Idiot meets Idiot

h/t Mike, idiot named “war machine” goes to prison for bar fight, but judge shits on first amendment by imprisoning him for bitching on twitter about the courts.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Runyon filed a document Thursday containing several expletive-laden “tweets” posted on War Machine’s Twitter page in which he apparently rails against the court system, minimizes his role in the bar fights and laments having to serve a jail term.

One of the tweets reads, in part, that it “doesn’t pay to win in a street fight … it doesn’t even pay to defend yourself our county has gone soft. We need a civil war!”

Danielsen acknowledged a defense attorney’s contention that War Machine was asserting his free speech rights online, but the judge noted that speech — much like one’s actions — can come with consequences. As the judge continued, he seemed to focus less on the tweets than on War Machine’s statements to a probation officer, whose report won’t become public until after the sentencing.

“I think his words and his actions show a certain disrespect to anybody other than himself,” the judge said, adding that War Machine often chooses to “fight” his way out of tough situations rather than “think” his way out.

The judge is an even bigger idiot: the whole POINT of the notion of free speech is that speech — particularly political speech — does not come with legal consequences unless that speech is “I accept this contract” or “send the money or the puppy gets it.” The idea that criminal defendants get steeper sentences for bitching about the court system is profoundly inconsistent with a free society.

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One Response to “Idiot meets Idiot”

  1. Steve M. Says:

    I agree. While complaining on the internet about the judge in your ongoing criminal proceeding isn’t what I’d call smart behavior, it’s not at all appropriate to punish a defendant on the basis that he’s failed — outside the courtroom and in a public forum — to exhibit the proper deference. Won’t he have an excellent appeal on the basis of, e.g., Cohen v. California? Of course, it may take longer to process his appeal than for him to serve his sentence.

    Unrelated: I wonder if War Machine has himself set up as a corporation for tax or business reasons? If so, then we face the terrifyingly awesome possibility that someone, somewhere is signing checks as “War Machine, Inc.”

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