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Shoebomb Case: Is An Airplane A "vehicle" Or Not?  
User currently offlineBobcat From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2553 times:

The Federal Judge in the shoebomb case has thrown out 1 of 9 charges against Richard Reid.

From CNN:
"U.S. District Judge William Young said that although an airplane was engaged in "mass transportation" it is not a "vehicle" as defined by the new law."

Last time I checked my dictionary, a "vehicle" is defined as a device or structure for transporting persons. It even included the space shuttle, which can be described as a space vehicle. Just to be sure my dictionary is correct, I asked my next door neighbor who teachs college English. She said an airplane is definitely a vehicle.

...so, is an airplane a "vehicle" or not?  Smile

5 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineSquigee From Canada, joined May 2001, 652 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2545 times:

I think the judge needs to interpret the spirit, and not the letter of the law!

Someday, we'll look back at this, laugh nervously, and then change the subject.
User currently offlineFilex23 From Singapore, joined Aug 2001, 24 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2540 times:

A plane isn't a vehicle? By my dictionary a vehicle is "any means or by which someone or something is carried or conveyed". Last time I checked a plane absolutely did that...well...maybe this judge failed freshman english in college.

The thing that worries me is this Richard Reid guy can slip through the fingers of the US judicial system over some stupid thing like this, where will it end? Are all these dip shits going to get a free ride right out of prison over an interpretation of a vocab word? bah! Laws should be read by what they mean, not what they say (in my very humble opinion).

User currently offlineATL2CDG From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 296 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2533 times:

To defend the judge, it is to "read by what they mean" and to "interpret the spirit" that has created MANY problems in US law code for over 200 years. The Second Amendment to the US Constitution is just one example. How does one read/interpret:

A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free
State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be

Literalists would say that citizens should own firearms for the sole purpose of a militia. Spiritists would say that this gives everyone the right to bear arms for any reason.

Without an exact and succinct law, both law enforcement officials and those seeking to violate the law could act to circumvent the original intent of the lawwriters. Therefore, it is imperative for lawmakers to act with prejudice when molding words into law and insure that there "intent" is clear. However, it is often easier to purposely write civil and criminal code in a vague manner as to avoid the responsibility of taking an action or actions that may offend various groups. Unfortunately, this is a double-edged sword... A legislative body may avoid undue resentment by writing vague code, but it then fails to accomplish its task by creating an enforcible and solid law.

In this case, the judge acted in the best manner possible. When faced with such a hastily-written law, it is better to err on the side of caution than to risk overstepping the constitutional boundaries of the judicial system and making law. Judges exist to interpret the law, not to write it, and if the legislature fails to construct a decent code, then the judge must make decisions based on precedent rulings and applicable laws.

If you do not approve of the judge's ruling, write your congressman and senators for they and their committee consuls are at fault for write poor law.

Ignorantia juris neminem excusat.
User currently offlineNBC News1 From UK - England, joined exactly 15 years ago today! , 324 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2502 times:

Aaron Brown on CNN said that the reason the judge threw out the law was because "an airplane was not what congress had in mind when it passed the law."

I would like to know the circumstances of congress passing the law.

User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6210 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2491 times:

Well, he's still charged with 8 more crimes, so I don't think he'll be out of jail and back on airplanes anytime soon.... Smile

Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
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