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ACLU Wins, No Sexting Charges For NJ Teens

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the know-it-when-i-see-it dept.

Censorship 406

Following up on the "sexting" case we've discussed in recent days, oliphaunt sends word from the Times-Tribune that a New Jersey federal judge has ordered the prosecutor not to file charges in the cases of three teenage girls whose cell phones were confiscated. "Wyoming [NJ] County District Attorney George Skumanick Jr. cannot charge three teenage girls who appeared in photographs seminude traded by classmates last year, a judge ruled Monday. US District Judge James M. Munley granted a request by the American Civil Liberties Union to temporarily stop Mr. Skumanick from filing felony charges against the Tunkhannock Area School District students."

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406 comments

It's a battle and not the war.. (4, Insightful)

SirFozzie (442268) | more than 5 years ago | (#27408727)

TFS states that it's only a TEMPORARY halt to filing any charges on the teens

Re:It's a battle and not the war.. (5, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27408939)

Yeah, and based on the article I read earlier (my excuse for not RingTFA now) the basis for the judgement was that the pictures of the girls were not sexually explicit, not that charging the subject as in supposed victim of child pornography with life-devastating charges is an affront against the spirit of anti-child-porn laws and of justice itself.

I suppose given the former there's no reason to rule on the latter, but still I really wanted this to be thrown out because the very concept of charging the girls whose photos were taken is insanely Kafkaesque.

Re:It's a battle and not the war.. (4, Informative)

davidphogan74 (623610) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409151)

The ACLU lawsuit argues the photographs in which the girls appear are not pornographic and should be protected under the First Amendment.

It's exactly that. Thank you First Amendment, once again.

Re:It's a battle and not the war.. (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409571)

the basis for the judgement was that the pictures of the girls were not sexually explicit

Now that these pictures have been ruled not sexually explicit, where can I get a copy?

Re:It's a battle and not the war.. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410007)

2 of the girls were wearing underwear, so it's no different than watching girls in bikinis, and I think it's ridiculous they were charged for child porn when they weren't even naked!!! Stupid Puritan bastard D.A.

The one girl who was topless is not sharing her photo. However you can find similar photos by going here (simple nudity): http://www.purenudism.com/free/nude-women-playing.html [purenudism.com]

Re:It's a battle and not the war.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27410053)

Who modded this guy up?

Re:It's a battle and not the war.. (1)

Jophiel04 (1341463) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410105)

Karma bonus modifier did it...

Re:It's a battle and not the war.. (2, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409617)

Pretty scary stuff as the pictures described contain more clothing (a braw, which typically covers more than a bikini, and long pant pajama bottoms) as would otherwise be present at a lake or beach outing. If allowed to stand, anyone who has ever taken a picture while at the beach or lake is likely a child pornographer in the eyes of this idiot prosecutor. According to this idiot, the majority of the world is a child pornographer.

It would be nice if this guy were to be beat over the head with wrongful and malicious prosecutions.

Re:It's a battle and not the war.. (5, Interesting)

skroops (1237422) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409717)

This actually happened to me when I was a high-school student... Back before the internet crash, when you could get domain names for free, a friend of mine wanted to put a website up of his balls, just his balls, at jasonsballs.com (made-up first name). He was 16 and I was 17. I registered the site and drew up the html, with jasonsballs.com in big red letter, a single gif of his ballsack, and an angelfire counter. A few days later and a coupl e thousand hits later, I'm in the administrative office at my highschool with the police. They asked me about it and I explained what we had done (mistake of course). After a bit of time both of us were charged with "Pandering Obscenity of a Minor" or some such charge, a 5th degree felony. After months of lawyers talking, we finally had a court date. 5 minutes in, when an actual judge saw the case, he dismissed it immediately. Nevermind the thousands of dollars in attorney's fees that we had to pay.

I had an idea to call the ACLU at that time but thought that media exposure might hurt me in the long run, now I regret not calling them.

Anyway, this seems like a similar situation and hopefully competent decisions like this will continue to be made.

Re:It's a battle and not the war.. (3, Funny)

basementman (1475159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410033)

"media exposure" heh

Re:It's a battle and not the war.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27410217)

Did you find out how in the hell can a random picture of someone's balls be determined to be minor? How did they know?

Re:It's a battle and not the war.. (4, Insightful)

C_L_Lk (1049846) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409801)

Now if only the article was correct - this didn't take place in New Jersey, but Pennsylvania. FYI I went to this high school in the 90s. The girls were nothing to write home about. I still don't think they are - not much changes in farm country.

