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ACLU Sues Penn Prosecutor For Empty Threat of Child Porn 590

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the can't-ever-get-them-back dept.
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."
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ACLU Sues Penn Prosecutor For Empty Threat of Child Porn

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  • Please ... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:16PM (#27360883)

    Pics or it didn't happen.

    • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Friday March 27, 2009 @04:26PM (#27362901)
  • by vaderhelmet (591186) <darthvaderhelmet@NOSPam.gmail.com> on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:17PM (#27360897)
    What kind of world do we live in when the children won't think of the children?!
    • Re:The Children? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:36PM (#27361251) Homepage

      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...

    • by Joe the Lesser (533425) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:54PM (#27361563) Homepage Journal

      Please, won't somebody think for the children!

  • Possession? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by internerdj (1319281) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:19PM (#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? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Spazztastic (814296) <spazztastic@NOSPaM.gmail.com> on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:21PM (#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? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Shakrai (717556) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:25PM (#27361055) Journal

        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? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Heather D (1279828) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:52PM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TheCarp (96830) *

          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

          • Re:Possession? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by geekgirlandrea (1148779) <andrea+slashdot@persephoneslair.org> on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:53PM (#27361531) Homepage
            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: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Ashriel (1457949)

              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.

              You are correct:

              • Marijuana - the hemp industry was becoming serious competition to the cotton and logging industries.
              • Cocaine - Poor freed Blacks in the south were getting high. They were already forbidden alcohol, but encouraged to use cocaine on the job - it was when they started using cocaine recreationally (who would have figured?) that news stories about the "Coke Crazed Negro" that rapes white women and can withstand a direct shot to the heart began circulating, leading to the banning of cocaine (up un
            • by BenEnglishAtHome (449670) on Friday March 27, 2009 @04:28PM (#27362943)

              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.

              Thanks for asking the question. Most people just assume that child porn has always been illegal and never give a thought to the basis for those laws.

              I'm old and I've viewed porn since long before videotape existed as a consumer product. I'm also from the U.S., so my experience is limited to the laws in my country. I'll take a stab at answering your question because it's a very important one.

              For most of the history of the U.S., child porn was legal. (Some will argue that child porn has always been illegal because obscenity has always been illegal and child porn is obscene. They have a point but not a practical one. There was negligible prosecution for obscenity in child porn cases in the past because they were hard cases to make and you couldn't be sure of a conviction. Thus,) Until the 1970s, child porn magazines and 8mm films were easily available in any large adult book store in any large city.

              This bothered people for good reason. In those days, there was no amateur child porn. Film photography (no digital back then, remember) is expensive and developing film isn't easy. Almost no one took pictures of child porn unless they were doing it as a business. Further, there was no (essentially) cost-free distribution medium in those pre-internet days.

              The bottom line is that back in those days, child porn was a business. If you possessed child porn, you had to have bought it. If you bought it, you were giving money to adults who were in the business of molesting children.

              That's not a good thing.

              In fact, it's such a bad thing that when we started making child porn illegal, the few objections on free-speech grounds (and there were some) were easily dismissed. The value of free speech, in these narrow circumstances, is not enough to overcome the legitimate interest of the state in protecting children. Remember, in this case, we're talking about the REAL protection of children. The act of buying child porn back then was functionally equivalent to paying a group of adults to rape kids. No court had a problem with outlawing it.

              From that perfectly reasonable beginning, weirdness soon began to grow.

              Simple possession was outlawed and nobody raised a fuss because, well, who cares, really? The few pervs who collected large amounts of the stuff were also the people most likely to buy more, so making their lives more difficult wasn't seen as a problem.

              Remember, at that time child porn laws came into existence because child porn consisted of adults being paid to rape children. Child porn prohibition had a positive effect on reducing that problem and everybody was happy - except the pedos. In the immediate pre-consumer-internet period, child porn had ceased to exist as a commercial product. Essentially no one in the U.S. was selling it except for the U.S. Postal Service as a part of sting operations. About the only place to get it was alt.sex.pedophilia (and related groups); most of what was available there was simply scans of old nudist magazines. Child porn, for a while, was essentially dead.

              Then, the consumer-level internet and ubiquitous digital media technologies came into existence. EVERYTHING changed. Comparing then to now:

              Then, child porn was expensive to produce. Now, it's cheap.

