Pennsylvania AG Drops Twitter Subpoena

from the well-that-was-useful dept

Last week, the news came out that Pennsylvania Attorney General (and gubernatorial candidate), Tom Corbett, was so thin-skinned that he had subpoenaed Twitter to try to get at the identity of some anonymous online critics. Of course, all this really did was draw attention to (a) the criticism of Corbett and (b) his incredibly thin skin when it comes to criticism. Twitter, thankfully, didn't just roll over, and now Corbett has dropped the subpoena. Of course, one of the reasons Corbett was trying to unmask the identity of the commenter was because he believed it may have been someone he had already targeted in a political corruption scandal -- who was being sentenced on Friday. However, without being able to identify the user by the time of the sentencing, he couldn't use that in pushing for a tougher sentence. So, in the end, Corbett didn't get what he was after, but called a lot more attention to criticism of him. Nice work.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2010 @ 4:26am

    Want Tom Corbett Wants

    To be Joseph McCarthy when he grows up. By the way, I live in Pennsylvania, so catch me if you can Corbett. :-P

     

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  2.  
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    Michial Thompson, May 24th, 2010 @ 4:49am

    So little mikee now claims its a good thing

    that criminals get less of a sentence because they hid behind an anonymous on line smearing campaign?

    WOW little mikee m, come on do you stand up for anything that would make society a better place by holding people responsible for their actions?

    So far you've supported allowing pedophiles access to kids, thieves to run ramped, and just about any other form of criminal action, with maybe the exception of murder, but then I haven't read a single article that states your opinion about that....

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2010 @ 4:58am

    Re: So little mikee now claims its a good thing

    I'm so glad that Michial Thompson acts in such a professional manner, for example "WOW little mikee m".

    Mr. Thompson,

    Please grow up.

    Sincerely,
    Everyone Else

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2010 @ 5:00am

    Re: So little mikee now claims its a good thing

    It's not Mike's fault you've been writing a personal blog for three years (at least) and still have no one reading it. Why take out your bitterness on him?

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2010 @ 5:03am

    Re: So little mikee now claims its a good thing

    And "running ramped" is so much safer than running on the stairs.

     

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  6.  
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    Richard (profile), May 24th, 2010 @ 5:03am

    that criminals get less of a sentence because they hid behind an anonymous on line smearing campaign?


    Wow - thats a real stretch of the story.

    For a start how come a political election candidate is in the business of individual sentencing. In civilised countries we realise that politics and justice (in individual cases) simply don't mix.

    This is about justice, which, surprise surprise, isn't always the same thing as nailing the maximum sentence on every offender, let alone doing it for political advantage.

    It takes a deeply corrupted way of thinking to see these events as anything other that the triumph of the law over political corruption.

    This applies regardles of what the other party has done.

    Remeber, just because Ben Johnson is on drugs it doesn't mean that Carl Lewis isn't an a******.

     

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  7.  
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    Michial Thompson, May 24th, 2010 @ 5:51am

    Re:

    First off the guy is the ATTORNEY GENERAL, so sentencing a criminal is a part of his job.

    Second, sentencing is DIRECTLY related to the guys actions both before during and after the trial, and up to the point of the Sentencing hearing. The reason judges have the ability to sentence two people for the exact same crime to different sentences is to take into account the situation, the person, and the punishment. A criminal who's actions show little or no remorse should receive a much greater sentence than one that is truly regretful of their actions.

    In this case, a criminal ran an anonymous smear campaign of the person prosecuting him, his actions show little to no remorse or even concern for his crime. His actions show at least to me that a lesser sentence will only put him back on the streets sooner to commit more criminal offenses. So his smear and intimidation campaign SHOULD be used during sentencing to show his true character allowing the sentencing to represent an accurate level of justice for his crimes.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2010 @ 5:51am

    Re: So little mikee now claims its a good thing

    What a maroon! -B.B.

     

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  9.  
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    JackSombra (profile), May 24th, 2010 @ 6:05am

    "First off the guy is the ATTORNEY GENERAL, so sentencing a criminal is a part of his job."
    No it's not, that's the jury's/judges job

     

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  10.  
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    Richard (profile), May 24th, 2010 @ 6:10am

    Re: Re:

    First off the guy is the ATTORNEY GENERAL, so sentencing a criminal is a part of his job.

    and that should NEVER be part of the job description of an elected official, especially when he is running for an even higher position. Here in the UK we removed the last vestige of the ability of elected ministers to affect individual cases several years ago - as it was judged to be a violation of the European human rights convention. Of course once you have such a stupid system all kinds of bad consequences will flow from it.

