Free speech and the blogger’s middle finger
Blogger Russ Racop’s lawyer, Chris Corbitt, has filed a motion asking Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen to dismiss harassment charges filed against the blogger for speaking crudely to city employees and for not sufficiently masking the Social
Security number of a Pulaski County School District employee on a public document she failed to sufficiently redact herself.
Racop was convicted in district court but was released from jail after asking for a new trial in Circuit Court. His case has been assigned to Judge Wendell Griffen, whose own experience in defending his free speech rights is among the cases cited by Corbitt in arguing for dismissal.
You might find the filing interesting for a discussion of the law about whether flipping a middle finger at someone, as Racop is charged with doing in the case of a City Hall security guard and also parks department employee, can be prosecuted for harassment without running afoul of First Amendment protection. Corbitt contends the harassment law is being unconstitutionally applied against Racop.
An earlier conviction of Racop for cursing the parks employee brought a suspended sentence which was imposed after his conviction on two new harassment charges — the City Hall guard and the school employee. If those charges are dismissed, the suspended sentence on the older charge would be reinstated. said UALR law professor Rob Steinbuch, who’s also been working in Racop’s defense.
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