Thought crimes are now federal

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by Quantum Windbag, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    Thought crimes have officially come to the US

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/o...ion&adxnnlx=1335110418-Xd BxzgseT5EyZIqiOmC5g
     
  2. George Costanza
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    George Costanza A Friendly Liberal

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    it was called "Advocating the violent overthrow of the government," and it was a federal crime (the Smith Act) that came into law in 1940.

    The law was held unconstitutional in 1957:

    "The indictments and trials ended in 1957 as the result of a series of Supreme Court decisions. Yates v. United States ruled unconstitutional the convictions of numerous party leaders in a ruling that distinguished between advocacy of an idea for incitement and the teaching of an idea as a concept. The Court ruled 6-1 in Watkins v. United States that defendants could use the First Amendment as a defense against "abuses of the legislative process."Template:354 U.S. 178 (1957)

    On June 5, 1961, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld by 5-4 the conviction of Junius Scales under the "membership clause" of the Smith Act. Scales began serving a six-year sentence on October 2, 1961. He was released after serving fifteen months when President John F. Kennedy commuted his sentence in 1962."

    Read all about it. Most interesting:

    Smith Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  3. George Costanza
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    George Costanza A Friendly Liberal

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    “it’s not illegal to watch something on the television. It is illegal, however, to watch something in order to cultivate your desire, your ideology.”

    This, by the way, makes absolutely no sense to me.
     
  4. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    You are not a federal prosecutor.

    Come to think of it, neither am I, and it makes no sense to me either.
     
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  5. George Costanza
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    George Costanza A Friendly Liberal

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    "Illegal to watch something that cultivates . . . . your ideology."

    Damn! Guess I'm going to have to stop watching the Crystal Cathedral on Sunday mornings. But then, of course, Republicans are also going to have to stop watching Fox News.
     

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