I know the families of several of the involved in this case -- it just was yet another case of a DA trying to make a big name for himself with a "prize case" that would make nation attention and move him up the ladder in his career. He's a real ass clown.

Re:It's a battle and not the war.. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410081)

>>>The girls were nothing to write home about. I still don't think they are - not much changes in farm country.

Except the size of their butts.

Most of the girls in my class (~40) now weigh the equivalent of two of their high school selves (i.e. 200 instead of 100 pounds). Sad. One of our mates already had his first heart attack. Gee, I wonder why?

Re:It's a battle and not the war.. (3, Informative)

oliphaunt (124016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409145)

Well, sure, the ACLU only filed its complaint like, what, three or four days ago? It's ridonkulous to think a court would issue a final ruling in five days. But it's not unusual to get a temporary order this fast, that will hold while the court takes its time to figure out whether to make the order permanent or give this nutjob prosecutor a chance to back down.

Re:It's a battle and not the war.. (4, Insightful)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409207)

It's a rather curious way to proceed - the ACLU has sued the DA in a federal court in order to prevent him from filing charges. I didn't realize something like that would even be possible. Clearly the kids need protection from this DA though. From another article [wcexaminer.com] : Parents were told their teens could avoid prosecution if they agreed to participate in a five-week program Skumanick developed with the county probation office and county's Victims Resource Center. Frankly - sounds to me like this pervert is looking for an excuse to humiliating some pretty young girls. "Give me your kids to torment or I'll add them to the sex offender registry".

Re:It's a battle and not the war.. (2, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409751)

IANAL, and I don't know the legal basis for this, but ethically should we not be allowed to sue, or bring charges, against prosecutors who do patently ridiculous and abusive things?

Re:It's a battle and not the war.. (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410167)

>>>sounds to me like this pervert is looking for an excuse to humiliating some pretty young girls.

Sounds to me like he's a religious type, and he sees an opportunity to impose his Judeo-christian values onto the citizens. He likely thinks nudity is a horrible, horrible sin deserving of punishment and hopes to scare other people from being nude. Or having sex. Or fun. There's no tyrant worse than a tyrant trying to "do good". I hate morality dictators.

Why is the header in red? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27408745)

What makes this thread so special that it's dedicated with a RED header?

Re:Why is the header in red? (4, Funny)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 5 years ago | (#27408783)

This is about girls, 'sex', and on slashdot.

Think about it.

Re:Why is the header in red? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27408883)

It's in red because it's a YRO article [slashdot.org] dumbass

NJ? Really? (5, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27408807)

These teens are in PA, not NJ.

There is no Wyoming County in NJ.

The judge may be in NJ (since federal jurisdictions often overlap individual states).

Also note that there is no such thing as a "New Jersey federal judge". Submitter should be a little more careful... that judge has a specific title which wolud disambiguate which court we're talking about.

That summary was atrocious. Blech.

Re:NJ? Really? (2, Informative)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27408959)

Well that'd explain the other two comments pointing out that this isn't even permanent. It basically means nothing. It's all still temporary. I'm glad I took the time to read the comments before I got all excited about the possibility of sanity returning to American courts.

Re:NJ? Really? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409797)

Well that'd explain the other two comments pointing out that this isn't even permanent. It basically means nothing.

Read the wired.com article about the injuction
http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2009/03/judge-bars-da-f.html [wired.com]

Walczack [legal director for the ACLU of PA] told Threat Level that during the hearing the judge had looked at the two photos in question and asked the lawyers representing the defendant, "I just want to be clear that these are the two photos that are illegal?"

"He had sort of this incredulous tone in his voice," Walczack said. ...
...
[District Attorney] Skumanick was not available for comment. The district attorney is up for re-election in May.

indeed (1)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409029)

The link in the summary is to the Scranton (PA) Times, and the judge is in the US District Court of Middle Pennsylvania.

I found this out by 1) clicking on the story link, and 2) Googling for judge's name and clicking on THE VERY FIRST LINK.

Seriously, can't the alleged editors of this site pretend to give a fuck about the accuracy of what they post?

Re:indeed (0, Redundant)

oliphaunt (124016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409183)

You're right, my fault, I'm an idiot. I posted this in 30 seconds this morning based on a link in my RSS feed, and I got some details wrong. I'd edit the story if I could.

