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 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 5 Fearne Cotton quits Radio 1 after ten years for 'family and new adventures'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...
£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...