Friday, September 09, 2005

No charges for DeFede

It is now official -- the State won't charge Jim DeFede for taping Art Teele's last phone conversation. Although this doesn't prove that DeFede's actions were legal, I think it supports my position in the debate.

UPDATE -- Professor Froomkin over at his blog actually takes the position that the State's decision not to charge supports his position that DeFede commited a crime. He bases his argument on the prosecutor's statement that the "uniqueness of the tragic circumstances" led to the conclusion not to prosecute, not any "special journalistic privilege or legal exception accorded to Mr. DeFede." Anyone buying?

2 comments:

Brian Tannebaum said...

I think it is clear that the prosecutors declined to file charges based on Defede's relationship with Teele, which in turn evidenced his lack of intent to use the tape for commercial purposes.

The importance here is prosecutorial discretion.

It is much more difficult to make a "human" decision, than a "legal" one.

Credit to the prosecutors for calling it a day on this one.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think that if the prosecutors thought they could win or get some good publicity they would have decided not to file?