No. of Recommendations: 0
Here's the details of the anthrax hoax that US Attorney General John Ashcroft singled out in his press conference on Tuesday.

http://www.ctnow.com/news/local/hc-statescares1016.artoct16.story?coll=hc%2Dheadlines%2Dhome

Would you want to report a possible anthrax sighting at the risk of ending up in the pokey if it was subsequently determined to be a false alarm? Or is it safer (legally if not medically) to just say nothing?

intercst
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 15
Intercst asks,

Would you want to report a possible anthrax sighting at the risk of ending up in the pokey if it was subsequently determined to be a false alarm?

I believe you might have misread the article.

The guy knew it was a hoax all along, and confessed to that fact. He definitely should end up in the pokey.

However, as a totally innocent party, if I were to run across some truly suspicious material, I would not hesitate to report it, because

1. I care about public health. I would not want anyone else affected.
2. I consider bioterrorism a criminal act, and such crimes need to be reported so they can be investigated.
3. I care about my own health. I kind of like my early retirement and would not like it cut short by some terrorist.
4. I care about preserving my financial assets. Through proper publicity (read: the press), I virtually guarantee that I will receive substantial medical treatment at no charge to myself.

Or is it safer (legally if not medically) to just say nothing?

Legally, it is always safer to just say nothing. But that doesn't make it right.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
duggg writes,

<<<<Would you want to report a possible anthrax sighting at the risk of ending up in the pokey if it was subsequently determined to be a false alarm?>>>>

I believe you might have misread the article.

The guy knew it was a hoax all along, and confessed to that fact. He definitely should end up in the pokey.


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

intercst
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 4
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.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Would you want to report a possible anthrax sighting at the risk of ending up in the pokey if it was subsequently determined to be a false alarm? Or is it safer (legally if not medically) to just say nothing?

intercst


If I *knew* it was a hoax, the no, I wouldn't report it. (However, I would take the time to go kick the crap out of whoever decided that would be funny...)

But if I just happened upon something that truly did arouse my suspicion, then I think I would have to say something.

Cindy
Print the post Back To Top