              Then, child porn was a business. Now, it's amateur hour, all the time.

              Then, child porn exclusively involved adults molesting kids. Now, the most common forms of child porn involve children molesting themselves.

              Then, child porn only saw the light of day because an adult sold it. Now, most child porn involves no adults at any stage of production or distribution.

              Then, child porn was rare because it was difficult to physically distribute the magazines and films in quanti

          • Re:Possession? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27, 2009 @03:01PM (#27361687)

            Here's the thing, if I can get arrested for looking at it, she should be charged.

            Theoretical scenario, I'm a priest. Decide to reach out through my flock via myspace. Through some click-click-clicking, I end up on that damn myspace page and immediately hit the back button. I'm not a techie, so I don't clear the cache. Someone down the road with a grudge accuses me of molesting them as a child. The police swoop in and examine my computer. 30 instances of child porn! I'm going to jail. Even if I'm ultimately exonerated, a quick google search of my name by any parishoner in the world will see "Priest charged with 30 counts of child porn" about twenty times.

            Scenario two. Student is pissed off because she got a B+. That should be an A-. So she gets my cellphone number somehow and sends me topless pictures. Then claims I molested her. Even if the molestion charges don't stick, the child porn charges could.

            So until the day that fourteen year-old can take pictures of herself, publish them, sell them, and I can't get into a shitstorm for possessing them (not that I want to, accidents happen), hell yeah she should be charged.

            • Re:Possession? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by orclevegam (940336) on Friday March 27, 2009 @03:52PM (#27362449) Journal
              Essentially your point boils down to "the law is broken, so lets make an example out of people being charged under it unfairly so hopefully it gets changed". Much as I agree with part of your sentiment I can't honestly condone ruining the life of innocent children in the hope that it encourages the laws to be changed.
          • drugs (Score:5, Interesting)

            by falconwolf (725481) <falconsoaring_20 ... minus herbivore> on Friday March 27, 2009 @03:02PM (#27361713)

            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....

            I saw something in the news earlier on this, the tide may be turning: "New York to ease its landmark tough drug laws [google.com]".

            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.

            CNN has been going on about the War on Drugs and what's happening along the Texas border with Mexico. Every tyme I see something about it I think it wouldn't be a problem if drugs were not made illegal. Legalizing drugs would cut down on crime. And practically empty the prisons in the US, the US has the largest prison population [wikipedia.org] in the world and half of the prisoners are there for drug offenses. Setting free those who were convicted of non-violent drug offenses then many will become tax paying employees and would help with the budget deficit. As would taxing drugs.

            Falcon

    • Re:Possession? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Citizen of Earth (569446) on Friday March 27, 2009 @04:12PM (#27362715)

      So any child may not have pictures of themselves naked.

      More than just photographs, she is also in possession of a 1:1-scale articulating sculpture of a naked child's body. All children need to be thrown in jail for this offense!

  • by umeboshi (196301) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:21PM (#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.

  • 5th Amendment? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GPLDAN (732269) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:22PM (#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? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ajs (35943) <<moc.sja> <ta> <sja>> on Friday March 27, 2009 @05:36PM (#27363873) Homepage Journal

      Absolutely! This is a case of public indecency and nothing more. There's absolutely no reason for these prosecutors / police to have lept to the "register as a sex offender and go to jail" big guns. You don't ruin a young girls life for having made one dumb decision about how to use the Internet unless it literally destroyed someone's life.

      On a more important note, throwing around the term "child porn" really hurts our sense of moral outrage at real child porn which is a business half a step removed from human trafficking; physical, mental and psychological abuse; and lots of other things that we really should be aiming the big guns at!

  • Only today... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MozeeToby (1163751) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:22PM (#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.

    • by SQLGuru (980662) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:26PM (#27361059) Journal

      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... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by internerdj (1319281) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:30PM (#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... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by MozeeToby (1163751) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:48PM (#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.

        • Re:Only today... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by uncqual (836337) on Friday March 27, 2009 @03:20PM (#27362011)
          Also might help if lawmakers actually RTFB before voting on it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Quothz (683368)

          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.

          That's a neat idea. Amazingly, it's been considered before. Even more amazingly, that's almost exactly what happens!

