PDA

View Full Version : Posing is Constitutional


MVP
08-18-2010, 15:39
US appeals court panel: Law against faking receipt of military medals is unconstitutional

Published August 17, 2010

PASADENA, Calif. A three-year-old federal law that makes it a crime to falsely claim to have received a medal from the U.S. military is unconstitutional, an appeals court panel in California ruled Tuesday.

The decision involves the case of Xavier Alvarez of Pomona, Calif., a water district board member who said at a public meeting in 2007 that he was a retired Marine who received the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military decoration.

Alvarez was indicted in 2007. He pleaded guilty on condition that he be allowed to appeal on First Amendment grounds. He was sentenced under the Stolen Valor Act to more than 400 hours of community service at a veterans hospital and fined $5,000.

A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with him in a 2-1 decision Tuesday, agreeing that the law was a violation of his free-speech rights. The majority said there's no evidence that such lies harm anybody, and there's no compelling reason for the government to ban such lies.

The dissenting justice insisted that the majority refused to follow clear Supreme Court precedent that false statements of fact are not entitled to First Amendment protection.

The act revised and toughened a law that forbids anyone to wear a military medal that wasn't earned. The measure sailed through Congress in late 2006, receiving unanimous approval in the Senate.

Dozens of people have been arrested under the law at a time when veterans coming home from wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are being embraced as heroes. Many of the cases involve men who simply got caught living a lie without profiting from it. Almost all the impostors have been ordered to perform community service.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles said it was deciding whether to appeal Tuesday's ruling.

MVP

kgoerz
08-18-2010, 15:44
The reason they gave was the worse part. They said it's free speech to lie about a Medal of Honor because it doesn't hurt anyone.

greenberetTFS
08-18-2010, 17:42
I am so pissed I can't even think straight,that in this great country something like this could happen to our honored and decorated hero's......:( When will this country wake up and realize where we are headed? When?..........:confused: In someways I'm glad I'm an old man and won't have to be around when it does...........:mad:

Big Teddy :munchin

swatsurgeon
08-18-2010, 23:42
It is only 'illegal' if there is profit, recognized gain, etc, but to just say it in public as long as it doesn't lead to a job...wow, have to (?) respect the 9th circuit for shaming the honor of all those who have earned all of the citations, medals, ribbons and honors by allowing an imposter/poser/lier to publically display or state they are their equals...it just offends the common senses.

ss

TOMAHAWK9521
08-19-2010, 00:04
I'd love to see the pictures and names of all these posers put out all over the place in order for the general population to be able to publicly censure them or even deny them services at say, restaurants, hotels, employment, etc.

I know, that's mean and unAmerican. But ask me if I give a sh*t! These people are lower than politicians and the media. :mad:

bluebb
08-19-2010, 01:50
Guess I can call myself a judge now :)
Think I will be a supreme court judge at that:D

Blue

wet dog
08-19-2010, 03:36
...When will this country wake up and realize where we are headed?Big Teddy :munchin

You mean "beheaded", right?

Richard
08-19-2010, 05:54
Does everyone realize that the way the law was written, even someone such as an undercover agent who claims to have been SF or a SEAL and awarded an SF Tab or Trident or Parachutist Badge or BSM or PH or any such award or decoration as a part of their cover story could be charged under the SV Act for making such claims?

S 1998 at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c109:4:./temp/~c1094Wryz2::

The intent of the law is honorable - the law itself, as written, is flawed.

Richard's $.02 :munchin

Team Sergeant
08-19-2010, 10:36
Does everyone realize that the way the law was written, even someone such as an undercover agent who claims to have been SF or a SEAL and awarded an SF Tab or Trident or Parachutist Badge or BSM or PH or any such award or decoration as a part of their cover story could be charged under the SV Act for making such claims?

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c109:4:./temp/~c1094Wryz2::

The intent of the law is honorable - the law itself, as written, is flawed.

Richard's $.02 :munchin

While that may be "correct" out of the dozens and dozens of "FRAUDS" I've dealt with none have been arrested or charged with anything. Some of the individuals I've busted have actually placed real soldiers (and civilian police) in harms way. How much more egregious does being a fraud need to be? And all have done it (posed as a Special Forces soldier) for personal gain.

I'm going to start a identity theft ring posing as a 9th circuit Judge. If and when I'm caught I'm going to use freedom of speech as my defense.

rdret1
08-19-2010, 11:03
Leave it to the 9th Circuit CoA to come up with this decision. It really doesn't surprise me that this is the venue they chose to try the case. It increased their odds tremendously. Maybe it will go to SCOTUS, like a large number of the 9th Circuits decisions have.

Box
08-19-2010, 15:14
I have been keeping this to myself since I did not want to make any of you uncomfortable...

Allow me to reintroduce my self.
My name is Billy. I am the President of the United Kingdom of Raefordstan. I have been awarded the Kings Medal for Greatness a record 14 times. I considered resigning from my position as president to assume a position on the 9th Circus Court of Appeals but they have not yet proved worthy of true respect.

The Court Jesters are quite entertaining, they make me smile.


Thats is all.... please return to your activities.

JimP
08-19-2010, 15:42
The ninth circuit is the most overturned court in the land. THis ruling won't last. They are from California.....Need I say more?

koz
08-19-2010, 18:29
I am now the Supreme Emperor of North America. All heed my authority! :lifter

craigepo
08-19-2010, 18:49
Does everyone realize that the way the law was written, even someone such as an undercover agent who claims to have been SF or a SEAL and awarded an SF Tab or Trident or Parachutist Badge or BSM or PH or any such award or decoration as a part of their cover story could be charged under the SV Act for making such claims?

