This isn’t really a drug policy reform post, but there’s a connection that I’ll get to.
You may have heard about the ridiculous District Attorney George Skumanick, Jr. of Wyoming County, Pennsylvania and his “sexting” case. (Simply put, sexting is when kids take pictures of themselves or friends naked and sometimes pass them around on their cell phones – an easily anticipated technological development that the law can’t understand at all, having never been a teen.)
In this particular case, the D.A. went after girls in the pictures and threatened to charge them as accomplices to child pornography because they allowed themselves to be photographed.
The threatened charges of sexual abuse of a minor could come with jail time and registration as sex offenders. […]
Neither of the two photos in question depicts sexual activity or reveals anything below the waist.
One is a picture taken two years ago at a slumber party showing Marissa Miller (now 15) and her friend Grace Kelly from the waist up, both wearing white bras. The other depicts Nancy Doe (a pseudonym used to protect the girl‰s real identity) standing outside a shower with a bath towel wrapped around her body beneath her breasts.
That’s the evidence that has George Skumanick all hot and bothered.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Despite the fact that there is no there, there, the D.A. offered the girls a deal:
If they didn‰t want to face charges, they could be placed on probation, subject to random drug testing, and attend a six- to nine-month re-education program dealing with pornography and sexual violence.
Drug testing? … Drug testing?
What does that have to do with anything? Is there a drug testing kickback that D.A.s get or does he just want them to pee for him? Is this now automatically added to everything? “Your parking meter expired. That’ll be $10 and pee into this cup.”
The other connection that this case has to drug policy is the disturbing trend of prosecutors completely failing to understand (or care) when their actions are more damaging to the individual than the activity for which the individual is being persecuted.
That needs to change.