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Email Bomber Faces Retrial 106

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the putting-the-case-back-on dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A UK teenager who was cleared last year of launching a denial-of-service attack now faces a retrial. Judges have ruled that crashing a server with five million emails probably isn't permitted under the law. With NASA hacker Gary McKinnon vowing to fight on after losing his extradition fight yesterday, it's been a busy few days for the UK courts."
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Email Bomber Faces Retrial

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  • Re:Double Jeopardy (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lewisham (239493) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @06:48PM (#15313816)
    In the UK, you can be retried for the same offence if there is "new and compelling evidence" (usually DNA samples), or if the case was never fully closed, as here. The CPS appealed the case after the ruling, saying that the magistrate read the law wrongly, which sends it up the chain for review. If High Court had said, "Nah, it was a fair call", then the case would be closed and he could no longer be tried again. However, the High Court has sent it back for further review. IANAL so I don't know why the High Court itself doesn't make the decision, and I don't know what happens if the magistrate decides the same way again.

    Such stuff happens infrequently, but is sometimes reported on the news.
  • Re:Double Jeopardy (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lewisham (239493) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @07:07PM (#15313957)
    Wikipedia helps here [wikipedia.org].
  • I thought the general principle under which juvinile records are sealed is to protect someone from being punished for life for a childhood mistake.

    Juviniles enjoy enourmous privilage under the law. They are effectively exempt from all but the most grevious of crimes. They will often literally have to kill one, possibly two people before they are given a serious sentance. Even then, the killings will have to be in cold blood, not in a fracas or the like, and the victims will probably have to be "innocents" of some kind rather than society's persona non grata.

    To answer you question, if he were put on trial as a juvinile, he may have stood trial, and might even be convicted, but his sentance would be extremely lienient. It's probable he would have faced a small fine and perhaps a week or two of community service, if that.

    However, having been visited by the wonderous Majority Fairy at the stroke of midnight on his 18th birthday, his juvinile privilages, exemptions, and get out of jail free cards have been revoked along with, presumably; his sexual innocence, mental incompetance and intolerance for alcohol. He is now fair game for the full weight of the law to be set on his shoulders as an example to all. A five year sentance is not out of the question, a step up from five weeks visting old folks homes to be sure.
  • by spiritraveller (641174) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @09:48PM (#15314828)
    Why should they get to do it all over again with a financial punishment and a lower standard of proof?

    "They" don't. The criminal case is "the state" or "the people" against the defendant. The civil case is "the families of ron goldman and nicole simpson" against the defendant. Those families didn't get to decide whether the case was prosecuted criminally. They can't force the state to seek restitution for them. Instead, they have to seek it for themselves.

    What "different purpose" does that serve?

    It serves to compensate people for a loss that another person has caused to them. The criminal case serves the public's desire for retribution against someone who has violated our rules.

    If someone steals your car and wrecks it, they can be prosecuted by the state, regardless of whether you want them to be. Either way, you still have the right to sue them for the financial loss they have caused.
  • by evanism (600676) on Friday May 12, 2006 @01:37AM (#15315737) Journal
    which are the very rules *some* nasty countries choose to ignore, like the Nazi's in WW2....
  • Re:what the hell (Score:2, Informative)

    by myxiplx (906307) on Friday May 12, 2006 @02:31AM (#15315870)
    Errr... wtf?!!

    It's not a case of a re-trial purely because the government think they're wrong. They appealed and a higher court looked at the case and said "Yup, you may have a point there", and sent it back to the lower court for re-trial. That same higher court could just have easily have said "Nope, they interpreted the law correctly, case closed.".

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