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Subject:  Re: OT -- Connecticut Anthrax Hoax Date:  10/17/2001  11:44 AM
Author:  duggg Number:  53461 of 882897

I'm not sure I did [misread the article], The police have not arrested the guy who actually planted the fake anthrax. The first guy in jail is the one who reported it.

Ahhh, I see what you're asking.

What we have here is a conspiracy to perpetrate a public fraud, in other words, a hoax.

The guy who's in jail now, even though he didn't come up with the idea, was in on the joke, and initially lied to authorities about it being a joke, thus causing everyone to take it seriously. That's why he's in jail, and that's why many conspirators go to jail. He could have saved himself (and others) a whole lot of grief if he had only been honest from the start.

Ironically, the true perpetrator may have elected to assert his Fifth Amendment rights and may not have answered any questions---and thus cannot be charged with the same crime of lying to authorities. Certainly in his case, it's legally smart for him to remain quiet.

However, I don't think he's quite out of the woods yet. I would hope that ultimately there would be enough evidence or other testimony to charge him for some crime. If not, certainly those inconvenienced might consider a civil suit (ala OJ Simpson), where the burden of proof would be substantially less.
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