Thursday, February 14, 2008

How long before the paedos appeal?

Well isn't 'intent' a funny thing? As the news yesterday showed, the courts have ruled that if you constantly download, watch and share material from the Internet of loony Islamist training for jihad; making bombs; blowing themselves and others up; or watching some poor sodding journalist have his head hacked off with a great machete then it's fine and dandy if you can say that you're just a fantasist and would never actually dream of carrying out such things yourself.

Does this now mean that all those men convicted of downloading the violation of children can appeal their convictions on the line of 'look, I know I had videos of 40 year old men buggering 4 year olds, but honestly m'Lud I wouldn't dream of ever doing it myself, it's just a bit of fantasising really! I know I shared them but I never dreamed that I might be encouraging such things by doing so'? Of course it doesn't and there would, quite rightly, be a huge public outcry if it did. Yet that rather flippant example perfectly expresses the sheer absurdity of the argument being put forward that these lads were guilty of mere thought crimes and were not a potential danger.

I mean, it's not like one of them ran away from a home and left a note saying he was off to fight Jihad abroad now was it? Oh wait, what am I saying, one of them did do that. The judgement that he was just a young impressionable mind and so was a pure innocent corrupted sounds a bit like a celebrity who did porno early in their career and then has to say they were 'young and stupid'. What next, a person appearing in a video containing extreme violence defending themselves by saying that they were just being youthfully stupid, whilst another who watches it just promises everyone that it's just for research whilst he mixes the paroxide?

15 comments:

JuliaM said...

Chris Langham's going to be happy....

Justin said...

And you've got the balls to call me intellectually vapid? Physician, heal thyself.

Rickytshirt said...

If this is how the law is being interpreted by judges then it needs to change.

Travis Bickle said...

If these terrorists ever got near enough to judges or politicians to blow themselves up then I suspect the twats in their ivory towers might have a rather different attitude. But never worry, as soon as the rest of us carry ID cards everything will be hunky dory in la la land.

dizzy said...

Justin I don't have the balls to call you intellectually vapid. I actually have the balls to call you a silly odious little turd.

If one accepts the argument that the seriousness of downloading certain content should be viewed through the eyes of whether the person means to act upon it or not, then the consequent end to the logic is that those who view images of violent sexual acts online should have the defence that they don't intend to act upon it.

There is little intellectually vapid about it, it is just applying the judgement to other content that is simlarly treated as unlawful to download, view and distribute. It's not a difficult concept to get one's head around. Well accept perhaps for you.

Cassilis said...

I think the law is different when it comes to that sort of material - possession itself is deemed criminal for the very good reasons you've highlighted.

The terrorist legislation doesn't criminalise possession but 'possession with intent' and it's the lack of intent (according to the judges and I'm not sure I agree) that gave rise to yesterday's acquittal.

You can't really draw a parallel between this and child pornography cases...

yokel said...

For those who are fluent with political bets, what is the betting that the first of this year's many Bills concerning Police, Terrorism, and the Criminal Justice system includes a provision that the possession of such material becomes a strict/absolute offence?

And that a slightly later one includes a strict requirement for ISPs or sysadmins to inspect every packet passing over their systems and to report to the Authorities any packet that might contain such material?

I am most definitely NOT saying that immature idiots like those in the story should be permitted to feed their fantasy of religious domination. But I am expecting this NuLabour government to respond to the ruling in the way that is calculated to create most disadvantage for the rest of the population.

Rob said...

You make a good point.

But the paedo argument is slightly different. It is argued that those who watch child abuse are complicit in the crime. That is by watching it they are encouraging the abuse and display of it. Because it is produced for them to watch.

However, the terrorist material would be there whether it was viewed by people or not. It is propaganda directed at percieved enemies. Thus you are not encouraging it by watching it.

These are just thoughts on why there may be a percieved difference. I'm not giving an opinion.

Ed said...

I suppose shopkeepers who keep videos of shoplifters should be locked up too?

Perhaps people who own copies of films such as Die Hard or Speed should be labelled terrorists too.

Wanting to shoot Gordon Brown in the head is not a crime (yet) but actually doing it is quite another. Or do you want thoughtcrime to be punished?

James said...

But the paedo argument is slightly different. It is argued that those who watch child abuse are complicit in the crime. That is by watching it they are encouraging the abuse and display of it. Because it is produced for them to watch.

I would say the same for the head hackers though - if nobody watched their insane pronouncements or showed them removing some poor bastards head with a rusty penknife would they stop doing it?

I am morally confused by this as I think there is nothing wrong with downloading the plans to a bomb as who is to say I would make one, but downloading someones head being taken off? I put that in same league as child porn as there is someone in that who is definitely not consenting to the shit happening to them..

Little Black Sambo said...

What next? Possession of a sandwich while driving a car, in case you might be thinking about eating it, and so committing a terrible offence? Lusting after a woman in your heart, and thus virtually committing adultery. String up all these Stasi.

Anonymous said...

i don't quite get this one.

No arguments on the paed, ie pre pubescent, stuff. Post that state, I thought that material classes as pedo if it's under the statutory age limit and that varies from country to country. So far so good, all mandatory and clear as related to locally determined age of consent, no problems, and no excuses

But how do you square up your argument on the terror boys as being that what they did was wrong even if they didn't go and do anything real bad, with your earlier (some months ago, i think), defence of the 'extreme porn' guys and gals, which was that if they possessed material of consenting adults BDSM stuff, that shouldn't be a crime..... (as it shortly seems to be going to be)....as they weren't going to go out and do the 'bad things' shown for real...

Is it because that seems to be acted or something?

If I've got you wrong, (it was a while ago) please say, but i find it hard to see the difference - i thought there was some sort of similarity, especially given what Lord Carlile was saying on Radio 4

Annie said...

I agree with you about the logical inconsistancy. And when Rob says that paedophiles are different because their downloading encourages the commission of the acts watched - well, the same applies to terrorist literature. But I've actually, even with paedophile downloads, always felt a bit uncomfortable about prosecuting, because these are close to being thought crimes. (A bit off topic, but what if CGI reaches a point where it's used instead of real children. Should/could you then prosecute people who download such images? Even if there is no harm necessary to create them? The current legisltation probably means you can - but that really would be a thought crime.)

bebopper said...

I made the paedo point on Iain Dale's blog, but nobody was interested.
I think it's a very significant ruling and we could have a lot of paedos appealing, with a lot of confidence.

Man of a Bendy Bus said...

as Clive James so eloquently put it on QT the English law is not about broad principles or systems but rectifying individual acts of "abuse" not covered adequately by existing laws. There is no law that says if you view illegal acts on the internet then you are liable for prosecution. There is a specific law in the case of viewing acts of sexual abuse against children. Even if they are "simulated". It is pernicious to draw a parallel with jihadist propoganda. As usual in recent cases the problem lies with the badly prepared prosecution case who go for the path of least resistance and then leave themselves open to successful appeals based on the gaping holes in their clunking arguments.