RE: Techie's List

Subject: RE: Techie's List
From: "Lauren" <lt34 -at- csus -dot- edu>
To: "'Fred Ridder'" <docudoc -at- hotmail -dot- com>, <David -dot- Eason -at- lsi -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2007 12:37:33 -0800

Ooo... Spank. Jim was wrong and Fred is now a legal authority.

Okie dokie.

-----Original Message-----
From: Fred Ridder [mailto:docudoc -at- hotmail -dot- com]
Sent: Friday, February 02, 2007 11:55 AM
To: lt34 -at- csus -dot- edu; David -dot- Eason -at- lsi -dot- com; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Techie's List

Point 1:
Jim was incorrect when he stated that "in some states, [criminal libe] is a
Class 6 Felony". That is true in exactly *one* state: Colorado.
If you look at the website that Jim cited, you will see that only
17 states have criminal libel laws at all, and that in all of them except
Colorado simple libel is a misdemeanor. (A few states do make it a felony to
coerce behavior on the *threat* of libel, but the actual crime here is
blackmail or extrtion because the libel itself need never be committed.) You
would also see that many of the criminal libel laws have specific conditions
for criminality, such as libel against public officials, libel against a
bank, libel that causes a breach of the peace (e.g. incites to riot), or
that is knowingly false and intentionally malicious. And if you read the
parent article that is linked from the bottom of that web page, you will
learn that many states are rescinding criminal libel laws for a variety of
reasons, including constitutional free speech issues, and the difficulty of
proving all the elements of a criminal libel offence.

Point 2:
Criminal libel is much harder to prove than civil libel because of the
additional conditions in criminal libel statutes.

Point 3:
In most jurisdictions, prosecutors have better things to spend their time
and the public's money on than offences where civil remedies also exist.

The bottom line is that criminal libel statutes present little or no risk to
anyone who lives outside of Colorado and who doesn't deliberately commit
malicious acts.

-Fred Ridder

>From: "Lauren" <lt34 -at- csus -dot- edu>
>To: "'Eason, David'" <David -dot- Eason -at- lsi -dot- com>,
><vrfour -at- verizon -dot- net>,<techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
>Subject: RE: Techie's List
>Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2007 10:47:44 -0800
>It's still a felony. Felonies are bad. That's not an infraction that
>you can write-off, or a misdemeanor that you can explain away, it's a
>It affects many legal issues in a person's life while it remains on the
>record. Some jobs are not available to people with felonies, like law
>and law enforcement. School loans are also restricted and people with
>felonies need to jump through hoops to recover from this if hoop
>jumping is even available.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Eason, David [mailto:David -dot- Eason -at- lsi -dot- com]
>Sent: Friday, February 02, 2007 10:26 AM
>To: Lauren; vrfour -at- verizon -dot- net; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>Subject: RE: Techie's List
>Actually, a class 6 felony is the lowest grade. Premeditated murder is
>a class 1 felony.
>David Eason
>-----Original Message-----
>From: techwr-l-bounces+david -dot- eason=lsi -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+david -dot- eason=lsi -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
>Behalf Of Lauren
>Sent: Thursday, February 01, 2007 7:38 PM
>To: vrfour -at- verizon -dot- net; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>Subject: RE: Techie's List
>"Criminal Libel ... is a Class 6 Felony"?
>Wow. That one can get a person's attention.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: techwr-l-bounces+lt34=csus -dot- edu -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+lt34=csus -dot- edu -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of
>James Barrow
>Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2007 10:20 PM
>To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>Subject: RE: Techie's List
> >Fred Ridder said:
> >
> >So Jim, are you saying that you were not the person who said "They
> >would have to prove a) a post to this website was actually a crime"?
>I did indeed post that.
> >And for the record, the one and only place in the thread where the
> >words "crime" or "criminal" were used in any posting to the list was
> >in
> >a message from Janice Gelb where she was directly quoting from an
> >item on a case law website. The word "criminal" did appear in the
> >quotation,
> >but the whole point of the quotation was that a specific statute in
> >Illinois had been interpreted by the state's supreme court as part of
> >criminal libel law [rather than civil libel law] and therefore
> >subject to issues of intent and purpose rather than simply the truth
> >or
>of the statement.
>The link that Janice posted talked about a defense to a charge of
>criminal libel. Going on that, I looked up Criminal Libel which, in
>some states, is a Class 6 Felony:
>Then I found a link where this archaic law was recently enforced:
>"All that changed in 1964, when the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that
>public officials (later broadened to include public figures) could not
>win a libel verdict or secure a criminal-libel conviction without
>proving that the report was made with "actual malice," and either
>published with the knowledge that it was untrue or done with a reckless
>disregard for the truth."
>In reference to the Techie List, the subject of a poor rating would
>have to prove actual malice to support a charge of criminal libel. But,
>in my haste to get to my lunch, I didn't map out the happy path from
>Janice's link to my comment. I apologize.
> >So as far as the thread itself goes, you *were* the first (and only)
> >person to state or imply that libel was a crime. Check the list
> >archive
> >if you think I'm wrong.
>Nope, I believe you.
>- Jim

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