Friday, January 30, 2004

American Anarchist

In case anyone doubts that the rights of individual Americans haven't been violated since 9/11, Sherman Austin is still in jail.

Austin was the 18 year-old web master for Authorities arrested him after they found a link on the anarchist site to information on how to make Molotov cocktails and "Drano bombs." Despite the fact that he didn't write the material and only linked to another site which included the instructions, he's now serving a year and change in prison.

A 1997 law does make it illegal to publish such content when it encourages readers to commit "a federal crime of violence." Austin did not do that. Nonethless, the judge on the case ignored the FBI and Justice Department's recommended sentence of four months in jail and four months community service and gave Austin an entire year in jail instead.

According to Austin, the judge said, "What kind of a message would four months in jail send to other revolutionaries?"

Note to Rush Limbaugh: this is a First Amendment issue.

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