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Thread: Strict eavesdropping law ruled unconstitutional in Illinois case

  1. #1
    Regular Member HandyHamlet's Avatar
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    Strict eavesdropping law ruled unconstitutional in Illinois case

    An Illinois judge ruled the state’s eavesdropping law unconstitutional as applied to a man who faced up to to 75 years in prison for secretly recording his encounters with police officers and a judge.

    “A statute intended to prevent unwarranted intrusions into a citizen’s privacy cannot be used as a shield for public officials who cannot assert a comparable right of privacy in their public duties,” the judge wrote in his decision dismissing the five counts of eavesdropping charges against defendant Michael Allison.

    “Such action impedes the free flow of information concerning public officials and violates the First Amendment right to gather such information,” he wrote.

    The ruling is the most recent development raising questions about Illinois’ strict eavesdropping statute, which makes it a felony to use a device to audio record or overhear a conversation without the consent of all parties involved, regardless of the circumstances of the interaction.

    http://www.rcfp.org/newsitems/index.php?i=12153
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    Regular Member okboomer's Avatar
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    Thank God the judge actually upheld a citizen's rights! I wonder how much of the national scrutiny caused him to rule the way he did?
    cheers - okboomer
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    Regular Member Large Caliber Kick's Avatar
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    I'm extremely glad to see these charges dropped, not just for this gentleman who doesn't deserve even 75 seconds behind bars, but for everyone. The precident this could have set had it been ruled the other way would have only increaced the occurance of the few hot head officers like the one in Canton, OH. Bravo for the Judge who performed his duties to the letter of the constitution. As for the defendant, sir if you are reading this, go crack a beer. You deserve it.

  4. #4
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Outstanding!

    I'd like to polish that judge's shoes for a week!

    Well, one pair of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by okboomer View Post
    Thank God the judge actually upheld a citizen's rights! I wonder how much of the national scrutiny caused him to rule the way he did?
    I've interacted with five judges over the years. One was running for office. Another was a neighbor. I dated a third. Etc.

    From what I gather, most of them are of the opinion that they're the final level of authority, and as such, are not influenced by public opinion, and should not pay any attention to it.

    None felt like they're perfect, but all would swear they never knowingly bent any judgement to public opinion.

    On the other hand, they're humans. Not only do they make mistakes, but they're subject to the same cognitive biases as every other human on the planet.

    The question is, to what degree?

    The judge who made this particular determination just demonstrated, in my opinion, that whatever cognitive biases to which they're subject did not manifest themselves to any significant degree.

    Not only was it a great decision, but with the amplifying commentary, it nailed the heart of the underlying issue while affirming the rights of U.S. Citizens. Again, way to go Judge!
    Last edited by since9; 09-18-2011 at 02:12 AM.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Regular Member Tony4310's Avatar
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    I am very glad to hear that the charges were dropped and this judge upheld rights!

  6. #6
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    I have been trying to watch this case closely. Excellent news here!!! Illinois is one of the most backwards states out there but this judge set them straight. Now they need to work on their state legislature to get this bad law repealed!
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

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    Quote Originally Posted by JTHunter View Post
    It's about bloody time!
    HOWEVER, how does that affect the "mutual consent" requirement???
    The eavesdropping laws are still in effect....which is very sad...

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