Category Archives: First Amendment
When I first started writing about the Steubenville case, there was one thing that bothered me the absolute most. It was not that law enforcement did a shoddy job — I never claimed that, and will never make that claim. I know many of the officers at Steubenville PD and they are very fine and upstanding men. What bothered me greatly was the number of bystanders (as evidenced by social media) who stood by and did nothing. The complete and utter lack of empathy of anyone that night bothered me greatly.
To be quite clear, RAPE was mentioned on August 11th as it pertains to the events that unfolded that night. No one but those using social media to discuss what happened that night put those words on their keyboards. They tweeted about “rape“. It was they who initially identified what happened that night as rape, and later the prosecutor’s office defined the happenings that night as “rape” when charges were filed against the two juveniles now awaiting trial.
Since then there has also been a lot of blaming. There is blame laid at the defense attorneys who represent the accused. They are simply doing their jobs. I had occasion to meet Mr. Madison – I thought he was very polite and cordial. I met mothers of some Big Red students and have nothing but nice things to say about them and their children. Not all kids at Steubenville High School are bad because of an irresponsible, uncaring few.
I thought I would make a post with links to live streams of the rally tomorrow for those who can’t make it and would like to watch.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
We believe that the real goal of this lawsuit is to discover the identity of anonymous posters so they, and future commentators on this site will be intimidated and discouraged from voicing their opinions.
This tactic has a name. Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) are a common tool used to silence and intimidate those exercising their right to free speech.
We believe that this case is a textbook example of a cyberSLAPP suit. If subpoenas are honored and the identities of anonymous commenters are revealed, serious damage will have been done to anonymous free speech on the internet, even if the lawsuit is ultimately dismissed.
For these reasons, we have enlisted the help of the ACLU of Ohio in order to fight these subpoenas on behalf of all of the John Doe defendants, and to fully address the chilling effect of this lawsuit.
I want to issue a very heartfelt thank you to Paul Alan Levy, Esq. of the Public Citizen group for his organization’s successful efforts in negotiating the dismissal of John Doe Defendants #9, #10 and #13 from the defamation lawsuit.
You can read about his efforts here:
Tonight on Behind the Yellow Tape the discussion will be the Steubenville case and litigation against anyone who made commentary on the case. Join Joey Ortega tonight at 10PM EST on Behind the Yellow Tape.
Also, you are encouraged to call in to voice your opinion. When you call in, Joey will not be referring to the digits of your phone number so that there is anonymity and protection of identities, just start talking. If he responds to you – you are on the air!