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Re: Townsend

----- Original Message -----
From: "Aaron Read" <aread@speakeasy.net>
To: "Dan Billings" <billings@suscom-maine.net>; "Joseph Pappalardo"
<joepappalardo2001@yahoo.com>; <boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2003 3:17 PM
Subject: Re: Townsend

> I'm
> uncomfortable with the idea of someone being blocked from even attempting
> to bring a interpretation of the law before the court.  I'm of the mindset
> that "getting your day in court" is an opportunity everyone should
> have.   If your defense stinks, it won't fly.  If it's good, it will.
> me naive but I like to believe that's how it SHOULD work at least.

You argue the law to the judge, not the jury.  That's what happened here.
The reporter's attorney tried a defense that the judge found was not allowed
under the law.  What you are suggesting is that lawyers be allowed to argue
jury nullification, i.e., my client broke the law but he had a good excuse.
Clever lawyers sometimes manage to make such arguments, but that approach is
generally not allowed.  If there is to be a reporter's exemption from such
laws, that argument needs to be made to legislators, not juries.

-- Dan Billings, Bowdoinham, Maine