But the upshot of the post is still correct- the ACLU won a court order against the prosecutor, preventing him from filing charges. This is still a win.

Re:indeed (-1, Flamebait)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409397)

So, you submitted the story this morning, in a rush, without checking the details.

Maybe you're an idiot (idiots seldom take responsibility for their idiocy); what's the editors' excuse for posting the story this afternoon/evening without checking any of the details, or apparently even bothering to click on the link you provided?

Re:indeed (0, Redundant)

oliphaunt (124016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409573)

OK, maybe I'm not an idiot, but my post was certainly careless. And I really do wish i could edit it now.

Re:indeed (3, Funny)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409727)

Now that's fair. Bad Slashdot poster! No donut. At least, not until everyone else has gotten one and you have to pick from the rejects.

Re:indeed (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409241)

Seriously, can't the alleged editors of this site pretend to give a fuck about the accuracy of what they post?

Why should they bother? Somebody will post any corrections in the comments.

Re:NJ? Really? (3, Funny)

oliphaunt (124016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409031)

hey, this is slashdot. you're not supposed to read the article.

Re:NJ? Really? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409147)

"New Jersey Federal Judge" means a Federal Judge whose district or circuit is in New Jersey. A little Googling will confirm that "{state} Federal Judge" is a pretty common idiom. Nobody who's not a lawyer (and thinking you know all about the law doesn't count) really cares about which specific district.

Which is not to defend sloppy summaries. Though I must point out that as Slashdot summaries go, this one is not all that bad, even with getting the state wrong.

And there's no point in complaining about submitters. Of course most submission are going to have errors of fact. That's the nature of crowdsourcing. What we need to ask is why the editors never edit really sloppy submissions.

OK, bad spelling and grammar, that's traditional, I can live with it. But Slashdot has come to reflect the Telephone Game aspects of the blogosphere to a painful degree.

Re:NJ? Really? (3, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409423)

These teens are in PA, not NJ.

And thus regardless of the actual ruling we can by deduction state that there are no "sexting" charges for nj teens, and the article title is correct!

Re:NJ? Really? (1)

oliphaunt (124016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409535)

I'm intrigued by your logic and I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter :-P

Re:NJ? Really? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410019)

Learn the true logic!

Re:NJ? Really? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409563)

I know, I was reading this thinking "New Jersey?? Wyoming...??? Huh???

Anyway, looks like a crack of sanity is shining in on this badly written law. Hopefully it'll schlep through the system finally ending up in a new, better-worded version. This nonsense of waving a banner of "Save the children!" and pushing crappy legislation through congress needs to be stopped. Ha ha ha, who am I kidding?!

Tempered a bit, at least.

Hard to judge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27408815)

Hard to make a call on this one. I will need to see these photos before I can form my opinion.

Re:Hard to judge (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27408927)

Seen it on her MySpace before they took it down. Smoooooth pussy with a few little hairs, pirky little titties. Just what a 14 year old boy needs to unload his spunk!

Accuracy? (2, Insightful)

alexo (9335) | more than 5 years ago | (#27408875)

TFA:
Judge Munley ruled Mr. Walczak successfully met the standards necessary to issue a temporary order blocking Mr. Skumanick from filing charges against the three teens, including that they have demonstrated "a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits of their First Amendment claims." He also believed "no harm would come to (Mr. Skumanick) by delaying prosecution on this matter."

Re:Accuracy? (4, Informative)

oliphaunt (124016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409205)

right. first you get a temporary order. Then the court looks at the briefs, and maybe even asks for oral arguments. Then the judge decides if he needs to make the order permanent.

That's how the process works.

Re:Accuracy? (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410027)

right. first you get a temporary order. Then the court looks at the briefs,

If the girls had been wearing briefs, I don't think this would be an issue now. Or maybe they needed boxers.

pix plz (0, Troll)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 5 years ago | (#27408879)

Sorry, had a 4chan moment. I need to go atone for my sins now.

Re:pix plz (2, Informative)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27408961)

Would you be referring to good old Rule 34 [xkcd.com] ? :)

Reasoning? (4, Insightful)

nathan.fulton (1160807) | more than 5 years ago | (#27408907)

often, the reason for a decision is just as (if not more than) important than the decision itself. I'm skeptical of whether or not this is a good thing in this case. While the judge does mention the first amendment, this little gem is in TFA:
"Mr. Walczak has said it was clear the three girls were victims; they did not take or distribute the photos in question."

