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Florida Reduces Penalties For 'Sexting' Teens 295

SonicSpike sends word that Florida has changed how law enforcement deals with teenagers who send racy pictures to each other over their phones. Quoting CNN: "Before Saturday, a Florida teenager who sent or received nude photos or video could have been charged with a felony and forced to register as a sex offender. But a new law, recognizing the proliferation of cell phones and computers, eases the penalties for 'sexting' infractions. A first offense is punishable by eight hours of community service or a $60 fine; the second is a misdemeanor and the third is a felony. ... Under House Bill 75, teens who receive explicit images won't be charged if they took reasonable steps to report it, did not solicit the image and did not send it to someone."
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Florida Reduces Penalties For 'Sexting' Teens

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  • by maxwell demon ( 590494 ) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @04:20AM (#37582132) Journal


    das Sieg = Victory. That's all Sieg means, on its own. Nothing to see here.

    It's "der Sieg", not "das Sieg".

    But the combination "Sieg Heil" is decidedly Nazi. Basically it's the putting of "Heil" on it which makes it typical Nazi.

    But then, the Stasi was not in Nazi Germany (there you might have reported to the Gestapo), but in communist East Germany.

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Informative)

    by DJRumpy ( 1345787 ) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @08:20AM (#37582744)

    This whole law is fucking retarded in regards to teen sexting. Kids are going to be playful, curious, and they are going to send nude pics of themselves, and it's ridiculous to call it a crime. If the pics they send are of themselves, then it's none of the governments damn business. Leave it for the parents to take care of. Classifying it as a crime with tis graduated 3 strikes rule is over the top. What exactly is it suppose to accomplish. It is a distortion of the law to call it child porn to begin with. Instead of making exceptions for self pics from teens, they have again done the wrong thing, albeit it to a very slight lesser degree, instead of just putting an exception in to begin with.

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Informative)

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @09:57AM (#37583044)
    The law doesn't always make sense. I got to see a police representative come to give teens a school lecture on sexting a couple of weeks ago - and he confirmed to them what many suspected: It's legal for them to have sex at seventeen, but illegal for them to see it. He jokingly suggested they wear a blindfold during the act.

    It can get a lot sillier in the US though, due to the potential for federal, state and local laws to interact. You end up with situations where it's perfectly legal for a couple to have vaginal sex, but if they have oral sex then they can both go to jail for statutory rape.
  • by yuna49 ( 905461 ) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @11:10AM (#37583370)

    While your comment is meant to be humorous, the question of minors' First Amendment rights was a core aspect of the Supreme Court's recent decision striking down the California ban on violent video game sales to minors. For example, Scalia writes in footnote 3 of the decision [supremecourt.gov] (PDF):

    JUSTICE THOMAS ignores the holding of Erznoznik, and denies that persons under 18 have any constitutional right to speak or be spoken to without their parents’ consent. He cites no case, state or federal, supporting this view, and to our knowledge there is none. Most of his dissent is devoted to the proposition that parents have traditionally had the power to control what their children hear and say. This is true enough. And it perhaps follows from this that the state has the power to enforce parental prohibitions — to require, for example, that the promoters of a rock concert exclude those minors whose parents have advised the promoters that their children are forbidden to attend. But it does not follow that the state has the power to prevent children from hearing or saying anything without their parents’ prior consent.

    (In the 1975 Erznozick decision Scalia cites, the Court struck down a Jacksonville ordinance that banned drive-in movie theaters from showing films with naked breasts and buttocks. One argument was the protection of minors from such displays.)

    I can see legal arguments being raised against anti-sexting laws based on this line of reasoning on the Court. There's now a pretty solid majority of First Amendment absolutists on the Court. It's not hard to imagine a law against teen sexting being struck down on the claim the both the sender and the receiver of such images have First Amendment rights.

  • Re:Wow (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 02, 2011 @03:10PM (#37584438)
    I was convinced to plead guilty to a crime I didn't commit by a public defender. Terrible mistake but I was under 18 and my record expunged. He gave me other terrible advice as well for courtroom conduct. Apparently acting pleasant and smiling only pisses off the judge. That's what I get for having been a poor 15 y/o minority kid with no knowledge of the court system and relying on a lawyer for legal advice. He told me it would be much worse if I tried to fight it... turns out my accuser never showed up, nor did the arresting officer. Also evidence against me was stupid because it would have required superhuman strength to bend a parking meter with my bare hands. (There's a lot more to the lame story.) End of the story is, I was screwed for a while but still came out an OK person. But I could see how some people would hate cops, lawyers, judges.. the law after some of this bullshit.
  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @05:27PM (#37585288) Homepage

    I'm pretty sure the way 3 strikes rules work is that the penalty applies the third time you are convicted. Presumably this means you have already been in front of a judge *twice* who has told you that this behavior will result in a felony charge.

    You can't get all three in one go, but the strikes are per charge not per case so you can use up the first two. And strikes you got as a juvenile count the rest of your life, so worst case you'd better not steal a pack of gum the rest of your life or face 25 to life. Look at the three strikes law page on wikipedia for some outrageous examples.

Logic is a pretty flower that smells bad.