Man faces jail for stream of expletives
Wednesday 10 February 1999
Cursing, in fact, and a 101-year-old state law forbidding it when women and children are in earshot, has already got Mr Boomer into trouble. A Michigan judge this week ruled that because of a few choice words allegedly spoken by him on the river that day, he must stand trial. He faces a jail term.
The alleged crime was committed when Mr Boomer, 24,tipped out of his canoe. He reacted by unleashing a stream of expletives - just as a couple and their two children were paddling by. According to Tammy Smith, the mother, Mr Boomer's outburst was so loud and obscene she had to cup her hands over her two-year-olddaughter's ears. In her complaint to police, she claimed Mr Boomer in particular had yelled one curse word "over and over and over and over again".
On Monday, a Michigan judge dismissed arguments that Mr Boomer should be protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution guaranteeing rights to free speech and ordered him to stand trial for violation of the 1897 law on blaspheming. The trial will begin on 24 February. If he is found guilty, Mr Boomer could be punished with 90 days in prison and a fine of $100.
"Mr Boomer's words were without any socially redeeming quality whatsoever," Judge Allen Yenior wrote in his opinion. "The First Amendment suffers no damage here by taking a back seat to the compelling interest in the morality of our children."
The decision will be appealed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 Greece crisis: Alexis Tsipras accepts troika bailout proposals with conditions
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 French woman dies in freak bungee jumping accident
- 5 Facebook rainbow profile pictures likely being tracked by social network
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
Russian officials ban yoga because it's too much like a religious cult
Greece crisis: Alexis Tsipras accepts troika bailout proposals with conditions
German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
Britain First insist their videos aren't racist in bizarre attack on comedian Jason Manford
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...
£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...
£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...