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"Bomb Threat" Tweet Conviction Overturned By UK Appeals Court 103

Posted by timothy
from the hope-he-sends-some-celebratory-tweets dept.
New submitter Kupfernigk writes "Paul Chambers was the man who was convicted (in England) of a terrorist offense based on a tweet threatening to 'blow up' Robin Hood Airport because they couldn't get snow cleared. Despite the fact that it was obviously a (feeble) joke, the Crown Prosecution Service actually went ahead with a prosecution and were able to convince a junior judge sitting with magistrates. The senior judges, including the Lord Chief Justice, said 'We have concluded that, on an objective assessment, the decision of the Crown Court that this 'tweet' constituted or included a message of a menacing character was not open to it. On this basis, the appeal against conviction must be allowed.' In effect, they have said that the original decision was not made objectively, which can be considered a severe slap for the Crown Prosecutor."
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"Bomb Threat" Tweet Conviction Overturned By UK Appeals Court

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  • Slap? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 27, 2012 @08:54AM (#40789159)

    they have said that the original decision was not made objectively, which can be considered a severe slap for the Crown Prosecutor

    Not really. A severe slap for the orginal judge, maybe, but at most a bit of a raised eyebrow at the Crown Prosecutor. The prosecution isn't supposed to try the case and decide who's guilty. Maybe the case should never have even been brought, but it's the original judge who really messed up severely for not saying so at first instance.

  • Insane (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Andrio (2580551) on Friday July 27, 2012 @09:23AM (#40789409)
    The men who went ahead and tried to prosecute this guy are professional men. They get up early, and put on suits. They carry briefcases. They went to college and graduated. Within the entire spectrum of the human race, they are in the top 5% of education and work.

    And they still went ahead with the prosecution of such an obvious joke.

    I weep for the human race.
  • Re:Look (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 27, 2012 @09:30AM (#40789491)

    There is a clear and substantial difference between "Following up" on something someone says and "Pointlessly dragging through the courts at great expense to the taxpayer someone who demonstrably hasn't done anything threatening, disruptive or illegal".

    The guy shouldn't have even been arrested, at worst he should have been questioned by police and it quickly established that he didn't pose any threat. At which point he should have been released without charge, perhaps with a warning that doing what he did is likely to get the police interested in him and so isn't a great idea.

  • by MrNaz (730548) on Friday July 27, 2012 @09:33AM (#40789525) Homepage

    Not for long I'll bet. The only thing we can be sure about is that the crown prosecutor will be a little more careful in selecting scapegoats from now on. The War on Terror is an ongoing exercise in balancing what the executive arm and its organs can get away with and maximising the state of fear created in the public mind.

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