Supreme Court overturns profanity conviction

Supreme Court overturns profanity conviction - Supreme...

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Supreme Court overturns profanity conviction Phrase unlikely to provoke violence, justices say Idaho Statesman October 29, 2002 The conviction of a Canyon County man for disturbing the peace by using a four- letter word during an exchange with a sheriff´s detective was overturned on Monday by the Idaho Supreme Court. The unanimous court said the statement Patrick Sheldon Suiter made in frustration in early 1998 was not likely to provoke violence and therefore was protected under the First Amendment´s guarantee to free speech. “While Suiter´s statement was vulgar and impolite, the phrase is relatively common,” Justice Wayne Kidwell wrote for the court. The court reversed a rarely divided state Court of Appeals, which voted 2-1 in September 2001 to uphold the conviction on grounds that the provocative word could not be reasonably interpreted as the protected communication of information or opinion. Dissenter Karen Lansing argued that while the word is insulting, justifying arrest if
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Supreme Court overturns profanity conviction - Supreme...

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