Friday, January 18, 2008


Here's what I posted about this today on the Hattiesburg American forum:

February 7. That means he'll have been in jail for the majority of a year. He was thrown in jail for simply writing something--the content of which has never been specified by the authorities.

I've said it before and I'll say it again--there is no such crime in Mississippi as "cyber-stalking through electronic media." The charge is redundant--cyber-stalking can ONLY take place through "electronic media."

Yuri was originally arrested for "posting messages through electronic media for the purpose of injury to any person" as he was supposedly in violation of MS Code 97-45-17, aka The Anti-Free Speech Act of 2003.

But let's be clear--the AFSA does not pertain only to "electronic media," as the law's short title would have us believe. The law applies to "the use of ANY medium of communication." And the message does not have to "cause injury" to any specific person; the law clearly says that intent to cause injury to "any person" is sufficient grounds to prosecute.

Oh, and "injury" isn't defined in the statute. This is a monumental case which is apparently going to be the first test of a seriously flawed statute. Hopefully the judge (and jury?) will recognize these flaws and throw out or refuse to convict on the charge pertaining to the AFSA of 2003 (97-45-17).

If not, we're all going to have to watch what we say, not just on the Internet, but in "any medium of communication." And that's frightening.

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