          Except it's only done if the law is ambiguous, in which case judges attempt to work out the intent of the law by looking at committee reports, conference reports, floor debates, changes to the bill during the legislative process, and, in a pinch, hearing minutes.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by corsec67 (627446)

        Except that a CP conviction, and being forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of their life would screw up somes life more than nude pictures on the internet would otherwise do.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      So... would this make masturbation=rape?
    • Good news! (Score:5, Funny)

      by TheCarp (96830) * <sjc&carpanet,net> on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:57PM (#27361607) Homepage

      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? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816)

    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? (Score:5, Informative)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:34PM (#27361227) Journal
      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? (Score:5, Informative)

        by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday March 27, 2009 @03:01PM (#27361691) Homepage Journal

        I think you parsed the sentence wrong.

        You are 100% correct. I realized sometime after I wrote it, and decided to just let it go rather than comment if nobody noticed. Unfortunately, somebody did, so here we are.

        Now that I have RTFA [wired.com]... heh... I guess this is the relevant passage:

        Skumanick told an assembly of students that possessing inappropriate images of minors could be prosecuted under state child porn laws. [...] Skumanick, who is running for re-election in May, also sent a letter to 20 students, including the three girls, who were found in possession of images. In a meeting with the students and their parents, he said he would file felony charges against the students unless they agreed to six months of probation, among other terms. He gave the parents 48 hours to agree. The parents of the three girls in the ACLU suit refused to sign.

        This relates to the Tunkhannock School District case where phones containing pictures of semi-nude girls were confiscated; the letters followed. One could conceivably consider them blackmail letters; confess to a fairly serious crime and do probation for it (as noted, election time is coming up; looking tough on child porn is always good political capital) or we'll haul you into a real court. I think the question of whether he would actually have drug them into court at all is a good one to ask here. I think that charging your constituents' kids with serious crimes is not a great way to ingratiate yourself to them, though.

        Walczak said that "sexting" is a problem that parents and educators need to address. But felony charges aren't the answer.

        "Teens are stupid and impulsive and clueless," he said. "But that doesn't make them criminals."

        No, bad laws make them criminals.

  • 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.
    • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Friday March 27, 2009 @03:23PM (#27362081)

      Your understanding is incorrect but very understandable. The problem is that what is and isn't pornographic is highly subjective. Generally, as far as child pornography is concerned, it is merely enough that the pictures are of someone under 18 years of age and "intended to arouse sexual desire". Which does seems appallingly vague. In this case though, it seems pretty clear that the pictures were intended to excite her boyfriend.

      The questions here are:
      1) Can a person sexually abuse his/her self?
      2) Is the purpose of child pornography laws to punish for the harming of the particular child in the photographs or to shut down the child porn network itself? I can imagine an argument that although she wasn't harmed in the taking of these pictures, these pictures do harm society by supplying material to a network of people that do harm children.
      3) If she's to young to consent to the pictures because she can't make rational decisions regarding her sexuality, why can she be charged for making a poor decision regarding her sexuality?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by value_added (719364)

      My understanding is that something has to include sexual acts to be considered pornography. Nudity, by itself, is not pornography.

      Where have you been the last decade? You don't have to read through the respective laws to know that the term can, and typically does, mean most anything. A casual reading of headlines would inform you that people have gone to jail for taking pictures of fully clothed minors, and those registered as offenders, for example, have gone back to jail for looking at pictures of fully

  • by thesolo (131008) * <slap@fighttheriaa.org> on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:29PM (#27361131) Homepage
    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?!

  • by lunatic1969 (1010175) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:38PM (#27361281)
    Following this same logic, if a teenager masturbates they should be charged with sexually molesting a minor...
  • by Raul654 (453029) on Friday March 27, 2009 @02:51PM (#27361501) Homepage

    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.

    • by RingDev (879105) on Friday March 27, 2009 @03:26PM (#27362109) Homepage Journal

      The most retarded part of the ruling:

      Second, the teens had no reasonable expectations that these pictures would never be shown to a third party, whether by accident or because of bragging rights because they are young and naive.

      The kids claimed that they thought they had an expectation of privacy.

      The state decided that they could not have an expectation of privacy because they were naive...

      So if you don't have a complete understanding of social norms, statistics on average teenage activity, privacy and security of cell networks, email, image sharing sites, and social networks, you are incapable of having a reasonable expectation of privacy?!?

