Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

29 posts / 0 new
Last post
Anonymous
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

[i]Editor's Note: Maine is now charging minors with terrorizing over song lyrics - even if the minors had no intent to terrorize? What the heck is that? Someone better tell Eric Clapton to pull all copies of "I Shot the Sheriff." Good thing Johnny Cash is dead or they could get him for "Folsom Prison Blues." And then there's....[/i]

Second student charged in music CD case
By Rich Hewitt
Friday, January 05, 2007 - Bangor Daily News

ELLSWORTH "” A second Bucksport High School student has been charged with terrorizing in connection with a music CD he and a friend created....

The Hancock County District Attorney's Office filed formal charges...against Colton Crane, 17.

Crane and...Jonathan Hayes, 17, are [band] members...hat created the CD and...wrote/performed the songs on it.

Assistant DA Mary Kellett...said...the charge of terrorizing...is warranted whether they intended to act on the threat or not.

[url=http://bangordailynews.com/news/t/news.aspx?articleid=144860&zoneid=500]...

-----

Shooting described at Bucksport High

By Rich Hewitt

Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - Bangor Daily News

BUCKSPORT - Two high school students are facing terrorizing charges and could be expelled from school over violent and threatening lyrics included in a CD the two made and sold at Bucksport High School.

Police have charged the two male students, both juveniles, with terrorizing, and high school principal Tom Sullivan has suspended both boys. The Bucksport School Committee will meet tonight to determine what, if any, additional disciplinary action should be taken.

[url=http://www.bangornews.com/news/t/hancock.aspx?articleid=142185&zoneid=17...

Anonymous
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

[size=18]Ex-student linked to music CD faces terrorizing charge[/size]
December 7, 2006

ELLSWORTH, Maine --One of two students who were expelled from Bucksport High School for making a music compact disc with lyrics containing graphic descriptions of a school shooting has been charged with terrorizing.

Jonathan Hayes, 17, of Bucksport is scheduled to appear Friday in juvenile court in Ellsworth.

[url=http://www.boston.com/news/local/maine/articles/2006/12/07/ex_student_li...

Andrew Ian Dodge
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 4 months ago
Joined: 12/12/1999 - 1:01am
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

Not terribly clever those two.

Editor
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 04/18/2009 - 3:43pm
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

bump to recycle

Catherine
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 3 months ago
Joined: 08/27/2004 - 12:01am
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

When I heard about this story I was against the actions of the DA. There is such a thing as freedom of speech!!!!

Stavros Mendros
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: 10/23/1999 - 12:01am
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

How is this any different than the Dixie chicks cong about killing Earl in his sleep or the Cop Killer song?

Dan Billings
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: 10/02/2005 - 12:01am
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

This song was aimed directly at real people by name. It was not talking about a fictional person or a large group of people.

I'm not sure it's criminal or not protected speech, but it is significantly different than the examples given above.

Roger Ek
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 11 hours ago
Joined: 11/18/2002 - 1:01am
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

With WVOM running on about 50 candlepower I listened to my first ever rap music songs yesterday. Better round up all those rap composers.

Editor
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 04/18/2009 - 3:43pm
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

Dan -

[i]the charge of terrorizing...is warranted whether they intended to act on the threat or not.[/i]

This is okay with you?

skf

Dan Billings
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: 10/02/2005 - 12:01am
Here is the Terrorizing Statute

§210. Terrorizing

1. A person is guilty of terrorizing if that person in fact communicates to any person a threat to commit or to cause to be committed a crime of violence dangerous to human life, against the person to whom the communication is made or another, and the natural and probable consequence of such a threat, whether or not such consequence in fact occurs, is:

A. To place the person to whom the threat is communicated or the person threatened in reasonable fear that the crime will be committed. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime; or

B. To cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly or facility of public transport or to cause the occupants of a building to be moved to or required to remain in a designated secured area. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime.

[url=http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/17-A/title17-Asec210.html]Source...

Dan Billings
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: 10/02/2005 - 12:01am
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

I just read the articles. I had incorrectly thought that people were named by named. In fact, only the school was mentioned by name.

