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California man faces 13 years in jail for scribbling anti-bank messages in chalk

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by Denim Chicken, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. Denim Chicken

    Denim Chicken Well-Known Member

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    Jeff Olson, the 40-year-old man who is being prosecuted for scrawling anti-megabank messages on sidewalks in water-soluble chalk last year now faces a 13-year jail sentence. A judge has barred his attorney from mentioning freedom of speech during trial.

    http://rt.com/usa/california-man-13-prison-banks-237/
  2. MonsterD

    MonsterD Quota outta absentia

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    Let's put 2 and 2 together here...
  3. Ntegrase96

    Ntegrase96 Well-Known Member

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    It's bank of america... $50 to hire someone to clean it, $50 bucks for 10 gallons of Evian to wash the chalk away, and a $5,900 convenience fee.

    Absolutely ridiculous. Seems obvious that some are being paid off.
  4. Jammer

    Jammer Retired Air Force Guy Zone Supporter

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    I don't understand the judge's ruling. If the sidewalks are public property then how can he not allow freedom of speech defense?
  5. Denim Chicken

    Denim Chicken Well-Known Member

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    The precedent was that the city vandalism law does not have an exclusion for freedom of speech. My issue from a legal perspective is that this is considered vandalism when there are no property damages.
  6. Wheeltax

    Wheeltax Well-Known Member

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    I read somewhere else a clarification that he's not actually facing 13 years, it's 13 counts of vandalism, and vandalism charges can carry up to a year in jail - it's being exaggerated for purposes of making it a news story. He'll probably be fined and sent on his way.

    The defense regarding the vandalism charge is that they don't determine what is or is not property damage for purposes of legality - they consider graffiti to be graffiti no matter how hard it is to remove. All graffiti can be removed, just by varying degrees of difficulty.
    Denim Chicken, DFWJC and Jammer like this.
  7. Jammer

    Jammer Retired Air Force Guy Zone Supporter

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    Your explanation makes sense.
  8. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the post.

    I was going to mention that it doesn't really matter how easy it is to remove, some guy still collects work time spraying it off.

    Stupid story either way but hearing that he doesn't actually face the stated time makes the whole thing pretty frustrating because it's misleading.
  9. Denim Chicken

    Denim Chicken Well-Known Member

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  10. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-chalk-verdict-20130701,0,1617754.story

    San Diego jury finds protester not guilty in chalk-vandalism case
    SAN DIEGO -- A jury Monday acquitted a 40-year-old man of all charges connected with writing protest messages in chalk on the sidewalk outside branches of the Bank of America.

    The case has exacerbated the already tense relationship between Mayor Bob Filner, who called the case "stupid" and a "waste of money," and City Atty. Jan Goldsmith, who defended it as a legitimate prosecution for graffiti vandalism.

    Deliberating for only a few hours, the jury apparently agreed with Filner -- declaring Jeff Olson not guilty on all 13 misdemeanor counts filed by Goldsmith's office.
  11. jnday

    jnday Well-Known Member

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    For some reason, I don't think this is the America that our Founding Fathers intended when they started this country. The very ideal that this incident went as far as it did is a joke.
    Wheeltax likes this.

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