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Deadrat wrote:

Now you do. Colorado's Criminal Libel statute is used regularly, and so far has held, as repugnant as it is.
Here's a felonious shout out - George W Bu$h is a stammering mentally defective imbecile and George Washington was a slave-owning, slave-raping father of a bastard half-breed Negro child.
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That's a *criminal* statute. (And it's not used regularly, but sporadically.)
Tort, tort.
<snip>
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The "actual malice" requirement(*) applies only when the plaintiff is a public fgure.
(*) "Actual malice" is actually not malice. It's defined as knowledge that the statements were false, or reckless disregard of whether they were they were true or false.
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No, that's for the tort of libel, a civil action in which one private individual sues another. Criminal libel is a crime, prosecuted by the state, and the Supreme Court has restricted these prosecutions to cases involving actual malice.

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Citation, please?
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Thank you. It's always particularly delicious when a Usenet poster states something outré and then actually provides a citation that refutes his own position.
I googled for "Garrison v. State of Louisiana" and the VERY FIRST HIT was http://www.texaspress.com/Lawpress/LawMedia/Libel/LibelCases.htm which states "But in 1964 the United States Supreme Court decision in Garrison v. Louisiana ended criminal libel."
So I don't know what you're on about with "actual malice" in criminal libel, but you might as well argue about the powers of the royal governor in contemporary Massachusets.
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You might want to actually read the case, which did "end" criminal libel. From the decision:
<quote> In New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 , we held that the Constitution limits state power, in a civil action brought by a public official for criticism of his official conduct, to an award of damages for a false statement "made with `actual malice' - that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not." 376 U.S., at 279 -280. At the outset, we must decide whether, in view of the differing history and purposes of criminal libel, the New York Times rule also limits state power to impose criminal sanctions for criticism of the official conduct of public officials. We hold that it does. </quote>

Criminal libel statutes seem to me to violate the spirit of our system, but what I think doesn't matter. What the Supreme Court thinks is what matters. Criminal libel statutes are alive and well in some states (17 according to a web search). In 2004, the ACLU intervened in a case in which Colorado officials attempted to use that state's criminal libel statute against the publisher of a satirical ezine called "The Howling Pig" that mocked people at a state university. In 2006, Colorado got a guilty plea for criminal libel from a student for nasty stuff he posted on MySpace.
These cases are usually brought by thin-skinned public officials on their own behalf, and Garrison requires they show actual malice. However, the statutes are often phrased to cover any defamation, and I suppose there could be interest in using them against abusive internet posters. Would these criminal prosecutions on behalf of ordinary citizens require showing actual malice? I don't know. Are these statutes as written unconstitutional? I don't know that either, but The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals is thinking about it.
I do know that you don't know what you're talking about.
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And the relevance of that to getting *sued* for libel, which is what everyone else was discussing, would be .... ?
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Stan Brown wrote:

"If you confine yourself to facts, then as a *matter of law* you have not committed libel or slander." -- Stan Brown, explaining how Felonies are not a "matter of law"
1) A person who shall knowingly publish or disseminate, either by written instrument, sign, pictures, or the like, any statement or object tending to blacken the memory of one who is dead, or to impeach the honesty, integrity, virtue, or reputation or expose the natural defects of one who is alive, and thereby to expose him to public hatred, contempt, or ridicule, commits criminal libel.
(2) It shall be an affirmative defense that the publication was true, except libels tending to blacken the memory of the dead and libels tending to expose the natural defects of the living.
(3) Criminal libel is a class 6 felony.
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Actually, no. I was explaining how the law operates in suits for libel or slander. Not quite the same thing.

And it's *still* irrelevant.
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Stan Brown wrote:

Your statement is still false.

That's what these defendants thought too ...
Internet Libeler gets 23 years in Prison
In a highly lauded decision, a Colorado court has sentenced an internet Libeler to more than 20 years in prison. This is a major move towards making anyone who publishes on the web fully responsible for what they write on web sites and blogs.
This Durango Colorado article notes that a Colorado man was sentenced to 23 years in prison for criminal libel for acts relating to defamation on the web.
===== In this article, the criminal offender was jailed for publishing that some of his victims were "sluts":
A Milford teen spent seven days in a juvenile detention center and was forced to leave the state after being charged with criminal libel for statements he made on his personal Web site.
Ian Lake will face a misdemeanor charge of criminal libel for referring to his principal as "the town drunk," naming girls at his high school as "sluts" and making derogatory remarks about the intelligence of several teachers. ========== Colorado is not the only state with a criminal libel law. Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and the U.S. Virgin Islands all have criminal libel statutes on the books, according to Ken Paulson, executive director of the First Amendment Center.
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Stan Brown wrote:

That is, until it's not. Google "red kimono" or "Melvin v. Reid".
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This case involved the tort of public revelation of private facts, what we'd call invasion of privacy. Nothing to do with defamation.
Do try to keep up.
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Deadrat wrote:

Ya gotta read the material. The facts were not at all private, they were widely available in publicly open court documents.
Do try to keep up.
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Do you have a reading problem? Or is it a more general cognitive disorder?
Your claim was that truth won't necessarily get you off the hook for defamation, and the example you cited was Melvin v. Reid.
That suit, however, was based on the tort of invasion of privacy, not defamation. Notwithstanding your judgment about it, the Red Kimono case was a bad example. That's all I was claiming.
Now, apparently if *you* had been on the jury, *you* wouldn't have voted to hold the defendant liable because *you* believed the facts weren't private. The actual jury found otherwise.
But even if the actual jury had agreed with you, Melvin v. Reid *still* wouldn't be about defamation.
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Deadrat wrote:

That may have been. I somehow linked Kimono with libel in the past, and did a quick check by finding the case with searches involving "red" and "libel", so it got past me.

http://members.aol.com/alicebeard/law/samples/privacy.htm "The judges were unable to find any law in California providing for the right of privacy tort, and they ruled that the use of the facts from the trial could not be actionable because the facts appeared in the records of the plaintiff's trial for murder. However, the judges ruled that the actual, true name of the woman should not have been used, even though it also appeared in those same court records."
The judges and the jury all agreed that the facts were not private. They ruled the way they ruled in spite of that.
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This is California here, with some special-extreme "state" ("provincial") laws on many issues including privacy. This includes so much as protecting an individual's privacy from fellow private individuals, to the extent of "outlawing espionage equipment" (my words) including "parabolic microphones" (outlawing of those being fact according to as best as I can remember at least one one catalog statement).
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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wrote:

That may have been? I guess that means that we're now in agreement that the Red Kimono case is not an apt counterexample to the claim about defamation.

Thanks for sharing. You seem to think there's something peculiar about this case. There isn't.
I'm not sufficiently well-versed enough in California civil law to claim expertise, but I know that torts come in two flavors, common law and statutory. The fact that the "judges were unable to find any law in California providing for the right of privacy tort" may mean nothing at all.
The jury ruled that the movie "The Red Kimono" invaded the privacy of Gabrielle Melvin nee Darley because it brought to public attention Gabrielle's notorious premarital past. The case had been forgotten when the movie came out, and without the movie no one would have associated Melvin with Darley. That the facts were public (as part of court proceedings) didn't matter so much as the facts weren't before the public. This determination was properly up to the jury, "in spite" of your misgivings.
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None of the first 30 hits for "red kimono" looks particularly relevant to libel or slander.
And Melvin v. Reid appears to be about invasion of privacy, not libel or slander.
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