Which means that this decision decided to ignore the issue of rather or not one can commit sex crimes against one's self. Which is kind of unfortunate.

Re:Reasoning? (4, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409041)

Don't you just hate when you wake up in the morning after a night of heavy drinking and find out that you've taken advantage of yourself again? I know it always makes ME want to press charges for committing sex crimes against myself! If it is that obvious that the teens didn't take the pictures themselves (i.e. the pictures didn't show them holding a camera) then why were they threatened with prosecution in the first place? If a 2 year old hands you a photo of themselves posing naked on a bear skin rug, should said 2 year be arrested for distribution of child porn and forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of their life?

Re:Reasoning? (4, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409371)

If a 2 year old hands you a photo of themselves posing naked on a bear skin rug, should said 2 year be arrested for distribution of child porn and forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of their life?

In the USA, yes. In a country with a sane legal system, no.

Re:Reasoning? (4, Insightful)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409743)

Of course - children are by themselves pornographic. Any picture of them is pornography, any development of their sexuality is a crime. After all it could titillate a prosecutor and make him feel uncomfortable about himself.

Re:Reasoning? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409761)

Don't you just hate when you wake up in the morning after a night of heavy drinking and find out that you've taken advantage of yourself again?

Yes but I always find myself coming back for more so I must like it.

Re:Reasoning? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27409805)

You've obviously confused the US with a society that is comfortable with human sexuality.

Re:Reasoning? (2, Informative)

basementman (1475159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410049)

Common misconception, naked pictures do not constitute child porn. The images need to be sexual as well. This is why the nude pics of me in the bath when I was 3 are not illegal. And no I will not email you them.

Re:Reasoning? (2, Informative)

Slurgi (892128) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409045)

Which means that this decision decided to ignore the issue of rather or not one can commit sex crimes against one's self. Which is kind of unfortunate.

Not everybody considers this unfortunate. I doubt he "ignored" the issue; rather, he opted that the defense of a person willingly committing a sex crime against oneself is invalid. That decision makes a lot of sense in my book.

Re:Reasoning? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27409379)

Statutory much? It may be consensual, but.../insert outrageous flame bait example of that philosophy here/

The laws on consensual sex between a young adult and almost-18 minor are different in different states of the USA. I think there will be some grappling with ethics/morals of this for some time to come...

Re:Reasoning? (5, Informative)

BaronHethorSamedi (970820) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409155)

Which means that this decision decided to ignore the issue of rather or not one can commit sex crimes against one's self. Which is kind of unfortunate.

I don't think the decision does any such thing. (The full text of the judge's order may be found here [aclupa.org] .)

This is only a temporary restraining order. It doesn't really get into the underlying issues of the prosecution itself. It's just a preliminary finding that the girls do seem to have a good First Amendment case, and that allowing the prosecution to proceed without some more argument into the free speech question might cause irreparable harm. The judge expressly notes that even a temporary infringement of First Amendment rights is a legally cognizable harm. Good for him.

The judge also takes note of the argument that the girls here are victims, not perpetrators. That question isn't decided (though it certainly isn't ignored), because again, this is only a temporary restraining order that doesn't reach that far into the substance of the case.

Sanity At least for now (3, Insightful)

olddotter (638430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27408949)

This could get very ugly in the future. Lets just hope people REALLY think of the children, instead of using that as a political sound bite.

Yeah, Right... (3, Funny)

nathan.fulton (1160807) | more than 5 years ago | (#27408955)

TFA:
He also believed "no harm would come to (Mr. Skumanick) by delaying prosecution on this matter."

I have to say, I don't agree with the judge's assessment. With all the press coverage and a successful temporary injunction(?), I can't imagine this guy is looking forward to the campaign trail this year.

The real winner here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27408995)

is all of us. well all of us that also browse 4chan.

Children are the enemy. (4, Interesting)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409027)

In the United States (and, more and more the UK and Australia), children are the enemy.

Why?

Re:Children are the enemy. (5, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409135)

Because they can't vote.

Re:Children are the enemy. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27409189)

Children are the future, unless we stop them now.

Re:Children are the enemy. (3, Interesting)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409409)

In the United States (and, more and more the UK and Australia), children are the enemy.

Why?

Easy target. Young people can't defend themselves.

Re:Children are the enemy. (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409451)

not sure if they're 'the enemy' or not; but I do agree they're highly annoying in airplanes, in restaurants and in theatres!

