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View Diary: Man faces 90 days in jail for honking in support of protest against Congressman (253 comments)

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  •  With respect, I think you're overreacting. (0+ / 0-)

    The document in your diary is called a "summons." It is the official notice to the accused of when his trial is, the charge he's facing, and the maximum possible penalty that the law provides for that charge.

    The summons cites two code sections: 169.68 and 169.89.1(1). I presume these are portions of the Minnesota traffic code. I bet one of them says something like, "if you misuse your horn then you've committed a class X misdemeanor," and I bet the other one says something like, "the maximum penalty for all class X misdemeanors is 90 days in jail or a $1,000 fine."

    In other words, your friend is not being singled out for special horn-honking punishment. Everybody who's ever gotten a court date for a horn-honking ticket has received the same notice and has faced the same possible penalties. Obviously the vast majority (probably 100%) of those found guilty of improper horn-honking receive substantially less than the maximum penalty; I see no reason in your diary to believe your friend will get the maximum, even if he's found guilty.

    Note: I do not address (1) whether he should have gotten the ticket in the first place, or (2) whether horn-honking should be in a class of offenses with such significant possible penalties.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Mon Sep 14, 2009 at 06:33:33 AM PDT

    •  He is being singled out, he is facing jail (0+ / 0-)

      If you can find me even one other case in Minnesota in which someone faced 90 days in jail for honking you may have a point, but I sure have not found one.  If they are threatening him with a more severe penalty than they have threatened others with then he is being singled out.

      •  You're missing the point. (0+ / 0-)

        What I'm saying is that it is EXTREMELY unlikely that the judge or prosecutor is REMOTELY considering putting your friend in jail for 90 days.

        The only reason the summons mentions 90 days is (it appears to me) that's the theoretical maximum for the class of offenses that includes improper horn-honking. I bet the theoretical maximum has never been applied to any horn-honker, and your diary presents no reason to believe your friend will be the first.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Mon Sep 14, 2009 at 08:02:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, the maximum is 900 days. (0+ / 0-)

          90 days per illegal use of the horn.  You can bet your ass that he will get at least a year, to set an example for others.  Probably around 2 years.  Keep in mind that most people don't get more than a year even for beating someone up with a baseball bat.

          •  10 counts? Says where? Bet beer, not ass. (0+ / 0-)

            First paragraph of the diary:

            Yesterday one of my friends learned that he was facing three months in jail . . . the only charge against him in the police report is that he was "honking the vehicle's horn repeatedly approximately five to ten times."

            This still appears to be one count. No responsible prosecutor would try to get a conviction on conduct the arresting officer described as "approximately" happening.

            You can bet your ass that he will get at least a year, to set an example for others.  Probably around 2 years.

            I will bet you a year's subscription to the beer-of-the-month club:
            http://www.beermonthclub.com/...

            Terms of the bet:

            1. If he is sentenced to more than a year, I buy you a basic BOMC subscription for 1 year.
            1. If he is sentenced to less than a year, you buy the same for me.
            1. If he is sentenced to exactly 365 days, you and I buy each other BOMC 1-year subscriptions.
            1. Initial sentence controls. Thus if the court initially sentences him to 2 years but that is overturned on appeal and reduced to 3 days, you still win.
            1. This is all based on the conduct described in the diary at 1:53 PM EST today, 9/14/09. If it turns out the defendant committed other conduct for which he is sentenced, which is added in a later diary update or never added to the diary at all, then the bet is off.

            Deal?

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Mon Sep 14, 2009 at 10:58:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  No you are missing the point (0+ / 0-)

          The point is not whether he gets the maximum penalty, I never said that he would.  The point is that he is facing a penalty greater than what people face for the same offense in non-political circumstances, that means that his rights have already been violated.  The government can prosecute people differently on the basis of politics and that is exactly what is happening here.  What the final outcome is is not all that is relevant, it is relevant that this penalty was even considered.

    •  True on its face, but what you admit not to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CMYK

      be addressing is the point of the whole diary. The summons is political harassment, pure and simple.

      They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify their fraudulent invasion of Iraq.

      by Words In Action on Mon Sep 14, 2009 at 07:32:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, that's not the whole point. (0+ / 0-)

        Everybody -- including me -- agrees it's political harassment. But what makes the diary so scary is the size of the penalty. And I'm saying the diary greatly exaggerates the likelihood that the accused will get a big, scary penalty.

        Don't say, "but any penalty is too much." I already agree with that.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Mon Sep 14, 2009 at 08:06:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am not exaggerating the liklihood of anything (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action

          I don't believe he will get the maximum penalty, I think the case against him is very weak and I think it will eventually get dismissed but that does not make it any less outrageous.  The fact that a person is being treated like a criminal that needs to be locked up for 90 days is sickening and it is unconstitutional to treat someone differently because of political reasons.  They would never threaten anyone with jail for honking at a football game but they are threatening jail time here, it is unconstitutional for them to prosecute differently based on the content of the speech and that is exactly what they are doing.

          •  "I already agree with that." NT (0+ / 0-)

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Mon Sep 14, 2009 at 06:26:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Good, I am glad you agree I wasn't exaggerating (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Words In Action
              •  Have it both ways. (0+ / 0-)

                A.

                I don't believe he will get the maximum penalty, I think the case against him is very weak and I think it will eventually get dismissed

                vs.

                B.

                Yesterday one of my friends learned that he was facing three months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

                Both from you.

                B is much scarier than A, don't you think?

                "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                by HeyMikey on Tue Sep 15, 2009 at 08:19:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Both statements are perfectly accurate (0+ / 0-)

                  He is facing three months in jail and a $1,000 fine, I also think he will most likely win his case.  These are not contradictions or exaggerations.  The very fact that they are pursuing these charges is outrageous even if he does not get the maximum sentence.

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