    A criminal who's actions show little or no remorse should receive a much greater sentence than one that is truly regretful of their actions.

    Seems logical - but in the past this principle has been responsable for increasing the impact of miscarriages of justice - since the innocent aren't going to show remorse for something they didn't do. I'm not therefore inclined to give any weight to the argument.

    In this case, a criminal ran an anonymous smear campaign of the person prosecuting him

    which he wouldn't have done if that person hadn't been running for office. As I said - once you breach the important principle of separating the individual cases from elected politicians then all kinds of problems ensue.

    Since this case concerns political corruption anyway we have to bear in mind the possibility that the so called "criminal" might be in the right and the AG might be the one who is actually corrupt (bear in mind that this is a thought experiment - I'm not saying that things are this way around in this case).

    If there were no truth at all in the "smear" then the AG probably wouldn't have got so worked up about it.

     

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  11.  
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    DH's love child, May 24th, 2010 @ 6:17am

    Re: Re:

    "In this case, a criminal [ALLEGEDLY] ran an anonymous smear campaign of the person prosecuting him"

    FTFY

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    DS, May 24th, 2010 @ 6:29am

    Re: So little mikee now claims its a good thing

    What is it with the last name of Thompson and being a raving lunatic?

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    DS, May 24th, 2010 @ 6:31am

    Re: Re:

    "First off the guy is the ATTORNEY GENERAL, so sentencing a criminal is a part of his job."

    No, an Attorney General's job (at least seems to be) is to get your name in the newspaper enough that people vote for you when you run for a higher office.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2010 @ 6:36am

    Re: So little mikee now claims its a good thing

    lol, you are ridiculous.

     

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  15.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), May 24th, 2010 @ 6:58am

    proof?

    In this case, a criminal ran an anonymous smear campaign of the person prosecuting him

    Says who? You? The AG? Very convincing.

     

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  16.  
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    JD (profile), May 24th, 2010 @ 8:56am

    Re: Re:

    First off the guy is the ATTORNEY GENERAL, so sentencing a criminal is a part of his job. No. The Attorney General (or, more precisely, people working in the AG's office) determines what to attempt to prosecute for, not the sentencing. That's the job of judge and jury.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2010 @ 9:34am

    Re: Re:

    Okay, can you say misuse of tax dollars? Or, ar the words too big for you?

     

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  18.  
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    Michial Thompson, May 24th, 2010 @ 10:07am

    Re:

    REALLY? Is it not his job to present the information for the Judge and Jury to do the sentencing?????

    Hmmmmmmmm

     

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  19.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 24th, 2010 @ 10:43am

    Re: So little mikee now claims its a good thing

    that criminals get less of a sentence because they hid behind an anonymous on line smearing campaign?

    I said no such thing. What I said is a good thing is that an AG is not able to just get identifying information on anonymous commenters. I had no idea that you were so against the basic premises of our First Amendment, Michial.

    WOW little mikee m, come on do you stand up for anything that would make society a better place by holding people responsible for their actions?

    I believe in the First Amendment. You don't?

    So far you've supported allowing pedophiles access to kids

    I've said no such thing. I've not even come close to saying that because that is absolutely ridiculous. Saying that is false and defamatory. Please admit that you are wrong and retract your statement.

    thieves to run ramped

    I don't know what ramped means, but I don't support freely allowing "thieves" to run anything. So I'm not sure what you are saying. Again, please retract your false statement.

    and just about any other form of criminal action

    I have no idea what this means.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2010 @ 10:45am

    Re: So little mikee now claims its a good thing

    Criticizing people running for government office is criminal now?

    Nice to know that you've tossed your democratic values into the disposal. We'll keep that in mind, for future reference.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2010 @ 11:06am

    Re: Re:

    So you admint that you were wrong then, and that sentencing a criminal is indeed the job of the Judge and the Jury.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    ASTROBOI, May 24th, 2010 @ 1:17pm

    Never forget.....

    Tom Corbett was the name of the very first Space Cadet. Check it out on imdb if you don't believe me.

     

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