[Noisebridge-discuss] Hacker Who Exposed Steubenville Rapists May Get More Prison Time Than Rapists

Simon C. Ion ion.simon.c at gmail.com
Sun May 29 04:45:53 UTC 2016


Wow. There's a lot to unpack here.

> Word of Lostutter’s 10-years comes just as one of the rapists
themselves, Ma’Lik Richomond, 16, was just released from prison for
“good behavior.”

Richmond is *a minor*. While that *absolutely* *does not* excuse his
actions, the legal system treats minors differently than it treats
adults for *really good reasons*.

Would the paper put scare quotes around "good behavior" if it was
reporting on Lostutter's early release? I can't know for sure, but I
expect that it would not.

This is yellow journalism, and it is deeply offensive.

Surely it is neither the official position of the paper that the purpose
of America's criminal justice system is punitive rather than
rehabilitative, nor is it their position that people convicted of rape
can *never* be reformed.

Additionally, conspicuously absent from the reporting is the fact that
the other rapist (also aged 16) was convicted of distribution of child
pornography for showing a picture of the crime (against one of his
peers) to his peers. This conviction doubled the minimum length of his
sentence. It also seems that both boys are also classified as Tier II
sex offenders. I might be wrong here, but it *looks* like that means
that they must both check in (whatever that means) with the county
sheriff's office every six months and must immediately register any
change of residential address, place of employment, or enrollment in a
school or institution of higher education for the next _twenty-five years_.

I mention this not to seek sympathy for the teenagers, but to point out
that there's likely more to their sentence than just the jail time and
detention.

> "One would expect to see the defendant publicly apologize for all the
pain he caused rather than make statements about himself."

The NY Times (and other sources) reports that the two boys apologized
for their crime when given the opportunity to address the courtroom
after the decision was read in court:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/18/us/teenagers-found-guilty-in-rape-in-steubenville-ohio.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1

I've come to understand that what's legally optimal sometimes doesn't
make sense to people outside the system. (e.g. "Never, *ever*, talk to
the cops or the feds!")

Anyway. Maybe your intent in sharing this news story with us was to
highlight the fact that a guy who's being charged with CFAA violations
is looking at a possible prison sentence that's 5->10x longer than that
of convicted rapists? If that's the case, then it's *very* important to
note (as your original source (and many other sources) failed to) that
the rapists were minors and the "hacker" was an adult.

I expect that many of those subscribed to the list hold an opinion
somewhere between "The CFAA is a bad law and desperately needs to be
removed from the books." and "The CFAA is overbroad and sometimes used
as a cudgel by the powerful to silence the inconvenient little people.".
The inappropriateness of the CFAA doesn't change the fact that it is
inappropriate to hold people who are incapable of reasoning like adults
(whether through mental defect or due to both the fact that their brain
and body are still developing and the fact that we're not done teaching
them how to be human) to the same standard as adults.

Perhaps when you're next in front of a full-sized keyboard you can steer
the conversation in the direction that you intended it to go. :)


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