Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2007 10:39:00 -0500
From a Boston Globe article titled "Froth, Fear, and Fury":
"Berdovsky, who described himself as " a little kind of freaked out," faces up to five years in prison on charges of placing a hoax device in a way that causes panic and disorderly conduct."
Checking Massachusetts General Laws we find:
CHAPTER 266. CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY
Section 102A1/2. (a) Whoever possesses, transports, uses or places or causes another to knowingly or unknowingly possess, transport, use or place any hoax device or hoax substance with the intent to cause anxiety, unrest, fear or personal discomfort to any person or group of persons shall be punished by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than two and one-half years or by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
If you don't have intent, you don't actually have a crime, and the Attorney General obviously knows this. So what does it mean when the AG is willing to charge those responsible with a law they know wasn't actually broken?
Everyone needs to get a grip. It was a bone-headed mistake made by some poor sap that, unfortunately, spiraled way out of control. No more, no less.
Shit happens. Get a fucking helmet.