Captain Corruption\'s Commentary

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The trouble with Scotland is...

The Scots have no !

Subhaan Younis, 23, was sentenced to 60 days in jail for "breach of the peace" for showing a woman a video clip of an hostage beheading. Now you won't hear me argue that what he did showed good taste, but boy does this jailing make me appreciate all the bad taste in the good ol of !

Here's an excerpt from Scotsman.com

Donald Findlay, QC, one of Scotland's top lawyers, said the case served as a warning to people who send work colleagues and friends graphic material by e-mail or mobile phone. He said: "What this case shows is that sending a video clip that contains something that is either offensive, distressing or alarming can be considered a breach of the peace."

Mr Findlay said it was almost impossible to be sure that people would not be offended by many e-mails circulated around offices. "The days of the office joke e-mail are probably numbered," he said.

Media lawyer Campbell Deane, a partner at Bannatyne Kirkwood France in Glasgow, said as far as he was aware the case was the first time that disseminating offensive material has been prosecuted as a breach of the peace under Scots law.

He said: "The test for breach of the peace is putting somebody in a state of fear and alarm and that depends on the sensitivities of the person concerned.

"There was an e-mail doing the rounds a while ago where a guy is walking his Yorkshire terrier and gives it a really hard kick. It is very well edited so it looks real, though on closer inspection it is clearly a stunt. But if it was sent to a dog lover they could take it the wrong way and be deeply upset.

"You probably shouldn't go to jail for that, because it was a joke. But if today's decision is right, in the eyes of the law that wouldn't make much difference, as you are still placing that person in a state of alarm.

I cannot overstate my opinion here... there is NO more important paragraph of legal writing in the history of man than:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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