless because of that or there is something more going on here than the story says. In other words, they weren't just nude pictures.

Re:How does this qualify as pornography? (0, Troll)

Teun (17872) | about 5 years ago | (#27361403)

You don't need to be modded redundant but you should consider reviewing your gullibility re. pedo-sexual predators.

Why Not? (1)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | about 5 years ago | (#27361089)

Why not allow this sort of behaivor? Many (most?) states already suspend alleged DUI offenders driver's license without a trial-by-jury [ca.gov] on as little as the officer's suspision. Seems logical DAs would feel he is allowed to order the alleged to jump through hoops (submit to illegal questioning, attend required education programs, involuntary registrations, monitoring and forced denial of other rights like firearm ownership; were the accused has the burden of proof) without due process, because the <sarcasm>allegation is just the red-headed step child of a conviction</sarcasm>

While we're at it, lets make all men over 18 who watch cheerleading contests on ESPN register as sex offenders because they probably will at some point and finding evidence and going to trial is too hard, and this saves money.

Re:Why Not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27361345)

There are terms you agree to when you get your driver's license. If you fail to abide those terms, you've broken the contract. The states are perfectly within their rights to end their part of the contract at that point, refuse to enter into another contract for as long as they like and attach whatever preconditions they want to entering into another contract.

It is completely different from this case, as at no point does anyone agree to terms to get a "being a minor" license. No license exists to be revoked, so no preconditions can be imposed on its restoration.

Seriously, what is going on here?! (5, Insightful)

thesolo (131008) | about 5 years ago | (#27361131)

From TFA:

Called "sexting" when it's done by cell phone, teenagers' habit of sending sexually suggestive photos of themselves and others to one another is a nationwide problem that has confounded parents, school administrators and law enforcers.

Really? Teenagers having sex and taking naked pictures of themselves is now a nationwide problem?!

No. Millions of people losing their jobs is a nationwide problem. Teenagers taking naked pictures of themselves is a non-issue. These aren't exploited kids being molested or stripped against their will. And I guarantee you at least one of these prosecutors streaked, went skinny-dipping, etc. in their youth. This is just ridiculous. Don't we as a nation have better things to be worried about than a teenager getting naked for another teenager?!

Re:Seriously, what is going on here?! (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 5 years ago | (#27361233)

And I guarantee you at least one of these prosecutors streaked, went skinny-dipping, etc. in their youth

Statistically, 40% to 50% of them also tried marijuana, but I doubt you'll find 40% of district attorneys willing to advocate for legalization.

Re:Seriously, what is going on here?! (1, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 5 years ago | (#27361303)

(playing Devil's Advocate for a moment)

For some people, the idea is that teenagers getting naked for other teenagers is moral decay, and moral decay means that God will punish the country by sending hurricanes and the like. So this sort of social issue is in their mind really a matter of life-and-death or the safety-of-the-nation. In this mindset, Hurricane Katrina was divine punishment for boobs on Mardi Gras, for instance. People like Pat Robertson have been pushing this worldview for a long time.

No, I don't believe it for a second, but that's the mindset.

sexting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27361369)

I love it when middle-aged people make up words for what those darned kids are getting up to nowadays. I haven't been a teenager for a good long while now, but I can pretty much guarantee you that none of them are using the word "sexting" without irony.

Re:Seriously, what is going on here?! (1)

bogidu (300637) | about 5 years ago | (#27361423)

I'm more concerned that the article seems to feel that it's the school's responsibility to deal with my children's sexual habits. IT'S NONE OF THEIR F&^%(%@n business in my opinion!

Re:Seriously, what is going on here?! (1)

Gat0r30y (957941) | about 5 years ago | (#27361575)

Don't we as a nation have better things to be worried about than a teenager getting naked for another teenager?!

You must be new here. You see, we have actual problems but they might be hard to solve, so instead of considering real problems and solving them rationally we distract ourselves. And if absurd things like this aren't a good enough distraction I don't know what is.

This makes sense... (5, Insightful)

lunatic1969 (1010175) | about 5 years ago | (#27361281)

Following this same logic, if a teenager masturbates they should be charged with sexually molesting a minor...

