This is one of those stories that makes me immediately think of Glenn Beck and his advice that one wrap one’s head in duct tape before exposure as it will make the pieces of one’s head easier to find after it explodes. What’s the deal with Oklahoma? First Paul Jacob and now this? I’m reminded of the biblical admonition, “Woe to you who call evil, good and good, evil!”
It is difficult to conceive of more ignorant, stupid and asinine judges than those in this story. It is also difficult to believe any of them are men or parents. From my perspective, had they been either, the perp would have been on the receiving end of a little frontier justice.
The story is reported at Paul Jacob’s Common Sense column and radio show.
Two years ago in Oklahoma, Riccardo Gino Ferrante was arrested for aiming a camera up a 16-year-old girl’s skirt while in a Target store. He was arrested and convicted of a felony.
Unfortunately, in mid-March four-fifths of Oklahoma’s Court of Criminal Appeals voted that no felony occurred.
Because “the person photographed was not in a place where she had a reasonable expectation of privacy.” (emphasis added)
In case you’re shaking your head and hearing those cartoon head-shaking sounds, let me assure you this is no joke and you read the words correctly.
A man photographed a 16 year old girl, without her knowledge or permission, in a retail store. The photo was a type of soft core porn filming known as “up-skirt” shots. He was properly arrested and charged with a felony! The court, however, found he had done nothing wrong since the 16 year old should know wearing a skirt in public was granting permission for someone to photograph her in a humiliating and pornographic manner. It’s the same as wearing a sign declaring yourself an adult film star.
In a common sense world, people understand you can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater despite having Freedom of Speech; you can’t write stories about people based on conjecture and rumors despite having Freedom of the Press; you can’t gather to plot terrorist attacks despite having the Freedom to Assemble; and, you cannot clandestinely photograph up the skirt of females in retail stores because fools in black robes find your activity is protected by the victim’s unwitting abdication of her Right to Privacy by going to the mall in a skirt!!
I keep running this story over and over in my head waiting for the lightning strike that will cause it to all make sense. I’ve given up. It doesn’t make sense and it’s never going to. Probably because I went to seminary and learned right from wrong and not law school where they evidently teach how to give Rights to those doing wrong.
Judicial activism, judicial review and other black robed ridiculousness we rail against are embodied in this tale of legal lunacy. It’s unclear if there are any precedents for the court’s failure to uphold the Constitutional rights of this young woman. It’s unclear if the court might be able to unconstitutionally appeal to some foreign law or precedent in support of their error.
What is crystal clear, however, is that in that very small space where I am comfortable allowing government to exist and operate, the job of government is to protect me and mine from infringements on our rights by others. The Oklahoma court not only failed to protect this minor girl’s rights, the court itself stripped her of one of the most important. Far from reassuring her that she should have no fear of not being “secure in her person” or that the privacy of her own clothing was sacrosanct, a court packed with buffoons did the opposite. Bluntly it means Oklahomans need protection from both Mr. Ferrante and their own courts!
In the face of such behavior, society should simply ignore the court and quietly teach Mr. Ferrante the meaning of the word “private”. If the court finds my suggestion to be in contempt, so be it! When a court behaves contemptibly it is proper to treat them accordingly.