It’s 1984 in Maine
It might be 2008 in the rest of the USA, but in Maine, it’s 1984.
A new bill in the Pine Tree State would make it a crime to peer at children in public. It’s been asserted that some legislators can justify making any action a crime–as long as they add the magic words “for the children” to the mix.
This Maine bill adds proof to that assertion.
State Rep. Dawn Hill, D-York, is the head cheerleader for a bill only a fan of police state actions could love.
Or a police chief.
Her involvement started when Ogunquit Police Lt. David Alexander was called to a local beach to deal with a man who appeared to be observing children entering the community bathrooms. Because the state statute prevents arrests for visual sexual aggression of a child in a public place, Alexander said he and his fellow officer could only ask the man to move along.
“There was no violation of law that we could enforce. There was nothing we could charge him with,” Alexander said.
So that’s the problem: police could only ask the man to “move along”. The man had not committed a crime–at least outside of Maine.
In the movie, “Vanilla Sky”, the state had a police crime squad which busted into people’s home and prevented “pre-crime”: crime that hadn’t happened yet, but which was foreseen by a committee of mutants who had the power to see into the future.
Maine doesn’t have any prescient mutants that is known, but one suspects that Ray Dawn Hill or Police Chief Alexander would volunteer for the position. “Pre-crime” is their concern.
As long as it’s “for the children”, arresting someone who is denounced for “visual sexual aggression” is positively an advance in crime prevention for the determined duo.
So, besides consoling each other with “there ought to be a law” talk, what steps did Maine’s finest criminal minds do next?
[Alexander] attended a talk with Hill a week later and brought the case to her attention. Hill pledged to do what she could, Alexander said, and the result was a change through the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee in the House, which made the law applicable in both private and public places.
Alexander said he’s grateful Hill was willing to take up the cause, and is hopeful the measure will clear the Senate.
“I’ll be pleased that we were able to identify this flaw and take steps to rectify it,” he said.
What are others saying about this bill? Where does it stop?
Read “<a href=”Coming Soon: Thought Crime, Maine-Style“>Coming Soon: Thought Crimes Maine-Style” at DBKP.com.
hat tip: pat
* Coming Soon: Thought Crime, Maine-Style