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Thread: Speech facilitating crime, Volokh on two cases. Very interesting.

  1. #1
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    Speech facilitating crime, Volokh on two cases. Very interesting.

    Flashing headlights to warn oncoming drivers that the police are waiting to catch speeders is protected by the First Amendment. So held a federal trial judge in Monday’s Elli v. City of Ellisville (E.D. Mo. Feb. 3, 2014), and he wasn’t the first — see, for instance, this Florida trial court ruling, as well as State v. Walker, No. I-9507-03625 (Williamson Cty. (Tenn.) Cir. Ct. Nov. 13, 2003).

    http://www.aclu-mo.org/files/4913/91..._Injuction.pdf

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/v...tected-speech/

    A commenter on the flashing headlights post writes:

    My wife tells me to watch my speed all the time, but especially if she notices a cop up ahead. Next time she does, I’ll let her know that she’s committing a crime and if she doesn’t stop it, I’ll report her to the police.

    I take it that this was meant to suggest that the wife’s warning should not be seen as illegal, but I’m not sure the analogy is that helpful. Telling a friend or even a family member, “the police are coming, hide the illegal thing you’re doing,” might well be a crime, if your motive is in part to keep the person from getting caught.

    Of course, if the illegal thing is only mildly illegal (e.g., a traffic violation), you’re not likely to be heavily punished for the warning; and, especially for minor offenses, prosecutors and judges are likely to cut some slack to people who are just showing loyalty to their spouses. Still, there’s no general legal right to warn people that the police are coming, even when those people are your nearest and dearest; and it may well be a crime (such as obstruction of justice or interfering with law enforcement).

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar_ca...89386126480613

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/v...ed-be-illegal/
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    The premise is false.

    Warning a citizen that there is a speed trap is not warning a speeder, but a citizen, that a speed trap is ahead.

    Of course, cops think the other way around, the citizen flashing his lights is "obstructing justice" because all citizens speed and the warning prevents justice from being served, revenue being collected, quotas being filled. The federal court decision smacks LE on the back of the head on that score.

    This is a small ruling, yet very significant, fortunately LE will not "get it."

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Paul Revere must have been the biggest obstruction to justice to the LE then.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    Paul Revere must have been the biggest obstruction to justice to the LE then.
    !!!!!!!!!!!

    As were those boys at Lexington green and Concorde bridge--impeding His Majesties troops in their lawful duties.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    !!!!!!!!!!!

    As were those boys at Lexington green and Concorde bridge--impeding His Majesties troops in their lawful duties.
    +1

    Or those British citizens living in the Americas who insisted upon salutory neglect! ( a principle we need to revive)
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Speeding tickets in most states, including MO, are not a crime.

    They just want their $$$$.

    Speeding w/o injury or damage is not a proper cause of action.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    Speeding tickets in most states, including MO, are not a crime.

    They just want their $$$$.

    Speeding w/o injury or damage is not a proper cause of action.
    RSMo 304.010 states that speeding (6 to 20 mph) is a Class C misdemeanor. 20 mph over is a Class B misdemeanor.
    RSMo 304.009, which refers to 304.010 before stating the following, that 5 mph or less is a infraction.

    Any infraction, or worse, is a arrestable offense in Missouri.

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