So the writer of a “how to” guide to child molestation has been arrested in Colorado for committing a crime in Florida. That crime apparently involves him distributing “obscene” material in the state of Florida by virtue of sending an autographed copy of said book to an undercover police detective there. From what I can tell the detective asked for it, and I’m not sure how that isn’t entrapment. But whatever. This case is either going to go nowhere or everywhere. Let me explain.
It most likely goes nowhere. Most likely the judge in the case looks at this, stares at the prosecutor and says, “Are you stupid? Get this case out of my court!” There’s no legal standing what-so-ever. If this is entrapment, there certainly isn’t, but even if it’s not entrapment, it’s still very clearly Constitutionally protected free speech. Yeah, the guy is writing a how-to guide to do something illegal (apparently. I haven’t read it and have no plans to), but so what? Writing a guide on how to rob a bank isn’t illegal. So most likely the case gets tossed before it makes it anywhere in the court system, and if you think is this is a good law, you should hope that’s what happens.
Because if it doesn’t happen, what happens is that this case goes everywhere. If the guy goes to court and gets found guilty, then he and his lawyers will appeal. This is the sort of case the ACLU and the higher courts just love, because it’s the kind of precedent-setting case that can change laws all across the nation. There’s no way this law will stand up at the Federal level. The Supreme Court would rightly strike it down and strike it hard, because if it’s allowed to stand, it could cause all sorts of problems.
Regardless, there’s no way this man should be prosecuted for this, much less in Florida. Once he’s beaten the courts, I sincerely hope he’s able to take the Polk County Sheriff’s office for a tremendous amount of money (which Polk County will also have to spend if they plan to actually fight this case). He’ll certainly deserve it. This kind of prosecution is just wrong.
Always remember: the First Amendment doesn’t exist to protect speech you like. It’s there for the speech you hate. Because once the speech you hate can be stopped, the speech you like can be stopped, too.