Monday, April 03, 2006

Clarity in the law

Someone recommended this PBS news show for the full story on FCC indecency fines. It had this exchange:
JEFFREY BROWN: Mr. Peters, what do you think? Do you -- do you see a clear line, a clear definition, from what the FCC did, that will help broadcasters and -- and the audience understand what constitutes indecency?

ROBERT PETERS: Well, I will tell you, I -- I think, admittedly, the line is not crystal clear.

And I suspect, if this were a criminal case, the -- the FCC would have a much harder time justifying what it has done, because, in criminal cases, the standards for clarity have to be higher.
Peters was supposed to be defending the FCC,

I don't think that the standards for clarity in a criminal case are any higher. Just ask Quattrone, M. Jackson, DeLay, etc. Look at this recent article in the Si Valley paper:
But leaving kids home alone is not necessarily against the law -- no matter how young they are or how long their parents are gone.

As a very general rule, children are ready for the latch-key life for short periods when they are 12 or 13, child-care experts say. The law, however, is deliberately vague to give prosecutors the flexibility to decide when a home-alone case becomes a crime.
A lot of criminal laws are deliberately vague. I think that it was the PBS news show that was deliberately vague about why the FCC issued indecency fines.