06 April 2015

Our new state senator

     Our new state senator (District 15)) has as one of his first pronouncements  congratulated himself on  two new crimes having passed out out of the Senate.  One will now be able to commit the crime of stalking through the use of electronic devices.  I have not read the final language of the law, but the last draft appears to be directed to the use of electronic devices for the purpose of "stalking" which is now determined in part in the statute by the nature of the "feelings" of the intended victim as a result of the electronic communication; if terrorized or intimidated for example.  Now I know that "feelings" play a significant role in our social life.  Social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists and counselors of all kinds consider feelings as an important part of everyone's life here on this planet.  The reality is that most feelings are momentary and fleeting lasting a few minutes and then gone replaced by other feelings just as transitory. We should not base a criminal statute on "feelings"; something so undefinable, changeable, and normally irrational.  I would suggest that the new statute was proposed by someone who had their feelings hurt and which has passed the legislature bodies without  a thought to the fact that they are increasing the need for us dreaded criminal defense lawyers, they are adding to the number of criminals who live amongst us, they are increasing the number of methods by which the various law enforcement agencies in this state can control our behavior.  I am willing to place money on the belief that no more than a couple of legislators gave any thought to the consequences of adding one more crime to the hundreds we already have.

     The second piece of legislation mentioned in the article is an act prohibiting the placing of a GPS instrument on an object (presumably an automobile) without a legitimate purpose.  Now if you are to prohibit a person putting a GPS device on someone's car, then simply do it; do not say you can not do it unless you have a legitimate purpose in doing it.  Why would you as a legislator place that language in the statute?  Now we have another act which is a crime if deemed to be by law enforcement.  Who is to decide what is legitimate?  Law enforcement of course.  We should not be passing laws that allow law enforcement to decide what activities are crimes.  The proper job of law enforcement is to enforce the laws not decide what they are.