Does the legal bullying of bullies accomplish anything positive?

The celebrated attorney who represented Casey Anthony has taken on the case of a 12-year-old Florida girl accused of stalking another child who then killed herself -- a case that has raised national questions about how to deal with cyberbullying.

Jose Baez, who took on Anthony's case and won, said on Friday that his current 12-year-old client did nothing criminal. Speaking to reporters after a brief court hearing, the lawyer said that his client had been a friend of Rebecca Sedwick, who jumped to her death last month from an abandoned cement silo in Lakeland.

“She feels absolutely horrible for what happened to Rebecca,” Baez said, according to the Lakeland Ledger.

Two girls, including Baez’s client,  have been charged with aggravated stalking in the case. The pair, who attended Crystal Lake Middle School along with Sedwick, were accused by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office of using social media to bully Sedwick. (source)

One might ask if charging the two girls (age 12 and 14) with a serious crime is the right thing to do, or does it, too, amount to bullying. Bullying of children by the state.

Many people argue that in carrying out capital punishment, the state lowers itself to the level of the murderer. Is this an instance of the state lowering itself to the level of the bullies?

Tags: baez, bullies, bullying, jose

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Sigh, another one of my hometown's front page stories.

One of the girls who bullied the dead girl apparently even continued after she moved away. She tormented this girl for so long in all kinds of ways. Why should anyone feel bad for these sociopaths? Let them be bullied a little, boo-hoo. Not like being nice and letting them off with a warning is suddenly going to turn them into decent people, especially with the kind of parents they got. They'll just turn into even bigger megalomaniacs.

The father of one of the girls admitted it was wrong, and he even said it was probably his fault. However the parents of the other girl came out with the usual insulting bullshit that makes you want to work their faces with a sand-blaster. Something along the lines of "Our daughter would never do that, she's the nicest little girl oh so sweet" etc. Right.

Lock away the parents, and castrate them while you're at it. Have the kids do some work like scrub their school's toilets for 5 years, I don't know.

I believe the pollyanna parents you're referring to (whose daughter can do no wrong) are copping an Anthony Weiner-style "Our daughter's account was hacked" excuse.

Ah yes, I forgot about that part. Apparently they claim her account was hacked for a whole year. Like I said, excuses like that are just insulting to even hear.

Two girls, including Baez’s client,  have been charged with aggravated stalking in the case. The pair, who attended Crystal Lake Middle School along with Sedwick, were accused by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office of using social media to bully Sedwick

14-year-old Guadalupe Shaw and 12-year-old Katelyn Roman and up to 15 other girls spent the last year and a half telling Rebecca Sedwick she was ugly, stupid, nobody liked her, and to go kill herself.

Shaw, Rebecca's chief tormentor (pictured above on the left), posted this statement on Facebook: "Yes IK I bullied REBECCA nd she killed her self but IDGAF." ["Yes I know I bullied REBECCA and she killed her self but I don't give a fuck."]

Little darlings.

One might ask if charging the two girls (age 12 and 14) with a serious crime is the right thing to do, or does it, too, amount to bullying. Bullying of children by the state.

You're asking if the state, by charging the girls with stalking (a form of culpable negligence) is using force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, and aggressively impose domination. Is this even a serious question?

The girls are charged with violating the statutes below. There is enough evidence that they did exactly what they're accused of doing, including the confession above. So let each of them have their day in court. It's not like they'll do any time even if they are convicted.

---------

The 2013 Florida Statutes
Title XLVI CRIMES Chapter 784 ASSAULT; BATTERY; CULPABLE NEGLIGENCE

