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(Ars Technica)   Indiana Supreme Court: "Yes, we agree that the law is pants-on-head stupid, but seeing as it is the law, off to prison with you"   ( arstechnica.com) divider line
    More: Stupid, Supreme Court, Indiana Supreme Court, Pornography, Supreme Court of the United States, Sexual intercourse, Jury, Law, child porn  
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12824 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Oct 2017 at 6:39 AM (40 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-10-06 06:08:17 AM  
18 votes:
Okay, so let me get this straight. In Indiana, it is legal for an adult to have sex with a 16 year old, but can't disseminate sexual content to them online (sexting, nude photos, etc) until they are 18. Okay, that's inconsistent law, and should be addressed by the Legislature, not the State Supreme Court. So I can see where they were coming from by reinstating the charges on this guy.

But here's the kicker: She's not just 16, but a former student of his. He's a 40-year old teacher. She's also in Oregon now, where it is illegal for an adult to have sex with a 16 year old, and he sent the nude pic to her across state lines, which brings up why he isn't facing Federal charges? Now the whole thing is a whole lot more icky overall, and although he only faces up to three years in prison, he deserves a whole lot more in the Hole.
2017-10-06 06:49:51 AM  
17 votes:
The one that I find hilariously stupid is one of the ones mentioned in the article - two "kids" (16/17) who have had sex with each other and sent each other explicit texts, were found to both victims and perpetrators of child porn because they had pictures of themselves on their phones.  So does that mean that any time a kid looks at him/herself in the mirror while naked mean they're peeping toms?  WTF!

\prosecutor should have been shot out of a cannon into the sun for that one
2017-10-06 05:43:46 AM  
16 votes:
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

That's called BEING AN ADULT.

Farking Dumbass.
2017-10-06 06:20:02 AM  
10 votes:
The courts are supposed to protect us against Unconstitutional laws not stupid ones.  That's the job of the legislature (yep, we're all boned)
2017-10-06 06:08:17 AM  
9 votes:
The defendant has a point, I guess. But I don't care.
2017-10-06 06:43:36 AM  
7 votes:
I have a feeling the legislature is more likely to raise the age of consent to 18 than legalize sexting to minors. Then again, this is Indiana.
2017-10-06 07:41:35 AM  
6 votes:
This is because there is a conflict in "age of consent" for various things.

There's age of consent for having sex, and there's age of consent for participating in commercial pornography.  (Just like there's a law about the age one has to be to purchase alcohol).

The idea is that pornographers might exploit minors, so one must be 18+ to enter into a contract to perform and license pornography.  This is actually business contract law -- and is the basis for all underage porn convictions.   There's no distinction between pornography for personal use and pornography for money when underage individuals are involved -- because if it's illegal, then it can be considered a part of a black market & its very existence makes it a "thing of value" on the global black market.

So, yes..  a 16 year old can have sex legally with any other 16+ consenting partner in states where the age of consent is at least 16, but if anyone films the act, they're committing a state crime & if they use the internet to transfer a copy or cross state lines with it, it's a federal crime.

Some states have taken measures to protect minors from sexting laws -- many choose to simply not prosecute minors even if they're guilty.  The real remedy is to fix the laws.   The laws were written to protect minors from predatory pornography corporations and sexual abusers, not from their legally consenting sexual partners if they're of legal age (unless those partners share those files without their permission).

I say we just make 16 the age of consent, voting, joining the armed forces, marrying, entering into other contracts, buying alcohol, and doing porn -- other countries have, and the world didn't end for them.  Make it consistent.
2017-10-06 06:54:58 AM  
5 votes:

Next week's Tom Sawyer: I have a feeling the legislature is more likely to raise the age of consent to 18 than legalize sexting to minors. Then again, this is Indiana.


Well, with MJ being decriminalized, the prison system needs a new stream.

/as I was writing that it actually made more and more sense
2017-10-06 06:55:21 AM  
4 votes:
FFS.  I know enough not to be a teacher.  I'm too much of a perv.  I stay away from high school aged girls because I know even if I behave, they won't.

This guy?  Farking idiot.  Don't let the cell door leave marks on your ass on the way in.
2017-10-06 06:53:40 AM  
4 votes:

Pazuzu Smith-Jones: The defendant has a point, I guess. But I don't care.


Most people don't care about stuff.
Until it happens to someone they care about.

/a few actually try to change things
//not condoning sexting minors
///or any pre-marital sex for that matter. Username up front should have told you
2017-10-06 07:49:47 AM  
3 votes:
Not sure about the Indiana case, but the case at the bottom of the article ... That's a special kind of stupid.

FTA: "One of the teens was accused of possessing child pornography because he had nude photos of himself on his phone. The arrest warrant for the boy's girlfriend described her as both a victim and a perpetrator."
2017-10-06 09:18:16 AM  
2 votes:

pueblonative: The courts are supposed to protect us against Unconstitutional laws not stupid ones.  That's the job of the legislature (yep, we're all boned)


We have a legal system, not a justice system.  Everyone would be well served to keep that in mind at all times.

