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Response to Zalatix (Reply #18)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 06:29 PM

23. the ACLU blog post confirms that HR 347 is not the big deal that the OP article claims it is

The OP article describes HR 347 as representing a "radical shift in free speech law" and that it "targets" Occupy protesters. The ACLU blog post essentially says that the truth about HR 347 is "more mundane." The blog post goes on to acknowledge that with essentially one exception, HR 347 is effectively a restatement of existing law. The one exception, which the blog post describes as "noteworthy" is that HR 347 deleted the word "willfully" from certain provisions of 18 USC 1752. But even in describing that change, the blog post provides an incomplete picture. For example, according to the blog post, the deletion of "willfully" means that all the prosecution needs to prove is that the accused acted "knowingly" (i.e., that you "know you're in a restricted area, but not necessarily that you're committing a crime". What the blog post fails to acknowledge is that in one of the provisions where "willfully" was removed, the words "without lawful authority" were added, meaning that the prosecution has to prove that you knew you were in a restricted area AND that you knew you were there without lawful authority (i.e., you knew you were committing a crime).
In two other provisions where "willfully" was omitted, the statute still requires both knowledge AND "intent" -- the willfulness requirement in those provisions was essentially belt and suspenders and its deletion doesn't change the law. Finally, the willfulness requirement was deleted from a fourth provision in the statute -- the one that makes it illegal to engage in an act of physical violence. As a general matter, intent (or "willfulness" is an implied element of crimes of physical violence and one can't engage in such acts and then claim "I didn't know it was illegal to assault someone." So again, the willfulness requirement was unnecessary and its elimination doesn't change the law.

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Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
kpete Mar 2012 OP
TheWraith Mar 2012 #1
Post removed Mar 2012 #2
SomethingFishy Mar 2012 #6
Mojorabbit Mar 2012 #12
onenote Mar 2012 #14
Zalatix Mar 2012 #17
woo me with science Mar 2012 #3
Autumn Mar 2012 #4
randome Mar 2012 #5
Robb Mar 2012 #7
randome Mar 2012 #8
SidDithers Mar 2012 #9
jeff47 Mar 2012 #10
TheKentuckian Mar 2012 #19
jeff47 Mar 2012 #20
ProSense Mar 2012 #11
Mojorabbit Mar 2012 #13
Zalatix Mar 2012 #18
LineLineLineLineNew Reply the ACLU blog post confirms that HR 347 is not the big deal that the OP article claims it is
onenote Mar 2012 #23
jeff47 Mar 2012 #21
ProSense Mar 2012 #25
jeff47 Mar 2012 #26
ProSense Mar 2012 #27
ProSense Mar 2012 #24
Mojorabbit Mar 2012 #28
girl gone mad Mar 2012 #16
jeff47 Mar 2012 #22
girl gone mad Mar 2012 #15
geek tragedy Mar 2012 #29
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