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The Courts United States Your Rights Online

Jury Acquits Citizens of Illegally Filming Police 277

Posted by samzenpus
from the lights-camera-legal-action dept.
sexybomber writes "The Springfield (MA) Republican reports two men accused of illegally filming the process as they bailed friends out of jail that last summer, were acquitted of all charges Tuesday. Pete Eyre and Adam Mueller initially were granted permission to film the bail process, but later were forbidden by jail officials from recording the procedure. When they continued to digitally recording their encounter with jail officials, they were arrested by police. Eyre and Mueller testified that they never attempted to hide the fact that they were recording at the jail. Not only did they ask permission to film the bail-out process — which initially was granted — but their recording devices were 'out in the open,' Eyre said. The Jury found the defendants not guilty of three criminal counts: Each was acquitted of unlawful wiretapping, while Mueller also was acquitted of a charge of resisting arrest."
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Jury Acquits Citizens of Illegally Filming Police

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  • To become second? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tepples (727027) <tepples@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:36PM (#36829924) Homepage Journal
    Traditionally, it goes soap box, ballot box, jury box, ammo box. But with powerful media corporations corrupting the electoral process [pineight.com] by choosing which issues and which candidates for public office to play up and which to play down on national TV news, should the jury box be moved in front of the ballot box now?
  • Re:Not justice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nittle (1356899) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:39PM (#36829946)
    The DA should have dropped these charges.
  • Re:Not justice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MobyDisk (75490) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:50PM (#36830024) Homepage

    Hatta didn't say anything was wrong with the trial. Just like you said, "the arrest is where the problem was" so the next step is to sue the police department for the arrest, and hopefully get compensation for the jail time and legal fees. An acquittal doesn't stop the police from abusing their power the very next time this happens. And the judge should inform the police that they cannot refuse to allow the filming at all, should they choose to do so next time.

  • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @07:17PM (#36830262)
    Traditionally, it goes soap box, ballot box, jury box, ammo box.

    We're in that awkward stage where it's too late to vote them out but too early to shoot them
  • by fyngyrz (762201) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @07:48PM (#36830484) Homepage Journal

    Powerful corporations can only corrupt the electoral process only so far as the voters allow themselves to be corrupted.

    So, you're saying 100%, then? I mean, disregarding for the moment that the voters only have choices from Democrats and Republicans, which someone once quite conservatively characterized as a choice between a shit sandwich and a turdburger... so once we get someone out and replace them, the replacement, being a member of one of the two parties that have put us in our present, seriously screwed up situation, is virtually guaranteed to continue in the same vein.

    Also disregarding that a great deal of the process that screws with the citizens isn't electoral, but buried in the appointments process, and therefore out of reach -- we can't do anything about the supreme court judges who in case after case violate their solemn oaths, for instance, nor do we have any effective control over the FCC's preventing any significant use of the RF spectrum by the people, reserving that for corporations exclusively (speaking as an EE with extra class ARO and (now) general commercial licenses, btw.) The list goes on -- a great deal of the governance we receive (right after we're instructed to bend over) comes from non-elected sources.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @07:49PM (#36830488)

    No, and I'll explain why. The same all white jury would not acquit a Black Panther member who bombed a church killing 4 young white girls.

    The issue is that the jury needs to be opposed to the law in general, not it's application in a specific case.

    Meaning, only if you truly believed that bombing and murder should be LEGAL FOR EVERYONE should you vote to acquit.

  • Re:Not justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @08:30PM (#36830758) Homepage

    There is plenty of reason to hold a good many people accountable. The police for making the unjustifiable arrest, the DA for pressing forward with criminal charges in spite of the obvious injustice, and the JUDGE for not sanctioning the DA.

    Judges have the authority AND the responsibility to throw a trial out early if it cannot succeed as a matter of law. That is, if the facts as laid out by the DA cannot support a criminal charge, that charge should be thrown out on the spot. They also have a responsibility to sanction a DA who brings charges that cannot be justified by the facts.

    Most particularly, it is the judge's responsibility to make sure that the court does not become a crude bludgeon used as a punishment against those who annoy the police and the DA.

    As far as relative guilt goes, the judge should probably get off with a reminder of those important responsibilities. The DA and police should face more significant sanctions.

  • by fyngyrz (762201) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @09:00PM (#36830960) Homepage Journal

    As a licensed amateur myself, I'm curious what you would envision as a "significant use of the RF spectrum by the people".

    Low power (community level), local AM and/or FM and/or television broadcast stations. RF networking. All unregulated except for signal quality and channelization. Those are the ones that we would benefit most directly from, at least as far as I've given it thought.

    My guess is that any move to "open" the spectrum to the lay public would result in something like 4chan without the good manners and taste. :-)

    I don't disagree, but it would *also* open the spectrum to the occasional citizen with valuable content to offer, and therefore give others a chance to hear what they have to say, as opposed to the corporate/government combined viewpoint. As long as basic channelization is maintained, individual signals would be discernable, and so one could browse and choose as one saw fit.

