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Peter Watts Found Guilty

Cory shares the bad news on Boing Boing, along with Peter’s very frank telling of the trial and conviction. (Read the original story at Boing Boing, too, for background.)

While the assault charge was tossed, Watts was still convicted for obstruction under a very troublingly constituted law.

What constitutes “failure to comply with a lawful command” is open to interpretation. The Prosecution cited several moments within the melee which she claimed constituted “resisting”, but by her own admission I wasn’t charged with any of those things. I was charged only with resisting Beaudry, the guard I’d “choked”. My passenger of that day put the lie to that claim in short order, and the Prosecution wasn’t able to shake that. The Defense pointed out that I wasn’t charged with anything regarding anyone else, and the Prosecution had to concede that too. So what it came down to, ultimately, was those moments after I was repeatedly struck in the face by Beaudry (an event not in dispute, incidentally). After Beaudry had finished whaling on me in the car, and stepped outside, and ordered me out of the vehicle; after I’d complied with that, and was standing motionless beside the car, and Beaudry told me to get on the ground — I just stood there, saying “What is the problem?”, just before Beaudry maced me.

Charlie Stross has an excellent post relating this one incident to a much more troubling larger trend.

I note with some alarm that the saucepan of free international travel we’ve been swimming frog-like in for decades is now steaming.

Beyond the concern over laws that increasingly grant border patrols new, vague, easy to abuse powers with little accountability, Charlie delves into the economic pressures bring this to much more of a head. Well worth the read.

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The Command Line by Thomas Gideon
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