Two years ago in Oklahoma, Riccardo Gino Ferrante was arrested for aiming a camera up a 16-year-old girlâ€™s skirt while in a Target store. He was arrested and convicted of a felony.
Unfortunately, in mid-March four-fifths of Oklahomaâ€™s Court of Criminal Appeals voted that no felony occurred.
Because â€œthe person photographed was not in a place where she had a reasonable expectation of privacy.â€
Now, being in a public place does remove or decrease oneâ€™s expectation of privacy. But ought that extend even to the private space WITHIN oneâ€™s clothing?
The court answered in the affirmative. As Judge Gary Lumpkin wrote in his dissent, â€œIt is open season for peeping Toms in public places who want to look under a womanâ€™s dress.â€
This is judicial common sense in the age of Britney Spears? At least thereâ€™s still the knuckle-sandwich penalty someone might get.
If our court system canâ€™t get this one right, everyone should agree that somethingâ€™s wrong.
The judiciary must be independent. But it must be independent of the other branches of government, not detached from common sense, or all semblance of sanity.
Oklahoma legislators now seek to outlaw currently court-protected invasive and gutter photography. Should they also consider random intelligence testing for the judiciary? They have more than probable cause.
This is Common Sense. Iâ€™m Paul Jacob.