Friday, May 16, 2008

How to Avoid Being Prosecuted

Pretty Lady simply loathes arguments about Legal Precedents, and Infringement of Liberties, and the Coming Totalitarian World. Portentious columns like this one really get her dander up:

Drew's actions have been called "cyberbullying," "cyberbaiting," and other such techno-neologisms, an indication of their awful novelty. Prosecutors in her state have tried and failed to find any laws that she may have violated, another sign that we're wandering, here, into an unchartered social realm.

If Drew really did what officials say she did, it seems obvious she should be punished for it, somehow. (Drew has repeatedly denied that she created the account, but has acknowledged having access to it.)

It's this impulse that federal prosecutors in Southern California were acting upon when they charged Drew this week with various computer security crimes. The prosecutors are on the side of right -- unfortunately, in their zeal to punish Drew, they've stretched the law too far, and in the process, they've endangered us all.

These people all have hold of the wrong end of the stick. This is not about New Crimes, or New Punishments, or Civil Liberties. This is, very simply, about either having the decency to own up to one's actions, or not.

Because Pretty Lady is quite, quite sure that if this alleged cyberbully had gone to the parents of this unfortunate child and apologized, she would not be in court today.

An apology is not tantamount to a confession of murder. It is merely a recognition of common humanity; that we all make mistakes, we all give in to destructive impulses, and we all undergo tragic losses. If this lady's next-door neighbor's daughter had died in an automobile accident, surely she would have offered her condolences; why then did she withhold them in this case?

Statistics more than suggest that medical doctors who are sued for malpractice are not necessarily the incompetent ones; they are the cold, arrogant ones who will never admit to making a mistake. We do not leverage the power of the court system in order to redress honest errors; we do so because we feel that our basic humanity has been mowed down by an indifferent force.




5 comments:

jSinSaTx said...

Because I'm truly curious as to the thoughts on this...

Copy and paste from prior thread...

On a thread diverting note...

The Illinois senator also chided McCain and Bush for "saying no to America's farmers and ranchers, no to energy independence, no to the environment, and no to millions of hungry people."

How is this any different than anything else you here from other politicians?
While I have not read the bill... I find it hard to believe that opposition to it means you hate the American farmer and you want people to be hungry...

Pretty Lady said...

I'm not familiar with the context of that statement, so I'm not qualified to comment.

Pretty Lady said...

After reading the statement on his website--I like the emphasis on assisting family farms over 'large agribusinesses,' and reviews of discrimination claims.

Pretty Lady said...

And nobody can accuse the Bush administration of prioritizing either the environment or energy independence.

Anonymous said...

I see your point on apologies, And with good healthy people that can work. But once the apology is given one loses all control over how it will be used. And that can include unjustly, disproportionately, and legally. Which is a problem.

In this case though, how can an apology be taken at face value? Most of the time we can say, Wow, I never meant for that to happen/to hurt you so. This case? Yes, I meant to hurt your child. I went to great effort to cause her pain and trauma. I meant to conceal who I was as I did so. I'm just sorry that I got caught. Maybe I am sorry she killed herself maybe I'm not. Either way I will say so because it may help me. Sincerity? Doubtful.

The legal issue is another matter. The article quotes clauses that may be roughly translated to match earlier legal intentions. They boil down to rules about misrepresentation, libel/slander, etc. And active damage to a family. So - legal case deluxe. Both the site and family should go for both real and punitive damages. Criminal? No. Sigh.

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