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Wyoming bans frivolous prosecution, not anatomically correct snowmen

With a tip of his hat to Eric Miller, who brought the story to his attention, Volokh Conspiracy blogfather Eugene Volokh takes on the story of two Laramie, Wyo., men who are "facing obscenity charges for allegedly building a snow sculpture of a phallus in their front yard."

Professor Volokh, who links to the Laramie Boomerang for the full story from this post, responds:

"If the news account is correct, then it sounds like the defendants are clearly not guilty. Under Wyoming obscenity law, which tracks the First Amendment requirements ..."

More here, including Volokh's question about whether the snowman's architects are the victims in a "borderline frivolous" arrest. Volokh writes,

"In fact, if [they] were arrested, they should have a good case against the police department, because it sounds like there wasn't really probable cause to believe that they had violated a crime -- this makes their arrest an unreasonable seizure, in violation of the Fourth Amendment. (They can't sue the prosecutor based on the prosecution, because prosecutors have absolute immunity from lawsuit, even when the prosecution is unconstitutional.)"

Posted by Product Team on May 4, 2005 at 10:32 AM | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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