I am working on an appeal (that is due tomorrow- no time like the present, right?) which has significant First Amendment implications. Specifically, it is about whether the no-porn clause in our local sex offender parole/probation conditions meets Constitutional muster. Among the many things at issue is whether the condition is vague and overbroad. The trial court opined that it wasn't because the words "sexual conduct" are statutorily defined. However, the statute in question is a little less than clear. Sexual conduct is defined as "Patently offensive representations or descriptions of ultimate sexual acts, normal or perverted, actual or simulated, including sexual intercourse, anal or oral sodomy and sexual bestiality..."
Can anyone help me understand what the ultimate perverted sex act is? Or perhaps the ultimate normal sex act? I am, to be sure, intrigued...
I imagine that the original draft used the word "intimate," and it got changed somehow and no one noticed, which is both inexcusable and typical of Pennsylvania legislature, who seem not to read anything they pass. This is the state, after all, that will put you in jail for up to two years for beating someone up, but will put you in jail for up to five years if you threaten to beat someone up (simple assault is a second degree misdemeanor, but terroristic threats is a first degree misdemeanor).
Is there any excuse for such poor legislative drafting? I think not.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007