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Your not allowed to be guilty

Considering our overburdened legal system, and understaffed courthouses, this is really pretty wrong:

A federal judge refused to accept a guilty plea Tuesday from a former America Online software engineer accused of stealing 92 million e-mail addresses and selling them to spammers.

So he can’t plead guilty to a crime he admits to committing because the Judge isn’t convinced. Just makes you think. I’m curious what the judge gets out of it.

“I’m not prepared to go ahead, Mr. Siegal. I need to be independently satisfied that a crime has been created.”

[Source: Forbes.com @ 3:28 PME ST 12/21/2004]

As if the guy pleading guilty isn’t enough. If there was any doubt about a crime being committed, the guy would fight it. I’m sure some spammers will be emailing Judge Hellerstein to say “Thanks buddy”. I question the basis of his claim that he isn’t satisfied a crime has been created.

1 reply on “Your not allowed to be guilty”

From what I understand, the Judge wasn’t convinced that a crime was committed under the law he was charged with. In other words, the Judge seemed to be saying: if he stole something, charge him with theft, not spamming. (He didn’t spam anyone directly, and the law, as written, doesn’t appear to make contributing to a spamming offense illegal per se).

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