Re:Children are the enemy. (4, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409499)

In the United States (and, more and more the UK and Australia), children are the enemy.

Because it's the only way to protect them!

Imagine what harm could come to these poor girls if they weren't sent to prison for ten years and disallowed from coming anywhere near a school and having to notify all their neighbors of their crimes for the rest of their life?! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

Re:Children are the enemy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27409509)

Because they take up my valuable resources ($)(time) and don't give me any $ back. Not a wise investment.

Of course, you could move to Italy, Columbia, or Austria... sorry too tired to use html today, you will just have to figure out the reference.

Re:Children are the enemy. (5, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409599)

My theory: Having children leads to the end of all meaningful morality.

Morality is defined by what a reasonable person in society says it is. When people have children they are no longer reasonable, their genes don't let them be. It is paramount that a person's children be protected from any and all harm and given every advantage possible; because of this, parents can no longer judge what is in the best interest of society.

I wish I could say I was joking more than I am. Unfortunately, I've had this conversation with someone before. Them: "You don't want universal healthcare, the quality of your care will go down". Me: "What if I value everyone having care more important that some hypothetical reduction to my care?". Them: "You'll understand once you have children".

Re:Children are the enemy. (3, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410089)

Hmm... or what you think is meaningful morality when you're childless turns out to be meaningless, after your enlightenment comes when you finally reproduce.

Neither is true, of course, and those sorts of arguments are completely irrational in and of themselves; they're all variants of well-known logical fallacies. It can be pretty much cleanly disproven by the fact that there are childless individuals, and people with children, on both sides of the argument.

I love my children very much, and I am terrifically concerned about their future. Most of what I do is for the children. I do indeed 'think of the children.' That means that I would hate to see their human rights abrogated over a non-issue like a flirtatious picture. Concern for children isn't the problem; that's a good thing. Irrational and misplaced concern is the problem.

selfishness (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409855)

witness the term "crotchfruit" and the way people who have kids are looked down upon

and the general trend among all developed nations, not just the west, to stop having children

they are just too messy, too much to bother

of course, they are also your replacement after you are dead, but i guess that's a minor detail, somehow

we had to destroy the children... (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409929)

It follows logically from "won't somebody think of the children", and "we had to destroy the village to save it" [wikipedia.org] .

If Fox News reported this (5, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409033)

"Atheists and liberal judges make child porn legal." Brit Hume reporting.

Re:If Fox News reported this (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409093)

We need to fire the retards in our government. Bush was a first good step. This prosecutor would be a good second.

Re:If Fox News reported this (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409233)

Retards in Government = Redundant

Because most Americans are Retards who vote for the retarded (D) and (R)s ruining our country.

Re:If Fox News reported this (4, Funny)

Pichu0102 (916292) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409325)

You can't spell retard without r and d!

*ducks*

Re:If Fox News reported this (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27409237)

Unfortunately we didn't really fire Bush until he had to quit anyway, after passing up the chance in 2004.

Re:If Fox News reported this (1)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409445)

We need to fire the retards in our government. Bush was a first good step. This prosecutor would be a good second.

We don't need to fire people like the prosecutor. We need to throw them in a mental ward.

Honestly. Prosecuting a young person for exploring their sexuality? Someone's got some screws loose.

Re:If Fox News reported this (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409769)

And people need to be far more careful about electing prosecuters. They have a LOT of power for a local position. For an average person, a prosecuter might even be more important than the President, which would imply a thinking period of several months should be completed before a vote is cast.

Re:If Fox News reported this (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27409125)

Which would technically be true!

Re:If Fox News reported this (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409253)

And, from your sig, apparently your girlfriend would agree with that statement. I read a few of her columns, and apparently she's still promulgating some idea that the stock market crash was all a conspiracy by the radical left to seize control of the White House.

No matter how you look at it, there was no child porn involved.

Old fashioned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27409069)

Back in my day, I'd be more scared of my parents than from other sources, let alone the trouble from my parents compared to others.

Now, GET OFF MY LAWN.

Power trippers must be stopped. (3, Insightful)

huiwe (1292974) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409157)

The next step is to take action against those who deemed it protective of his charges to:

1. access an electronic device without permission
2. view personal images whose intended audience was limited to a chosen few (maybe one, not staff in general)
3. fail to limit the negative impact on the life of his charges

First step would be to seize the personal/work computers of the people involved to ensure copies of said photos has not been taken.

