Tuesday, June 07, 2005

An Intent to Cause Fear of Violence

From the Strange-But-True Department at IMDB:
Two men have been charged with stealing copies of the next Harry Potter novel by police in Northamptonshire, England. Arun Lambert, 19, and a 37-year-old man appeared in court yesterday to respond to Friday's charges over theft and firearm offences. Author JK Rowling was granted a High Court injunction last week to stop the two men leaking details of Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince ahead of its official July release. Lambert is accused of theft and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, while his accomplice has been charged with possession of an offensive weapon and handling a stolen book. The men, from Kettering, Northamptonshire, are free on bail.
Isn't it enough to simply charge the guy with theft rather than "posssession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence"? I understand why "threatening to shoot with an imitation firearm" might be considered a crime -- you could probably induce a heart attack that way -- but an "intent to cause fear of violence" is two steps removed from violence itself. The phrase also brings to mind the educational video in "A Clockwork Orange" -- that had an intent to cause fear of violence as well.


Blogger madatadam said...

i think ur observation is valid where the police and the law hand out only punitive judgements(punishment for crime committed). Use of a firearm is criminal when injury, physical(actual) or emotional(perceived), is sustained. But where crime prevention is added on, it is not just crime that is punished but a propensity for crime too(and so intent to cause fear of violence, a distant third cousin). Both paranoia and security feed on this aspect of the law; in its extreme version, 'thoughtcrime' is punished, and in normal life, an intent to commit crime, which weeds out undesirable elements in society in an average-case scenario. Not that i subscribe to it but thats the idea of the laws we have accepted. And I see A Clockwork Orange as a critique on the attempt and failure of law trying to second-guess the criminal mind.

6/07/2005 3:44 PM  
Blogger grenade said...

Interesting that the link you gave for half-blood prince is for the movie :).

6/11/2005 10:03 PM  

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