Sexting screw-up: Poorly written law leads to non-functional law


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In the grisly world of socially networked puberty – especially in the somehow prude, somehow slutty state of Florida – the whole "sexting" phenomenon of sending pics of your minor bits to other minors is clearly a gray area (gross). How gray? Well, as the Miami Herald reports, Florida lawmakers, in their haste to talk out of both sides of their mouths, have been going back and forth on how to punish horny kids with stupid smart phones. On the one hand, lawmakers originally thought that sending dick-and-tit pics was equivalent to shilling pornography, and therefore required Penny Pingleton to be permanently punished. But in 2011, lawmakers agreed that maybe ruining kids' permanent records for shooting out anatomical parts electronically was a bit harsh, at least for first-time offenders. First-time offenders would instead get community service and classes, walking home in shame but without a criminal record. Sweet, right? Well, when the law played out in court because a "bored" South Florida girl sent out a lovely snapsnatch back in 2013, the judge ruled that there could be no second or third offenses if there wasn't a first criminal offense. Semantics! Anyway, now your kind of creepy legislature is trying to rewrite the law for this year's legislative session. Reports the Herald: 

They are proposing a fix to the enforcement issue, as well as a requirement that 80 percent of the money collected in fines to be spent on cyber safety programs for children and teens.

The bill, which is still being finalized, does not yet have a sponsor in the House. But House Criminal Justice Subcommittee Chairman Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, said he supports fixing the law.

[Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Wellington] considers the move a high priority.

“At the end of the day, I don’t want minors to have to register as sex offenders and alter their lives for the worse,” he said. “That’s the goal.”

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