At a minimum a transfer to a job where the people he responsibility for are only one pay grade below him, power trippers must be stopped and they hate that.

Goddamn DA (3, Insightful)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409171)

No, strike that - fucking overzealous DA.

He was willing to ruin the lives of these kids, and for what?

It's shit like this that makes the rest of the world shake their heads with pity at the US.

Re:Goddamn DA (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409487)

It's shit like this that makes the rest of the world shake their heads with pity at the US and Saudi Arabia

Different outcomes but similar problems. Unable to distinguish between victim and perpetrator.

lock em up (1)

Sam36 (1065410) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409339)

lock these girls up for a few nights in juvee with big mama bertha

pennsylvania is a scary place to be a kid (5, Informative)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409349)

(btw, it happened in PENNSYLVANIA, not new jersey):

http://prisonpost.com/blog/2009/02/20/pennsylvania-judges-plead-guilty-in-juvenile-center-kickback-scheme_227.html [prisonpost.com]

At worst, Hillary Transue thought she might get a stern lecture when she appeared before a judge for building a spoof MySpace page mocking the assistant principal at her high school in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. She was a stellar student who had never been in trouble, and the page stated clearly at the bottom that it was just a joke.

Instead, the judge sentenced her to three months at a juvenile detention center on a charge of harassment.

She was handcuffed and taken away as her stunned parents stood by.

"I felt like I had been thrown into some surreal sort of nightmare," said Hillary, 17, who was sentenced in 2007. "All I wanted to know was how this could be fair and why the judge would do such a thing."

why was the judge so harsh?

because he was getting kickbacks from the privately run prison

let me repeat that: in the usa, children, who did not deserve to be sent to prison, were being sent to prison for minor offenses. why? because the prisons were being run PRIVATELY, there was a PROFIT MOTIVE. enter: one crooked judge eager to line his pockets, and you have a cash machine

how evil is that? i mean really, how utterly shameful on us as americans that this took place? how shameful on us that we allowed the fiscal and legal environment in which PRIVATE PRISONS even fucking exist!

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/14/us/14judge.html?fta=y [nytimes.com]

Several hundred families filed a class-action suit Friday against two Pennsylvania judges who pleaded guilty on Thursday to accepting $2.6 million in kickbacks for sending juveniles to private detention facilities.

"At the hands of two grossly corrupt judges and several conspirators, hundreds of Pennsylvania children, their families and loved ones, were victimized and their civil rights were violated," said Michael J. Cefalo, one of the lawyers representing the families. "It's our intent to make sure that the system rights this terrible injustice and holds those responsible accountable."

Pennsylvania lawmakers called on Friday for hearings into the state's juvenile justice system. And the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia, which blew the whistle on the judges, said it had sworn affidavits from families who said they had sought court-appointed counsel but were told that their children would have to wait weeks, sometimes months, for a lawyer. During that time, the children would have to remain in detention, the families said.

ok, so we have enron, we have this gem, we have the recent stock market crash

dear fiscal conservatives and republitards: why exactly do you want to privatize and deregulate everything?

i await your stunning insight as to how its all the democrats fault, when this private prison debacle and something like enron and the recent stock market meltdown are clear and obvious indications as to why, no, some things in this world you actually do not want to privatize and deregulate, that you actually want to keep utlities and prisons in the hands of the government, and you want to regulate the markets, for their own good. i now await your usual regurgitated kneejerk drivel about tax and spend democrats and socialism. well yes, actually, democrats are tax and spend. as opposed to republicans, who are just spend (all deficits climb sky high under republicans and are reduced under democrats: study past administrations). and as for socialism: yes, democrats actually do care enough to say gee, maybe its wrong middle class hardworking folks have to declare bankruptcy when they get a serious illness

"bloated government bureaucracy... blah blah blah... welfare queens... blah blah blah"

i'll take being taxed a little more for adequate healthcare for middle class people and being taxed a little more because prisons are run by the government rather than something like blackwater, than you very much. you may now call me label me whatever off-the-shelf unthinking epithet you reserve for people who hold opinions different from yours THAT JUST MIGHT BE RIGHT WHILE YOU ARE WRONG

wake. the. fuck. up. conservatives.

your ideology is dead

Re:pennsylvania is a scary place to be a kid (1)

whoop (194) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409819)

Taking bribes, cooking the books, etc are all illegal. People caught doing it get sent to prison. What, do you want to make it illegaler?

