[LINK] "Good Samaritan" hacker pleads guilty to breaking
Sun, 30 Sep 2001 07:15:16 +1000
At 11:32 AM 28/09/01 +1000, Roger wrote:
>I *do* have a problem with the fact that the discretion on whether or not
>to prosecute lies with the prosecutor. The crime should be defined such
>that no crime exists unless intent ('mens rea') is proven. Otherwise the
>crime becomes available to a prosecutor as a weapon of repression.
Just as an example where 'intent' was a critical component. I served on a
jury for a counterfitting charge in the US a few years ago. US Fed court -
Treasury dept charge - big stuff! Anyway, the guy was supposed to have
passed a bad $50 note that had been created on a xerox machine. Looked
pretty good, too. He was the owner of a shop that took in money for some
type of service, framing pictures I think. Wife sent him for pet food and
gave him the note out of the till. Teenager at Petsmart recognised funny
money and got the manager, who got the police, who arrested the bloke.
Outcome: we sat through the federal prosecutor's presentation of the
case. Jury sort of looked at each other with expressions of - "is that
all?" Jury sent out. Jury called back. Judge issued a finding of no case
because their wasn't any evidence of intent, that the guy was probably a
second or third party recipient of the note, case closed. He really rapped
the fed agents over the knuckles for not being better prepared and wasting
his and our time!
Thank goodness for a thoughtful judiciary and separation of powers when you
can find them!
I wonder if the kid in the hacker case pled too early.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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