    I'm no big fan of the FCC, but the RF spectrum is too valuable to be ruined by a tragedy of the commons. It needs supervision and oversight, or it becomes worthless to everyone.

    I see that as disingenuous. As a ham, in fact particularly as a ham -- you should know full well that giving a bit of spectrum to the public, using type-approved gear, won't cause the rest of it to become unusable or decrease its social value or otherwise cause any significant spectrum related trouble at all.

    For instance, hand off 10% of the AM, FM, and television bands for local, low power use, and now... what "tragedy" occurs? Corporations have a little less ground to try and sell us Gold Coins, Coast to Coast has a little less spectrum to tell us about Ghosts and UFOs and Hollow Earth, and television has a little less spectrum to pour evangelistic Christianity and "reality" shows down our throats. I don't see it as a potential tragedy; I see it as a glorious victory for the common man, and a step up the ladder of civilization.

    There are over 100 usable broadcast channels in the US between 540 and 1700 KHz; Assigning ten of them for local use would result, I think, in a most interesting burst of self-expression from the public. A lot of it would be trash, of course, but -- just for instance -- one might encounter a well spoken atheist, or a libertarian, or a socialist, or a communist -- all people we *never* get to hear from or talk to within the confines of the corporate/government controlled airwaves. And that's not even counting what could happen with similar allocations of FM and television channels.

    I think it is important to consider that free expression is valuable, and it is also important that note that we have very little of it, when you get right down to it, as far as the airwaves go.

    And as for RF networking... right now, corporations have engineered a government sponsored monopoly. I'd like to see that end, straight up. I think it's disgusting, at best.

  • by fyngyrz (762201) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @09:28PM (#36831086) Homepage Journal

    Here's the thing. I *had* great-great grandparents; because I'm here. That's how we get here. So we can establish the validity right up front that such great great folks definitely existed. The storybook Jesus had no offspring, so that line of evidence is closed.

    Next, I never claimed that my grandparents were magical creatures, able to convert water into wine, walk on water, etc. So we can assume we're looking for normal people, which we also have evidence existed.

    Next, odds are pretty good that we can find others talking about my great greats, people who actually knew them. This is because (a) they absolutely did exist, and (b) they were moderately well known individuals. In fact, as it turns out, I have reams of this stuff (I maintain the genealogy for my family, so it's actually in my hands.) I've even got my great-great's state department paperwork. Awesome stuff. No crushing of citizen's rights at the border for them, no sir. But that's another lament.

    Jesus, a miracle working dude of magical incarnation, existence, actions and exeunt... you could hardly be more stand-out in a crowd... well, as it turns out no one -- NO ONE -- from his time even noticed him enough to write down "cured a leper." That all came later. As the evidence to date indicates, anyway. Doesn't that strike you as... at least curious? Magic dude inspires NO reaction? And then there's the story, which indicates the opposite: he made quite a splash, according to the gospels. Something seems definitely wrong here.

    Now let's consider: we know that there have been exactly zero instances of miracles or magic demonstrated under reasonable test conditions. So we tend to treat reports of them as imaginary, at least if we're smart. Now, we find a story about Some Magical Dude in a book that is stuffed with stories about miracles and magic. There's no other evidence that didn't essentially come from the same place as the book: The Christian cultists.

    Now why, I ask you, should we give any more credence to these cultists than we do, for instance, to those who told us of Zeus and so forth? Using the same standards (that is, if the story is magical, it's nonsense), all supernatural issues are discarded. And as Jesus was very much a supernatural portion of the Christian narrative, he goes first, UNLESS we can find contemporaneous evidence that confirms his existence through other means. Reports by people who were born after him don't count; we want reports from his contemporaries. Even a receipt, for instance "cross, nails, spear, crown of thorns, crime: annoyed the heck out of ol' Pontius, name: Hayzuess of Nazereth" would be of great interest. But there is nothing at all. When we have contemporaneous evidence, we accept that part of the story has some relationship to reality; for instance, we know from many sources that there were Romans; the story contains Romans; there is a relationship there. What it is is something we can talk about, but we agree there is such a relationship of some kind.

    Or, as was put most eloquently: Extraordinary events require extraordinary proof. My great-great-grandparents, lovely though they were, were not extraordinary. Jesus, however, is said to be so by the story. Consequently, our standards for proving he existed must be similar. Yet he fails even the most basic tests for existence: he left no mark on his contemporaries. So we don't, in fact, know he existed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @10:53PM (#36831492)

    Traditionally, it goes soap box, ballot box, jury box, ammo box.

    We're in that awkward stage where it's too late to vote them out but too early to shoot them

    If we keep waiting, it's going to be too late to shoot them.

Possessions increase to fill the space available for their storage. -- Ryan

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