Go ahead, nationalize banks, prisons, whatever. Some one will figure out the system and find a way to skim some money for them self. Instead of a prison company doing the bribing, it'll be the toilet paper supplier. More people in prison, more pooping that goes on, profit! Government does not save you from any similar corruption.

Re:pennsylvania is a scary place to be a kid (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409907)

But in the example the OP posted, there is a HUGE difference between you thinking that suppliers to the prison will have enough influence (and profit gain) to greatly increase the prison population and the actual prison being able to gain from more prisoners (they probably get subsidies for each inmate - direct increase in income). Simply by being 1 step further away from being able to directly take away our rights (again please read the OP) you have greatly reduced the possible gain in taking those rights away.

Re:pennsylvania is a scary place to be a kid (2, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409965)

Taking bribes, cooking the books, etc are all illegal. People caught doing it get sent to prison. What, do you want to make it illegaler?

No he wants to eliminate the underlying cause of the corruption which is the profit motive. Yeah, yeah, there can still exist corruption, but the farther back you push it the more marginal the opportunity for profit and thus the more marginal the corruption itself. The TP supplier having a profit motive is infinitely better than having the prison have a direct profit motive itself, because the odds of a TP supplier coming out ahead bribing a judge to send a person to prison so they use some extra TP is slim.

Re:pennsylvania is a scary place to be a kid (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410041)

In the past 5000 odd years, we've learned one thing: making stuff illegal doesn't make it go away. Removing the reason to do stuff makes stuff go away. Why create a profit motive when the reason behind the operation is not profit?

exactly (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410061)

it will JUST be the toilet paper supplier that is corrupt

rather than the fucking judge, sending kids to prison who shouldn't be there

in EVERY legal and fiscal environment there are certain incentives to do certain rotten things. its just that when you privatize and deregulate, you essentially add a myriad more avenues for such graft, and you also increase the scope and potential massive harm and criminality of such graft

fiscal and social conservatives operate under the rubrick of personal accountability and self-regulation. and this is an absolutely valid concept. except when you put a few people in charge of facets of society- prisons, utilities, the stock market- that can have wide ranging and hardcore adverse affects, beyond the individual who makes the mistake/ commits the crime

in other words, personal accountability and self-regulation are completely valid concepts when it comes to putting things on the line that only you can take damage from. for example: you crash your car, you have no insurance. tough luck. the one who takes most of the damage is you. conservative principles in full effect

but when those individuals do things like pad the books of privatized utilities, get kickbacks to send kids to private prisons (the very existence of pirvate prisons is a horrible shame on american society), give $1,000,000 housing loans to waitresses, etc., then you are abrogating your responsibilities in such a way that way more than just yourself is adversely affected when the shit hits the fan

in other words, personal responsiblity and self regulation are ideologically and philosophically unsound concepts when it comes to running aspects of society that have wideranging and dangerous affects

here's an allegory: should we privatize the nuclear icbm silos? obviously not. too much is at stake to let someone other than those with the ultimate reponsibility, the government, the representatives of the people, to take full charge. if you understand that, why don't you understand that the same concept applies to prisons, utilities, and the stock market

but conservatives have this completely airhead notion, and i don't know where it comes from, perhaps out of an overriding fear of bureaucracy, red tape, taxes, etc., that you can just privatize everything, and nothing bad will come of that

conservatives: it is more expensive to privatize some things, in terms of the shit hitting the fan, then the expense of the red tape, the bureaucracy, the extra taxes, that you loathe

absolutely 100% true

learn that from recent history

evolve your boneheaded ideology

Re:pennsylvania is a scary place to be a kid (5, Insightful)

Calithulu (1487963) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409911)

Or... and I posit this entirely theoretically, it might be best if we take the approach that both the liberal and conservative viewpoints have some merit and we should work to create reasonable compromises in politics, government, and all laws.

Of course, that's just me talking. But based on the rhetoric and vitriol we see regarding politics in the media, on the web, and in other venues I appear to be the last centrist.

the truth is (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410163)

society swings, from left to right, left to right, back and forth, forever. right now, after the utter failures of conservative ideology under the bush administration under all fronts, domestic and foreign, now, under obama, we are having a huge swing left. and, frankly, the conservatives have no one to blame for this except themselves and the utter bankrupcty of their current ideology

conservatives will go into the wilderness for years or decades, retool, and come back with some ideology and some new hero just in time for when the democrats are the ones fucking things up for a change...

but right now, across the conservative landscape, there is nothing but smoking wreckage, all of their ideas bankrupt, and absolutely noone without egg on their face

Re:pennsylvania is a scary place to be a kid (1)

DeadCatX2 (950953) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409953)

I agree with you that some aspects of society are better off "socialist" or "public". The Achilles Heel of capitalism is that it underestimates the worst excesses of human greed that can be perpetrated by the powerful against the meek.