Laws don't have to be logical or morally acceptable, and often aren't.  Many laws are passed as a knee jerk reaction to a specific event often without consideration for how similar yet different situations in the future may be affected.  Remember that when people scream "We have to do something now" in response to some grievous event.  Often what gets passed isn't well thought out.  You end up with a 17 year old getting labeled a child pornographer for sending someone over 18 a dick pic.
2017-10-06 09:07:00 AM  
2 votes:
The courts are empowered to strike down unconstitutional laws. They cannot strike down a law simply for being dumb.

What exactly were they supposed to do?
2017-10-06 07:28:42 AM  
2 votes:

SpaceyCat: The one that I find hilariously stupid is one of the ones mentioned in the article - two "kids" (16/17) who have had sex with each other and sent each other explicit texts, were found to both victims and perpetrators of child porn because they had pictures of themselves on their phones.  So does that mean that any time a kid looks at him/herself in the mirror while naked mean they're peeping toms?  WTF!

\prosecutor should have been shot out of a cannon into the sun for that one


$$$.

money to the system to defend yourself, and if you are found guilty, well hell that's even MORE money.
2017-10-06 07:24:56 AM  
2 votes:
I see they pulled the legal equivalent of "It's the policy" defense. Man gives logical and sensible argument against it. The official response, "Oh, that does make sense. In fact we agree, but 'fraid that's not the policy/law, which is of course immutable and unchangable and definitely not selectively enforced by us."
2017-10-06 01:04:14 PM  
1 vote:
You mean they made a decision based on facts instead of just reinterpreting the law to mean what they want it to mean?

img.fark.netView Full Size
2017-10-06 12:22:40 PM  
1 vote:

KingRamze: This is because there is a conflict in "age of consent" for various things.

I say we just make 16 the age of consent, voting, joining the armed forces, marrying, entering into other contracts, buying alcohol, and doing porn -- other countries have, and the world didn't end for them.  Make it consistent.


Thank you for the explanation. And I agree. Whether 16, 17, or 18  ... hell, given the modern research into brain development, maybe 24 should be the minimum age for being allowed to do anything more complex than cook a meal or cross the street ... make it the same across the country. Once young people know that one of those ages is when they have to start being responsible, it might give them a goal to shoot for.
2017-10-06 11:49:55 AM  
1 vote:

theregoesthat: zepillin: Sex is temporal, pictures are forever.

makes sense to me

The disparity is odd, but I believe the pictures are the greater violation of the two.

...You know the adult sent HIS dick right?

"Dissemination of harmful material to a minor" is the charge, how in the hell can a pic of a dick that she's seen and LEGALLY(albeit grossly) interacted with in person be harmful to her?

"Harmful material" is vague so they should've drawn a narrow distinction here that minors who can legally have sex aren't harmed by sexual content.

In reality prosecutors should drop ridiculous cases like "boy charged for his own dick pic" but they've all lost their goddamn minds.


Prosecutors care about getting convictions(winning) not fairness.  That's why I cringe when I hear a prosecutor say things like, "In 20 years I never lost a case".  Great, you either put innocent people in jail because you knew that you could win or you let guilty people go because your 100% conviction rate was more important than justice.
2017-10-06 11:34:57 AM  
1 vote:

jpcerutti: Callous:

There's no inconsistency.  That law says what it says.  The court can only overturn the conviction if the law is not Constitutional or if the law was not applied as it is written.  The law is Constitutional and it was applied as it's written.

My point is that laws are not always well thought out and knee jerk reaction laws often are not.  When something is passed in haste to "do something about it" and calm the angry mob, unintended consequences often result.  Such as the case I mentioned earlier of a 17 year old that sent a dick pic facing 10 years in prison.

I know where you're going and I think you're actually undermining your own argument here. The issue isn't that they didn't spend enough time thinking about new legislation, the issue is they didn't go back and fix old legislation to fit a new law. Spending eons pondering the possibles isn't going to fix that. Going back and fixing an old law will. This will force the legislature to address with certainty if they really want 16, "as the original drafters of the law intended", or 18 to be the age of consent here.

Knee jerk is a catchy phrase for legislation you don't like and trying to cookie cutter it from one argument to another just makes it look silly. Waiting wouldn't and isn't going to fix anything about this one AND the system is actually functioning as designed.


I'm not undermining my point, you don't understand how laws are made.
Courts don't fix laws, courts don't write laws,  legislatures do.  And had they thought this one out more before they passed it than they may have accounted for situations like this.  Laws are only fixed by passing new laws that replace or amend the old ones.  And no one is reading old laws and proposing amendments until after a problem like this occurs.  So it's imperative that they take their time and get it right the first time.  Even if they change the law now, without a pardon, this guy is still farked as the law was what it was when he violated it.

Knee jerk is a term for an unconscious reaction.  It's used to describe hastily written legislation that wasn't well thought out before it was passed.

