Thursday December 12, 2013
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Jeff Olson, 40, of San Diego, was faced with 13 misdemeanor charges that could have brought 13 years in jail and $13,000 in fines.
What did he do? Using water soluble chalk, he scrawled messages like "Shame on B of A" and "No thanks, big banks" on sidewalks outside San Diego Bank of America branches from April to August 2012.
Clearly, this was a First Amendment free speech issue, but City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, who prosecuted the case, didn't ses it that way.
"Graffiti remains vandalism in the state of California," the city attorney's office said. "Under the law, there is no First Amendment right to deface property, even if the writing is easily removed, whether the message is aimed at banks or any other person or group. We are, however, sympathetic to the strong public reaction to this case and the jury's message."
Bob Filner, the Mayor of San Diego, called it a "nonsense prosecution" that came in response to complaints from Bank of America. "It's washable chalk, it's political slogans," Filner said last week. "I think it's a stupid case. It's costing us money."
The city attorney's office said it offered to reduce the charges if Olson agreed to perform community service by cleaning up graffiti. He refused.
As the dispute flared at City Hall, Judge Howard Shore not only imposed a gag order on all parties, showing he had no idea what the First Amendment is all about, he even refused to allow Olson's attorney to argue that the messages were constitutionally protected free speech.
I can imagine how that would have gone over during the appeals, but they won't be necessary.
A good sensible American jury deliberated for five hours after a four-day trial and acquitted Olson of all charges.
In your face, Judge Shore! Go get a job you know something about. Maybe a position as warden in a North Korean prison is open.
Seriously. Where the hell do we get these judges from?
Not only judges are dumb. The higher the office the dumber the leader.
From the same place we get media personalities.
Ah! So that's it. Thanks, Paul. If they can't read the evening news off a teleprompter they get into something where whatever they say doesn't have to be right. Makes sense when you read cases.
Pat, I once developed a theory of administration. Reads like this: The administrators with the lightest heads float to the top.
Talk about dumb, I'd like to meet the butthead who wrote my spell checker. It didn't like my word teleprompter; wanted me to spell it TelePrompTer.
I'd like to meet that guy--or gal--anyway. If I make an error like this "I wishit were summer" the %$#@! spell checker offers this as the solution: either Wichita or wish-it. Can you believe that anyone would be so dumb as to not set the program to offer this? "wish it"
There are another half dozen things about that spell checker that tell me that the joker who wrote it has an IQ lower than his--or her--shoe size.
Maybe he's a rejected judge? :-)
You know what really gets me, though? I wonder how the decent majority of judges feel about the ones like that?
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