19 criminal counts remain.
Case will now proceed to federal court.
Widespread effects of the ruling:
The "second-degree aggravated harassment" charge Raphael Golb faced was invalidated, because the judges decided to take this opportunity to rule it unconstitutional. The former New York statute criminalized communications likely to "cause annoyance or alarm" to another person.
|How a case proceeds through federal courts|
to Supreme Court d1
So far, most people have treated this case as obscure, eccentric, irrelevant.
But Chief Judge Lippman sees the disturbing, widespread implications upon all internet discourse, and dissented:
"Treating pseudonymous emails as forgeries when they are made with some intent to 'injure' in some undefined way is NO DIFFERENT THAN PENALIZING IMPERSONATION IN INTERNET COMMUNICATION for the same amorphous purpose," Lippman wrote. "Both treatments GIVE PROSECUTORS POWER THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE TO DETERMINE WHAT SPEECH SHOULD AND SHOULD NOT BE PENALIZED."
For list of the 100 examples of internet impersonation hoaxes Raphael Golb describes in his appeals brief; in fact the whole question of when is a hoax a crime, see my post: http://deadseascrollstrial.blogspot.com/2011/03/dead-sea-scrolls-development-raphael.html
Howard Fredrics wrote:
(1) They threw out the remaining felony charge.
(2) They threw out the harassment charges, holding that New York's harassment statute is unconstitutional.
(3) They threw out the unauthorized-access-to-a-computer charge and some of the criminal impersonation charges.
(4) They affirmed the Schiffman impersonation and forgery charges, on the ground that harm to reputation is still harm.
(5) Chief Justice Lippman, however, dissented, saying everthing should have been thrown out, because THE STATUTES ARE OVERBROAD; and because HARM TO REPUTATION IS GROUNDS FOR CIVIL, NOT CRIMINAL, LEGAL ACTION.
This provides excellent grounds for appeal both to the federal court and to the United States Supreme Court.
, New York Law Journal:
Harassment Provision Overturned in Scrolls Case