As a result, I don't think the criminal charges will stand up.

You have the First Amendment issue and it will also be tough to prove that a threat was actually communicated to anyone.

Dan Billings
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: 10/02/2005 - 12:01am
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

[quote="Editor"]Dan -

[i]the charge of terrorizing...is warranted whether they intended to act on the threat or not.[/i]

This is okay with you?

skf[/quote]

In general, yes. If someone tells me that they are going to kill me, how do I know if they intend to do it or not?

Editor
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 04/18/2009 - 3:43pm
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

Two buddies are having a beer at bar. One says to another, "Do you know what my wife did tonight? She made me quiche for dinner. Spinach quiche! I'll kill her if she ever does that again."

Reason enough for a DA to file formal charges?

I understand the Columbine, etc. connection with Bucksport. But there's a danger as well in having a society in which authority figures lack the ability to spot a real threat from a fake threat.

This incident brings to mind the Maine DA - Roger Pidot? - who emailed Jon Reisman about the tone of language Reisman used in an email. Spooky. In the words of Frank Zappa, "Who are the brain police?"

skf

Dan Billings
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: 10/02/2005 - 12:01am
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

[quote="Editor"]Two buddies are having a beer at bar. One says to another, "Do you know what my wife did tonight? She made me quiche for dinner. Spinach quiche! I'll kill her if she ever does that again."[/quote]

Read the statute above. It answers your question. In your example, the threat was not communicated to the person that the threat was made against.

But if someone points at a gun at you and threatens to shoot, it is terrorizing even if the person pointing the gun has no intent to shoot you.

Stavros Mendros
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: 10/23/1999 - 12:01am
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

Stephen King names lots of places in Maine.

Lots of comedians call out for action against Bush. Didn't some put a target on him and got flack but nothing criminal.

EJ
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 4 days ago
Joined: 03/14/2003 - 1:01am
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

How about this:

"Its just one of those days,
Where you don't want to wake up.
Everything is _ _ _ _ed,
Everybody s_ _ ks.
.....
But you wanna justify,
Rippin someone's head off.
.....

That wanna step up,
I hope you know, I pack a chainsaw.
...
Give me something to break.
(repeat)
Just give me something to break.
How 'bout your ____ face?!? "

Limp Bizkit Breakstuff Lyrics.

Pretty big hit, not sure but I liked the power, saw it live a few times.

I have not heard the Rap song from the kids mentioned but this is super hyper sensitive reaction, but the administrators are damned if they do damned for sure if they do not.

Look at all the lawsuit happy people, with lawyers chasing the donut

EJ

Anonymous
Amusingly...

We (on this board) can't really determine whether the terrorizing threat is warranted (I suspect not) unless we have a copy of the full lyrics, which we can't get without said students because of copyright law. Heh.

Bobbo
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 10 months ago
Joined: 09/28/2006 - 4:08am
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

Terrorizing no, but I believe that the school has every right to expell them even for selling a Cd with other peoples violent lyrics on it.
BTW Limp Biscut rocks!

Tom C
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 17 min ago
Joined: 01/03/2006 - 6:00pm
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

[quote="Dan Billings"]
In general, yes. If someone tells me that they are going to kill me, how do I know if they intend to do it or not?[/quote]

Well, I remember from the basic law course they made us take in accounting school that the context counts. A man in a rage shaking his fist in your face and screaming at you - well, yes, even while you may not know if he will kill you or not, you are threatened.

Your mom, though, if you don't take out the trash says she "could kill you" is not a theat..

I think making a song about killing someone it is NOT a threat. It's absurd to think that if you were planning on killing someone you would make a song about it first.

Come to think about it, I think it's downright stupid to think this is a threat. I think this reaction is a bunch of hyper-sensitive ninnies who have no common sense.

red1
Offline
Last seen: 11 years 7 months ago
Joined: 04/26/2006 - 7:33am
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

Mr. Billings,

If this case won't "carry water", then why would a "da" spend tax payer dollars to bring it to court?

