GET FREE E-MAIL UPDATES: SEND US YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WITH SUBSCRIBE IN THE SUBJECT LINE
or subscribe to our
Twitter service

UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

February 10, 2010

CONGRESS PICKS AND CHOOSES WHICH LIES TO PUNISH

ABC News - Xavier Alvarez, a California man convicted in 2007 of falsely claiming to be a decorated Marine, is asking the U.S. Court of Appeals to overturn the conviction and rule the Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional. A ruling could come at any time.

Most legal experts think he will lose. But he argues that his right to free speech -- even his right to lie -- is protected by the First Amendment. . .

Alvarez was a member of a California municipal water board when he claimed at a 2007 meeting that he was a former Marine with 25 years service and that he had been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest military honor awarded by the U.S. government. He is now in prison on an unrelated conviction for insurance fraud.

"I'm not going to defend what Mr. Alvarez said. It was wrong," Deputy Federal Public Defender Jonathan Libby said. "The First Amendment is supposed to mean something."

Upholding the Stolen Valor Act, Libby said, basically gives Congress the right to decide which lies are punishable as crimes. Alvarez didn't commit perjury, he said, and he didn't use his claims to collect veterans affairs benefits. His crime hurt no one, Libby argues.

"People tell lies about all sorts of things all the time," Libby said. "And the First Amendment certainly protects the right to lie."


0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home