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posted by martyb on Thursday May 11 2017, @05:15PM   Printer-friendly
from the paying-the-price-for-freedom-of-the-press dept.

[Public News Service of West Virginia Reporter Daniel Ralph Heyman] has been arrested and charged with "disruption of government services" in the state capitol for "yelling questions" at visiting Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price and White House senior advisor Kellyanne Conway.

[...] "The above defendant was aggressively breaching the secret service agents to the point where the agents were forced to remove him a couple of times from the area walking up the hallway in the main building of the Capitol," the complaint states. It adds Heyman caused a disturbance by "yelling questions at Ms. Conway and Secretary Price."

The misdemeanor carries a possible fine of $100 and up to six months in jail.

[...] The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia called the charges "outrageous" and said the arrest was "a blatant attempt to chill an independent, free press."

"Freedom of the press is being eroded every day, " it said in a statement. "We have a president who calls the media 'fake news' and resists transparency at every turn."

The statement said this is a "dangerous time in the country."

Price and Conway were in West Virginia to discuss opioid addiction in the state, which has the highest drug overdose death rate in the nation.

LINK: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/05/10/w-virginia-reporter-arrested-yelling-questions-visiting-hhs-secretary-tom-price/101503242/#


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 11 2017, @07:32PM (11 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 11 2017, @07:32PM (#508258)

    The thing which caught my eye was: "The misdemeanor carries a possible fine of $100 and up to six months in jail."

    Really? 6 months in jail is roughly equivalent to $100? I would have assumed the order of magnitude would be more like "a fine of $5000 and up to six months in jail."

    I can't help but wonder if an old law not inflation adjusted, or if this is a "laws are only for the poor."

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 11 2017, @07:37PM (9 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 11 2017, @07:37PM (#508263)

    Is the concept of "and" too difficult for you to understand?

    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Thursday May 11 2017, @07:47PM (6 children)

      by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday May 11 2017, @07:47PM (#508278)

      "The defendant was sentenced to three titty twisters and a beheading."

      It would still make more sense if the two things were of comparable severity.

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 11 2017, @08:33PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 11 2017, @08:33PM (#508303)

        The pharase up to includes the number zero. Don't tell me you rush out to every bedding and mattress store every weekend, taken in by their "Save Up To 90%" sales ads!

        • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Thursday May 11 2017, @08:38PM (4 children)

          by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday May 11 2017, @08:38PM (#508309)

          How is this in any way relevant to the conversation?

          --
          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by cubancigar11 on Friday May 12 2017, @04:38AM (3 children)

            by cubancigar11 (330) on Friday May 12 2017, @04:38AM (#508471) Homepage Journal

            Not OP AC. Legalese, unlike common language, is more like programming language. The "and" here is not the "and" we use normally, but specifies two different types of penalties as possible punishment. What it really means is that you can be fined monetarily and/or incarcerated.

            The left side of "and' specifies the maximum monetary amount of punishment. The right side of "and" specifies the maximum amount of penitentiary punishment. A judge is given discretionary power to decide which mixture and how much of a mixture is good for the punishment.

            The imbalance in $100 and 6-months of jail term is there to show judge the intent of the law - which is that the punishment ought to contain more of imprisonment and it also hints that the crime ought not to be considered a misdemeanor.

            Your example doesn't work because your use of "and" uses same type of punishment on both sides. That's not legalese and that's why there is no law that says that.

            HTH

            • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday May 12 2017, @02:54PM (2 children)

              by tangomargarine (667) on Friday May 12 2017, @02:54PM (#508637)

              So "and" doesn't really mean "and" in legalese. This is why people don't like lawyers :P

              --
              "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
              • (Score: 2) by cubancigar11 on Friday May 12 2017, @07:06PM (1 child)

                by cubancigar11 (330) on Friday May 12 2017, @07:06PM (#508795) Homepage Journal

                Yeah it is more like 'or' while actual or is more like 'xor'.

                • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday May 12 2017, @07:47PM

                  by tangomargarine (667) on Friday May 12 2017, @07:47PM (#508816)

                  Yeah, that's another thing most people don't notice - or vs xor. Programming bitmasks :)

                  --
                  "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Thursday May 11 2017, @11:00PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday May 11 2017, @11:00PM (#508382) Journal

      Is the concept of "and" too difficult for you to understand?

      for Republicans?

      It was wrong for Comey to editorialize about Clinton when he determined charges weren't warranted;
      AND
      It was wrong for Trump to fire someone who was investigating him.

      I think so!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 11 2017, @11:41PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 11 2017, @11:41PM (#508394)

      Yeah, but I mean, put someone in jail for five years, and hit them with a real fine, sure.

      But put them in jail for five years and fine them a hundred bucks? Why even bother? is there some class of criminals for whom a 5-year sentence is no real deterrent, but adding a $100 fine will put the fear in 'em?

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by bob_super on Thursday May 11 2017, @07:42PM

    by bob_super (1357) on Thursday May 11 2017, @07:42PM (#508274)

    6 month in jail is essentially a $20000 fine for the taxpayers, and therefore probably a $200 campaign donation to the tough-on-crime Party.

    Or is the kickback up to 2%? I didn't get the latest bribery brochure...