Wendy McElroy reports:
Brian D. Kelly (18) didn’t think he was doing anything illegal when he used his videocamera to record a Carlisle police officer during a traffic stop. Making movies is one of his hobbies, he said, and the stop was just another interesting event to film. The police noted the camera and asked him to turn it off; Kelly complied and handed the camera over when it was requested. Nevertheless, he was arrested by a force of “six or seven” cops and the 18-year-old has been charged with felony wiretapping, which carries a penalty of up to 7 years in state prison. It also carries the lifelong prospect of being turned down by universities, employers, etc. who check his record. Kelly spent 26 hours in Cumberland County Prison “until his mother posted her house as security for his $2,500 bail.” Apparently Pennsylvania statutes prohibit the intentional recording of anyone’s conversation without their consent. In short, it is the audio portion of the recording and not the video for which Kelly could receive 7 years.The police reported have “an exception to the wiretapping law” that allows them to film and record people during traffic stops.
And if that was not bizzare enough,
Animal cruelty case yields ‘doggone’ dismissal A woman facing jail time for “staring” at a police dog had charges against her dropped Monday after an Orange County prosecutor viewed videotape of the alleged crime. Jayna Hutchinson, now of Lebanon, N.H., was scheduled for a jury trial this week on a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to animals.
11-Year-Old Arrested For Using Rubber Band Gun An 11-year-old Ocoee boy was arrested for playing with a toy gun. Police said the arrest was necessary, because it was a safety issue. The boy was using a rubber band gun and his father said the kid did nothing wrong, but police said they take it as a serious threat and the 11-year-old is facing felony charges.
But it’s not all bad news:
Chris Floyd reports,
The Bush administration cannot use new anti-terrorism laws to keep U.S. residents locked up indefinitely without charging them, a divided federal appeals court said Monday. The ruling was a harsh rebuke of one of the central tools the administration believes it has to combat terror.