Your entire argument revolves around legislatures just passing hastily written bad legislation and expecting them to fix it later before someone gets caught up in it.  That's an incredibly stupid idea followed by an even stupider expectation.
2017-10-06 11:16:49 AM  
1 vote:

zepillin: Sex is temporal, pictures are forever.

makes sense to me

The disparity is odd, but I believe the pictures are the greater violation of the two.


...You know the adult sent HIS dick right?

"Dissemination of harmful material to a minor" is the charge, how in the hell can a pic of a dick that she's seen and LEGALLY(albeit grossly) interacted with in person be harmful to her?

"Harmful material" is vague so they should've drawn a narrow distinction here that minors who can legally have sex aren't harmed by sexual content.

In reality prosecutors should drop ridiculous cases like "boy charged for his own dick pic" but they've all lost their goddamn minds.
2017-10-06 09:55:25 AM  
1 vote:

jpcerutti: Callous: pueblonative: The courts are supposed to protect us against Unconstitutional laws not stupid ones.  That's the job of the legislature (yep, we're all boned)

We have a legal system, not a justice system.  Everyone would be well served to keep that in mind at all times.

Laws don't have to be logical or morally acceptable, and often aren't.  Many laws are passed as a knee jerk reaction to a specific event often without consideration for how similar yet different situations in the future may be affected.  Remember that when people scream "We have to do something now" in response to some grievous event.  Often what gets passed isn't well thought out.  You end up with a 17 year old getting labeled a child pornographer for sending someone over 18 a dick pic.

Horse puckey. It's not like you can sit down and write something and in twenty minutes you have a new law. State laws are a patchwork of things and ages and because one law has a different age than another one here would not of been caught if they had another six months to think about it.


Are you saying that thinking a potential law over for 6 months and considering it's potential unintended consequences before passing it cannot produce a better law then just passing something produced quickly in a knee jerk reaction to a specific event?

<stupidestthingivereadallday.png>
2017-10-06 09:29:45 AM  
1 vote:

Callous: pueblonative: The courts are supposed to protect us against Unconstitutional laws not stupid ones.  That's the job of the legislature (yep, we're all boned)

We have a legal system, not a justice system.  Everyone would be well served to keep that in mind at all times.

Laws don't have to be logical or morally acceptable, and often aren't.  Many laws are passed as a knee jerk reaction to a specific event often without consideration for how similar yet different situations in the future may be affected.  Remember that when people scream "We have to do something now" in response to some grievous event.  Often what gets passed isn't well thought out.  You end up with a 17 year old getting labeled a child pornographer for sending someone over 18 a dick pic.


Horse puckey. It's not like you can sit down and write something and in twenty minutes you have a new law. State laws are a patchwork of things and ages and because one law has a different age than another one here would not of been caught if they had another six months to think about it.

The biggest surprise I saw reading it is we all need to give our kids a heads up because, technically, if they take a picture of themselves they could be charged with child porn.
2017-10-06 08:37:37 AM  
1 vote:
Instead of "illogical" the perp should have declared that sexting IS sex, therefore legal with a 16 year old. I mean, pictures on a computer screen is all the sex I ever get, so what the hell.
2017-10-06 08:20:39 AM  
1 vote:

MmmmBacon: Okay, so let me get this straight. In Indiana, it is legal for an adult to have sex with a 16 year old, but can't disseminate sexual content to them online (sexting, nude photos, etc) until they are 18. Okay, that's inconsistent law, and should be addressed by the Legislature, not the State Supreme Court. So I can see where they were coming from by reinstating the charges on this guy.

But here's the kicker: She's not just 16, but a former student of his. He's a 40-year old teacher. She's also in Oregon now, where it is illegal for an adult to have sex with a 16 year old, and he sent the nude pic to her across state lines, which brings up why he isn't facing Federal charges? Now the whole thing is a whole lot more icky overall, and although he only faces up to three years in prison, he deserves a whole lot more in the Hole.


Also, legal to have consentual sex doesn't mean legal to send photos the other isn't consenting to. I doubt this girl consented to being sent these photos. Thats a very different thing from her physically consenting to sex.
2017-10-06 08:14:49 AM  
1 vote:
Yeah, that's laws for you.
2017-10-06 06:51:45 AM  
1 vote:
FTA:
"The Indiana ruling is among a string of cases in which sexting laws are clearly nonsensical. Last month, for example, the Washington Supreme Court upheld the conviction under state child porn laws of a 17-year-old boy who sent a picture of his own erect penis to a 22-year-old woman"
&
"Then there was the 2015 case of two North Carolina teens charged with child porn accusations for consensually sexting one another. One of the teens was accused of possessing child pornography because he had nude photos of himself on his phone. The arrest warrant for the boy's girlfriend described her as both a victim and a perpetrator."
2017-10-06 06:08:39 AM  
1 vote:
I totally read that as "India" and not "Indiana" and thought it was some weird "it's okay to rape a girl if she's not a virgin" law.

This isn't THAT much better.
 
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