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.
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Filed Under: pennsylvania, streisand effect, subpoenas, tom corbett
Companies: twitter

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  1. icon
    Richard (profile), 24 May 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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