Isn't there some sort of law that prevents frivolous law suits? I think if that's all these people have to worry about, then maybe we can consolidate districts, and get rid of a few "das". Maybe that would save us some money too?

Naran
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

I'm certain there are a few DA's that Dan would love to get rid of.
:D

Dan Billings
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: 10/02/2005 - 12:01am
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

[quote="Tom C"]Well, I remember from the basic law course they made us take in accounting school that the context counts.[/quote]

Agreed.

Dan Billings
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: 10/02/2005 - 12:01am
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

[quote="red1"]If this case won't "carry water", then why would a "da" spend tax payer dollars to bring it to court?

Isn't there some sort of law that prevents frivolous law suits? I think if that's all these people have to worry about, then maybe we can consolidate districts, and get rid of a few "das". Maybe that would save us some money too?[/quote]

District Attorney's are elected. That is the ultimate safety valve.

The standard to bring charges is low -- probable cause. My opinion is that they can't prove the case "beyond a reasonable doubt," which is the standard for conviction.

That said, part of my practice is criminal defense. I have never been a prosecutor so I look at these things differently than most prosecutor's do.

Swampy
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 7 months ago
Joined: 09/07/2006 - 6:28am
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

Perhaps the terrorizing charge comes from the gawd awful music?

I can only imagine the crash & clatter of this monumental piece of work :lol:

Domino
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 6 days ago
Joined: 08/17/2005 - 12:01am
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

What if they had sang AC/DC's Dirty Deeds (done dirt cheap) song, and put the teacher's name in it?
"If you're havin' trouble with your high school head....."

mediadog
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: 03/27/2005 - 1:01am
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

Every school has rules that must be enforced. I'm not sure that what these two kids have done rises to the level of a crime under state law, but I am sure that writing such lyrics (mentioning the school) and selling the CDs on school property should be a serious violation of school rules.

If it isn't, it would defy common sense and good judgment. And it would propel the school down the road that has embroiled this Texas high school -- read about it [url=http://articles.news.aol.com/news/_a/texas-cheerleaders-terrorize-school... -- in what has evolved into a nationally-publicized scandal. The story, which demonstrates what can happen when discipline is abandoned, has attracted national media coverage.

The majority attitude here seems to be that the kids should not be disciplined for doing what they want to do if it involves any kind of communication. That's the kind of thinking that eventually led to the problem in Texas.

charlie neville
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 3 months ago
Joined: 10/17/2005 - 6:31am
This crap reminds me of...

Nilfong. That DA's who's persueing the charges aginst the Duke University students. He's looking to the next election in this, not seeing justice done. As "The Donald" Trump once said, "Bad publicity's better than no publicity at all."

I hope the kid's parents have the money to defend, and not plea bargain. And then sue for false arrest!

charlie

MisterTor
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 9 months ago
Joined: 05/28/2005 - 12:01am
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

[quote]Every school has rules that must be enforced. I'm not sure that what these two kids have done rises to the level of a crime under state law, but I am sure that writing such lyrics (mentioning the school) and selling the CDs on school property should be a serious violation of school rules. [/quote]

Should a government agency be able to punish citizens under the age of majority for writing a song in which the fictional narrator(s) mention(s) said government agency as a setting for a horrific crime? Especially when those citizens have been legally compelled to spend many, many hours of their young lives within the confines of that very government agency, it's only natural that fiction they might create would be set within it. "Write what you know," say the masters. These kids do that, and become [i]personae non gratae[/i].

Editor
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 04/18/2009 - 3:43pm
Maine DA Charging Minors for Terrorizing with Songs?

lsj.com
Ex-student linked to music CD is found guilty of terrorizing

Thursday, March 13, 2008

BUCKSPORT (AP) - A Bucksport teenager expelled from school for making a CD with lyrics containing graphic descriptions of a school shooting has been found guilty of a juvenile charge of terrorizing.

Eighteen-year-old Jonathan Hayes will remain in custody until he turns 20.

http://www.sunjournal.com/index.php?t=3&storyid=256038

Log in to post comments