      And some how, magically, you gain all of that knowledge on your 18th birthday?

      -Rick

  • Smash the state. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by delirium of disorder (701392) on Friday March 27, 2009 @03:22PM (#27362043) Homepage Journal

    At least half of all high schoolers are sexually active (along with a larger proportion of college students, some also teenagers). When I was in high school, I remember most of my sexually active peers had digital pictures of themselves or their partners. This was true of males and females, gay, hetero, and bisexual. The number has probably increased recently now that everyone (middle class and above) has a camera phone.

    I think young people need to fight back for their right to love each other and express themselves. These should be basic human rights. In the west we decry female genital mutilation because we believe that it is a basic human right to experience pleasure and to have full control of our own bodies. We need to apply the same standard to all of our post-pubescent population. As someone in their mid twenties, I can tell you that plenty of my peers in high school were more responsible in their sexual activity than my peers now. Maturity has more to do with individual personality than age.

    Sexual images are a form of expression like any other. There is no reason that free speech should not apply to it as much as anything else.

  • by rev_sanchez (691443) on Friday March 27, 2009 @03:26PM (#27362119)
    If they aren't going to be flexible on this then the public needs clear guidelines:

    adult takes photos of a nude minor - illegal
    nude adult takes photos of a nude minor - more illegal
    adult takes photos of nude adult - sexy
    minor takes photos of a nude minor - illegal
    minor takes photos of nude self - illegal
    nude minor takes photos of adult - ?
    nude minor takes photos of nude adult - ?
    parent takes photos of nude infant - generally legal
    infant takes photos of nude parent - probably funny
    stranger takes photos of nude infant - OK only if it's Ann Geddes
    traffic camera, security camera, sporting event camera crew takes photos of nude minor streaking - ?
    adult makes drawing of nude minor - probably from Japan

    So we have a few spots that need clarification.
  • by nightfire-unique (253895) on Friday March 27, 2009 @04:11PM (#27362709)

    I am so scared of the government abusing anti-sex laws to control the population and regulate the Internet, that I am starting to think it would be better "for the children" to form an alliance with the evil, hated pedos.

    It's not that I approve of their sexual desires, but honestly - we are facing some of the most dangerous legislation in recent history - and using child exploitation as an excuse. The thing is, when I do have kids, I will be far more afraid of legislators and police assaulting/jailing them than run-of-the-mill child molesters.

    In the interest of protecting freedom, perhaps its time to start scaling down the hate and anger towards this group of people. If we don't, we could all - including the kids (like those in this article) suffer terribly for it.

  • by nightfire-unique (253895) on Friday March 27, 2009 @04:48PM (#27363231)

    Liars, telling them that all drugs are the same, and all drugs are dangerous.

    "Predators" apparently seeking to rape them (according to the media, anyway).

    Cops trying to assault and jail them for self expression, sex crimes against themselves, underage drinking, and curfew violation.

    School administrators making them pass through metal detectors, move at the sound of a bell, search them and their lockers, and threaten them at every available moment.

    Parents praying that they don't explore what nature tells them to explore.

    TV telling them the world's about to end, and that they should drink Coke and eat McDonalds, that intellectual pursuits are lame, and that sports rule everything.

    Bullies pushing them around, and occasionally shooting up schools.

    Busybodies telling them to stop playing, and stay indoors, so they don't get hurt.

    We are a truly screwed society in 20 years.

  • 6th amendment! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nathan.fulton (1160807) on Friday March 27, 2009 @06:29PM (#27364637) Journal
    TFA: "When lawyers for the parents asked for a copy of the photos that would be used to charge their children, Skumanick reportedly refused on grounds that he would be committing a crime by sharing child porn."

    Let's assume that this can be generalized -- the kid's lawyers in a child porn case can't have the pictures because that would still be distribution by the DA. Also, let's assume that we're going to be showing them to the jury, so that they can determine if the picture in question is actually child porn.

    The 6th amendment, abridged for brevity's sake: "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to...be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation"

    In a case like this, the pictures are at the heart of both the nature and the cause of the accusation -- and actually seeing the pictures is necessary to determine if it is pornography.

    Seems to me child porn laws are illegal, given at least one of the statements in the two posits above is true.

    but IANAL.

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