784.048 Stalking; definitions; penalties.—
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Harass” means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose.
(b) “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, which evidences a continuity of purpose. The term does not include constitutionally protected activity such as picketing or other organized protests.
(c) “Credible threat” means a verbal or nonverbal threat, or a combination of the two, including threats delivered by electronic communication or implied by a pattern of conduct, which places the person who is the target of the threat in reasonable fear for his or her safety or the safety of his or her family members or individuals closely associated with the person, and which is made with the apparent ability to carry out the threat to cause such harm. It is not necessary to prove that the person making the threat had the intent to actually carry out the threat. The present incarceration of the person making the threat is not a bar to prosecution under this section.
(d) “Cyberstalk” means to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.
(2) A person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of stalking, a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(3) A person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person and makes a credible threat to that person commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(4) A person who, after an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence pursuant to s. 784.046, or an injunction for protection against domestic violence pursuant to s. 741.30, or after any other court-imposed prohibition of conduct toward the subject person or that person’s property, knowingly, willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(5) A person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks a child under 16 years of age commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(6) A law enforcement officer may arrest, without a warrant, any person that he or she has probable cause to believe has violated this section.
(7) A person who, after having been sentenced for a violation of s. 794.011, s. 800.04, or s. 847.0135(5) and prohibited from contacting the victim of the offense under s. 921.244, willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks the victim commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(8) The punishment imposed under this section shall run consecutive to any former sentence imposed for a conviction for any offense under s. 794.011, s. 800.04, or s. 847.0135(5).
(9)(a) The sentencing court shall consider, as a part of any sentence, issuing an order restraining the defendant from any contact with the victim, which may be valid for up to 10 years, as determined by the court. It is the intent of the Legislature that the length of any such order be based upon the seriousness of the facts before the court, the probability of future violations by the perpetrator, and the safety of the victim and his or her family members or individuals closely associated with the victim.
(b) The order may be issued by the court even if the defendant is sentenced to a state prison or a county jail or even if the imposition of the sentence is suspended and the defendant is placed on probation.
History.—s. 1, ch. 92-208; s. 29, ch. 94-134; s. 29, ch. 94-135; s. 2, ch. 97-27; s. 23, ch. 2002-55; s. 1, ch. 2003-23; s. 3, ch. 2004-17; s. 3, ch. 2004-256; s. 17, ch. 2008-172; s. 2, ch. 2012-153.

Playing devil's advocate, is the purpose of prosecution to rehabilitate them or punish them?

Playing devil's advocate, is the purpose of prosecution to rehabilitate them or punish them?

The purpose of criminal law: prohibit conduct that threatens the public interest; define and warn people of the acts that are subject to criminal punishment; distinguish between serious and minor offenses; and impose punishment to protect society and to satisfy the demand for retribution, rehabilitation, and deterrence.

The rest, as to how the law applies, is up to a judge and jury on a case-by-case basis.

Don't confuse the purpose of the law with the purpose of an individual prosecution. That said, between punishment or rehabilitation, which one best forwards the agenda in your definition?

Don't confuse the purpose of the law with the purpose of an individual prosecution. That said, between punishment or rehabilitation, which one best forwards the agenda in your definition?

Don't present me with a false dichotomy, demand that I apply one or the other to define the whole of social justice, and then tell me I'm the one who is confused.

The purpose of criminal law generally is exactly what I said; as you'll find by doing Google searches for introductory course materials for criminal justice programs and law schools. How that best applies individually, as I said, is the job of the judge and jury on a case-by-case basis.

Your question was: is it bullying to prosecute them? Absolutely not. Now the court will do its job: decide what (if anything) will happen to them for what they have done.

If punishment and rehabilitation are a false dichotomy, by the meaning of the term "false dichotomy,"* there must be a third possible outcome for the girls beside punishment or rehabilitation.

What is that? Not for society, but for the girls.

* "A false dilemma is a type of informal fallacy that involves a situation in which limited alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option. The opposite of this fallacy is argument to moderation."

If punishment and rehabilitation are a false dichotomy, by the meaning of the term "false dichotomy,"* there must be a third possible outcome for the girls beside punishment or rehabilitation.

What is that? Not for society, but for the girls.

Criminal justice is for society, the victims, and the victim's family and friends, not just for the criminals. We are not ignoring that.

So your false dichotomy is: rehabilitation for the girls or punishment for the girls (either A or B).

But the actual continuum is:

A: Rehabilitation (for the girls)
B: Punishment (for the girls)
C: Punishment (for society's call for retribution)
D: Punishment (for satisfying the victim's family and friends)
E: Deterrence (for other would-be bullies and their parents)
F: Protecting Society (if jailed or ordered not to use the Internet)

Depending on what the judge and jury decide and for what reasons, the outcome could involve one, some, all, or any combination of these for a total of about 63 possible outcomes.

Or they could convict, but with a suspended sentence, or they could acquit, leading to yet another possible outcome: G. None of the above.

You keep ignoring the qquestion. About the girls (forget the rest), what is the preferred outcome or goal? To make them better or dish out punishment, or doesn't it matter? (There's your third alternative, should you wish to take it.)

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