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 Post subject: What constitutes a disruption of General Conference?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:47 am 
God

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You may be familiar with the situation regarding Crystal Legionaires prosecution and fine for shouting out "stop protecting sexual predators" during General Conference.
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An audience member who disrupted a general conference session of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2018 has been fined $340 and ordered to stay away from Temple Square for a year.

Following a brief trial Monday in Salt Lake City Justice Court, a judge found Crystal Legionaires guilty of disrupting a meeting, an infraction.

“I understand that what you have to say is a very important message,” Judge Sydney Magid told Legionaires. “But it is not a message that is allowed to disrupt a meeting.”

Legionaires, 25, of Ogden, shouted “stop protecting sexual predators” three times from a balcony seat. Legionaires testified the planned outburst was intended to make a point, but did not intend to disrupt the Saturday afternoon session on March 31, 2018. At the time of the interruption, newly sustained leaders within the church were taking their seats on the rostrum behind the pulpit.

Legionaires claimed a loved one was victimized by a member of the church and said the church did not take meaningful action against the aggressor or call police.

Video played in the courtroom showed security officers reacting and some at the session turning toward a balcony as Legionaires called out and repeated the phrase in an even voice.

A woman testified Monday she was sitting near Legionaires and was distracted by the noise.

Prosecutor Paige Williamson argued it was an important, spiritual moment for those assuming new posts and for church members who were taking in the significance of the new leadership.

“This was a life-changing moment for them,” Williamson said.

Defense attorney Greg Skordas noted his client cooperated with security. Legionaire’s conduct didn’t knock the ceremony off course, he argued, saying it was only as disruptive as a baby crying or a cellphone going off.

But a phone ringing or a baby crying isn’t intentional, the judge countered.

https://www.deseret.com/utah/2020/1/13/ ... mon-charge

The problem it seems is that for some, Legionaires deliberately intruded into the spirit of the moment, rather than caused the agenda of the meeting to be disrupted. Okay, you're not allowed to do something deliberately that intrudes into the spirit of General Conference. What if one of the speakers tells a joke that makes people laugh - surely deliberately causing the audience to laugh constitutes a deliberate intrusion of the spirit of the meeting?

But here's the bigger issue - is the Church still protecting sexual predators? And if so, how can that best be brought into the spotlight if not by shouting out during Conference?

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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a disruption of General Conference?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:23 am 
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3 And now my brethren, if ye were righteous and were willing to hearken to the truth, and give heed unto it, that ye might walk uprightly before God, then ye would not murmur because of the truth, and say: Thou speakest hard things against us.
(1 Nephi 16:1-3)

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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a disruption of General Conference?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:06 am 
God

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No matter the situation on this particular transgression, I find it only mildly amusing that one can go to trial for an outburst, and pedophiles have not seen the walls of prison.


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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a disruption of General Conference?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:36 pm 
God
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She did not yell there was a fire, she just yelled for the church to stop protecting sexual predators. I think there is a serious free-speech argument to be made here, and one I hope gets addressed on appeal when this conviction is reversed.

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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a disruption of General Conference?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:01 pm 
God
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consiglieri wrote:
... and one I hope gets addressed on appeal when this conviction is reversed.

Doesn't that have to go to Denver where secular reasoning can prevail? What if that court is packed with Trumpanistas and fellow True Churchers?

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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a disruption of General Conference?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:08 pm 
God
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I would also have to ask how anything that was shouted could disrupt a meeting when the meeting had not already started.

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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a disruption of General Conference?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:18 pm 
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I'm afraid that I have to agree with the judge.

This kind of outburst or demonstration should be made outdoors, preferably on the public pavement.

To me, it was an unwarranted disruption of a solemn meeting under assembly.

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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a disruption of General Conference?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:32 pm 
God
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I’m not convinced there’s a constitutional free speech problem here. I read the statute, and it seemed to me to be a reasonable, content-neutral, time, place, and manner restriction. Perhaps “disrupts” is unconstitutionally vague, which is as separate issue. I don’t think it was vague as applied in this case.

On the other hand, I don’t like the practice of prosecuting violation of a criminal statute as a “civil infraction,” which deprived her of her right to a jury trial. I don’t know whether the Supreme Court has weighed in on that issue.

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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a disruption of General Conference?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:02 pm 
God
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Baldwin v. New York, 399 U.S. 66 (1970), says if the punishment is less than six months, no right to a jury.

https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/399/66/

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 Post subject: Re: What constitutes a disruption of General Conference?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:49 pm 
God
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Exiled wrote:
Baldwin v. New York, 399 U.S. 66 (1970), says if the punishment is less than six months, no right to a jury.

https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/399/66/


Thanks, Exiled.

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