S 1998 at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c109:4:./temp/~c1094Wryz2::

The intent of the law is honorable - the law itself, as written, is flawed.

Richard's $.02 :munchin

i dont agree with this analysis. this situation is covered by the defense of justification. it would be analagous to charging an undercover cop with possession of a controlled substance immediately after he did a "buy".

Richard
08-19-2010, 20:16
Not being a jurist, I would certainly hope common sense would dictate in the interpretation of this law as written.

Whoever falsely represents himself or herself, verbally or in writing, to have been awarded any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the Armed Forces of the United States, any of the service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces, the ribbon, button, or rosette of any such badge, decoration, or medal, or any colorable imitation of such item shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

However, based upon the 9th CofA's decision, it seems as if not all jursits can agree upon such a premise.

Richard

craigepo
08-19-2010, 20:50
i am not in a place where i can read the opinion. but at first blush, it would seem that a glaring problem with the law is a lack of a criminal intent requirement to get a conviction(which is necessary in most criminal cases). if you stick a clause into the law such as "with intent to deceive for personal gain", might get a different result.

Richard
08-19-2010, 21:24
i am not in a place where i can read the opinion. but at first blush, it would seem that a glaring problem with the law is a lack of a criminal intent requirement to get a conviction(which is necessary in most criminal cases). if you stick a clause into the law such as "with intent to deceive for personal gain", might get a different result.

I wholly agree with your conclusion - and I think that is the crux of the matter.

Richard

BrianH
08-20-2010, 06:40
I wholly agree with your conclusion - and I think that is the crux of the matter.

Richard
Which is why the law, as written, IS unconstitutional. Simply locking people up for dishonesty when no quantifiable fraud was involved is a VERY slippery slope. Next thing you know, we'll be locking up actors because they are impersonating soldiers for personal gain.... in the movies! Or perhaps we should lock college students up caught plagiarizing someone's work?

Perhaps I'm the only one that thinks our #1 status on the "most incarcerated per capita" list of Western countries isn't something we should try to solidify more.

Richard
08-20-2010, 07:01
The law states:

Whoever knowingly wears, purchases, attempts to purchase, solicits for purchase, mails, ships, imports, exports, produces blank certificates of receipt for, manufactures, sells, attempts to sell, advertises for sale, trades, barters, or exchanges for anything of value any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the armed forces of the United States, or any of the service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces, or the ribbon, button, or rosette of any such badge, decoration or medal, or any colorable imitation thereof, except when authorized under regulations made pursuant to law, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

I'd be worried if I was a hobbiest who collected medals and such.

Richard :munchin

1stindoor
08-20-2010, 07:38
I have been keeping this to myself since I did not want to make any of you uncomfortable...

Allow me to reintroduce my self.
My name is Billy. I am the President of the United Kingdom of Raefordstan.
Thats is all.... please return to your activities.

I KNEW IT!

greenberetTFS
08-20-2010, 17:55
Billy's motivated me to request a change in my profile.......... I really should have listed these medals and awards when I came on board however I felt too modest,but here they are: MTT(don't know what it's for but I've seen you guys using it) Jungle Expert,Ranger Tab,Senior Diver,Senior Sniper,Oh shit this really isn't any fun,assigning your self medals you don't deserve!........I can't understand how these guys live with themselves doing it............:(:(:(

Big Teddy :munchin

Enigma0122
08-20-2010, 22:44
Hey everyone, the courts decision, only effects free speech, in other words "Verbal". Does not effect written or uniform violations. As pointed out to myself, US Code title 18, law before "Stolen Valor", both would apply. In short, impersonation of a veteral or officer by means other than the free speech (verbal content) which the courts in both Colorado and California cases. Colorado at least, has already or will file an appeal to the decision there based on my readings. But will only effect Free (Pure) speech aspect of the law.

In both cases the parties had made verbal misrepresentation of military (Non) achievement.

whocares175
10-10-2010, 16:17
Does everyone realize that the way the law was written, even someone such as an undercover agent who claims to have been SF or a SEAL and awarded an SF Tab or Trident or Parachutist Badge or BSM or PH or any such award or decoration as a part of their cover story could be charged under the SV Act for making such claims?

S 1998 at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c109:4:./temp/~c1094Wryz2::

The intent of the law is honorable - the law itself, as written, is flawed.

Richard's $.02 :munchin

how many times has a cop had to pose as an MOH recipient or prior SF guy, SEAL, Ranger etc? these are viewed as honorable careers...cops generally investigate dishonorable people. not only that but even if they were to pose as that undercover i'm sure there's a provision that would allow them to in the nature of justice.

by the way, under the freedom of speach act, i'll be a Supreme Court Justice and overturn the 9th's ruling.

Shadar
03-25-2011, 08:10
You mean "beheaded", right?

Don't you mean "denutted"

Dusty
03-25-2011, 08:30
The old Warriors would have "peered" these motherfuckers out of the gene pool. I'm not just talking shit, either...think about it.

GIANITUS
03-25-2011, 08:46
I wouldn't be mad if the 9th U.S. CoA all got Swine Flu. Dirtbags who defend other dirtbags in order to 'use' the same dirtbags by buying their votes for fractions of a penny.

I laugh at these 'social stepping stones.'