Re: Perl Co-inventor Convicted

ccpes@sun.cse.bris.ac.uk (Paul Smee) wrote:
>In article <4337qg$e99@budapest.ozonline.com.au>,
>Geoff  <count@ozmail.com.au> wrote:
>>Indubitably.  You argue against conviction then.  Foolishness is not a 
>>criminal offense.  The conviction was for a criminal offense, no ? (It
>>would be here, anyway).
>Your conclusion doesn't follow.  Foolishness per se is not a criminal
>offense, but it may lead someone to commit a criminal offense, for which
>they may be punished.
>Following your argument, it would be impossible to punish most criminals,
>since most criminal actions are pretty foolish.
Again (here at least) for a CRIMINAL charge to be laid, CRIMINAL INTENT
must be demonstrated.  Most criminals (however foolish) that are prosecuted
have and do demonstrate their criminal intent.

The fact that R.S. (those initials have another meaning here, and I regret
that they are appropriate to the case!) made no attempt to cover his tracks
when he could have easily done so, virtually disproves criminal intent.

And indeed, if you consult your (Insert local title for prosecuting barrister)
he/she will no doubt tell you that many criminal cases never come to court
because of the difficulty of proving criminal intent, and of those that do,
the majority manage to get a way with it.  You are correct.  It is impossible
to punish most criminals.