The corrupt PA judges you mention are a powerful example of how a private system motivated by profit will exploit all channels available - ethical or not - to maximize their profit.

Considering that this prosecutor was trying to get these children enrolled in some rehabilitation program, I think we should all try following the money...

that seems to belie a lack of safeguards (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409997)

Although obviously corrupt judges are a problem, the part I find more disturbing in this case is that a single judge, corrupt or otherwise, even had the power to send a person to prison. Apparently minors don't enjoy the right to jury trial according to various bits of precedent (wtf?), but the very minimum acceptable safeguard should be some sort of multi-person committee, before which the defendant would enjoy legal representation, that would be required to find an actual crime committed.

The right thing (2, Insightful)

shadowghost21 (1433023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409403)

It seems that a lot of people are suing/pressing charges for just about anything and everything these days. Its a shame when it comes to try and press charges on teenage girls for taking photographs of themselves. While I do not agree with what they were doing, it was in there power. They were not being forced against their will or doing anything sexually explicit. That is the definition of child pornography. Its good to see that the court has some sense.

Let's clarify something... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409437)

... The ACLU just stepped in to help stop a meaningless prosecution of a victimless event that somehow has been pushed around as a "crime".

But for some reason we're still supposed to look at the ACLU as evil?

Re:Let's clarify something... (1)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409777)

Just because Hitler helped develop the Volkswagion, that doesnt make him a great guy.

Re:Let's clarify something... (1)

againjj (1132651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410137)

I call Godwin!

Re:Let's clarify something... (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410001)

Not by any thinking people.

Re:Let's clarify something... (2, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410101)

But for some reason we're still supposed to look at the ACLU as evil?

As I understand the argument put forward by our more reactionary friends, they would like the ACLU more if they also duplicated the work of the NRA. Presumably that organisation doesn't fulfill its remit to their satisfaction, and they'd like the ACLU to lend a hand?

So everybody is happy now? (3, Insightful)

Seth Kriticos (1227934) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409459)

Just asking. I mean, the girls were dragged though court for a year now, publicly embarrassed and probably get a psychic damage for lifetime just because they dared to send some pictures of themselves. And now the court says: "OK, so you were right, sorry for the bother, have a good life."? So everything is fine now as justice is served? Am I the only one who finds this picture a bit awkward?

Re:So everybody is happy now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27409569)

Am I the only one who finds this picture a bit awkward?

Yes, because sadly I haven't found them yet.

The Myth of Ruined Lives (4, Interesting)

DeadCatX2 (950953) | more than 5 years ago | (#27409891)

I'm so sick of this myth that naked pictures cause problems. The shame associated with nudity (and even sex) says more about those viewing the picture than those who are in it.

Seriously, has anyone ever known someone whose life was ruined because of a naked picture?

Anyone?

The shame that our society attaches to nudity and sex is an attempt at prohibition. By making it taboo, it becomes enticing. Just like with alcohol, drugs, and prostitution, this forces it underground. Poor debaters will also use the taboo nature of the subject to stifle honest discussion by suggesting that supporters engage in the prohibited acts (i.e. those who defend these children are pedophiles who want easy access to CP, those who defend drug users are junkies, etc).

If it weren't for that prosecutor, none of you would have ever known anything about this. Isn't it ironic that the response taken to teach these kids about "potentially permanent burdens" has done more to create those exact burdens than the act itself would have?

When will we learn that over-protecting our children is hurting them by stunting their social growth? When they turn 18 and go off to college, an over-protected teenager will not be equipped with the proper skills necessary to navigate a world full of people who want to take advantage of them.

As for the fear that there will be an explosion of new child porn if it's legal for minors to take pictures of themselves...further application of this logic leads to support for banning bullets because their existence leads to an "explosion" of homicides involving guns.

Also, consider that teenagers are already doing this, and in a quantity deserving of its own slang description.

"...temporarily stop..." (1)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410035)

Does not mean that it is over by any means. An appeal will probably be filed, the injunction will run out, and then the D.A. will get all 'prosecutorial' on their asses. So it will end badly for everyone...
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