Charge them all. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27361337)

'Cause that's what the law says. Let them out on bail, and set their trials as far into the future as possible. Then, once there's plenty of ammo for the media, pressure the government to amend the patently absurd law to retroactively legalize the childrens' photo-sharing. Once such photo-sharing is no longer illegal, drop the charges and reverse any convictions that have been obtained.

No, it's not very nice to use the kids as pawns in this manner. But laws should not be selectively enforced, and the public outrage that this could generate might be the only way to persuade those in power to fix this absurdity. Besides, it might actually make the politicians think before criminalizing more victimless actions in the future.

Oh, but I must... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27361375)

What is the leading cause of child pornography?

Sexy children

Toodles! I am off to hell now.

If the residents of those states . . . . . (1)

bogidu (300637) | about 5 years ago | (#27361385)

don't care, then the governmental "authorities" will continue to do this kind of nonsense. Frankly anyone living in those states should be sitting on the front steps of the local courthouses in an effort to bring sanity back to the system.

The laws are supposed to protect abuse of children, not get in the way of the progress of normal sexual development.

Does teen masturbation now count as a sex act with a minor? Even if it's yourself?? Holy s&^*! we'd have to give every teen out there a criminal record!

Oh, wait, these are the same people that think telling kids not to have sex will stop teen pregnancy (shhhhhhhhhhhh, let's not educate them, let's just tell them to not experience normal sexual development!) If these people had their way, our entire country would endup like a bunch of 20-30 something mormons, uptight and clueless about their own sexuality!

I digress, the point was that if the local leadership is prosecuting "crimes" and the local population supports their actions, then I guess it's what the people want. . . . by the people, for the people. Personally, if it were in my town, it would jumpstart my own political activity.

*sigh*

--

get guns, stockpile food, wait for world to end. . . . . . and they say I'M the lunatic.

Ban mirrors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27361405)

In other news new legislation is being proposed to ban teens from looking in the mirror. Teens are also being advised that burkas should be worn at all times to avoid unwittingly distributing "live action child pornography".

Don't stop at halfway measures. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27361441)

Charging a minor for possession of child porn for having nude pictures of themselves is only a partial measure towards cleaning up the whole unsavory mess in our efforts to save children from the perils of pleasure.

Consider the shocking fact that anytime one of these poor innocents is naked, they might be preyed on by anyone who is present, even if that predator is themselves. We are not talking about just pictures here people, we are talking about live underage nudie shows that are a perdator's banquet. Obviously this has to stop to save the children. Clearly any person who is in the presence of a naked person under the age of 18 should be immediately charged with sexual luring and inviting a minor to engage in sexual contact. So the next time some 14 year old girl sped too long drying off in front of the mirror, slap the cuffs on her and charge her.

Of course underage masturbation should is clearly the equivalent of child rape and should result in at least life imprisonment.

My god, are we going to just sit around and let this wave of perversion and filth sweep across the nation? Lets start charging and jailing these perverts to keep them children safe from themselves.

Children posting nude pictures of themselves (4, Informative)

Raul654 (453029) | about 5 years ago | (#27361501)

This isn't the first case like this. There was A.H. v Florida [wikipedia.org], which made national headlines. Unfortunately, it ended badly for the teens in question.

Child porn is child porn (0, Troll)

Anita Coney (648748) | about 5 years ago | (#27361561)

If a person under the age of 18 is taking and distributing sexual pictures of him or herself, he or she is committing a criminal act. He or she is creating and distributing child porn.

There is absolutely no exemption or exception under our child pornography laws for people who take and distribute pictures of themselves.

The law sees no distinction between a 40 year old man taking and distributing nude pictures of his 13 year old neighbor and the neighbor taking and distributing pictures of herself.

I'll just say this, I'm not arguing for or against the child porn laws we have in this country. All I'm saying is that as they currently exist, there is no exception under the law for creating your own child porn and distributing it yourself.

Typical American dickheads (1)

smchris (464899) | about 5 years ago | (#27361567)

What could go wrong with a kid's life after they're charged as kiddie porn peddlers?

Just obviously, so much better than letting something like this slide. I guess. I mean, how do you get inside these people's minds?

Pics or GTFO!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27361581)

Pics or GTFO!!!!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...