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December 17, 2008

'tis the season ... to litigate creatively?

This local AP story out of Ohio that just has to put everyone in a holiday (litigation?) mood:

A Christmas tree inside a northwest Ohio village police department is decorated with more than just the usual trimmings.  Mug shots of local sex offenders are pasted on some of the ornaments. Paper cutouts of bells and stars feature the faces and names of all eight registered sex offenders in the of North Baltimore community.

Police Chief Alan Baer thought the ornaments would get attention and raise awareness and says a great deal of foot traffic moves in and out of the department. Baer says the display on the artificial tree isn't to make light of the crimes or disparage Christmas traditions.  He says the police chaplain thought it was a good idea.

Surely some litigious group or someone who likes to wage wars over Christmas and seasonal displays will not take kindly to this news.  Are there potential Fourth and Fifth and Eighth Amendment claims to litigate in this case along with the standard First Amendment concerns?  Though  sex-offender mug shot ornaments apparently have the blessing of the police chaplain, but what about higher authorities?  Dare I ask what would (baby) Jesus do?

December 17, 2008 at 04:05 PM | Permalink


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"He says the police chaplain thought it was a good idea."

Don't you just love hypocritical religions that teach forgiveness but practice earthly eternal damnation?

Posted by: Mark | Dec 17, 2008 4:18:26 PM

I'm surprised that they didn't also put up a Menorah in which each candle lists one of the sex offenders since they have 8 of them.

This sounds like a way to bring the ACLU and the Christian Right together in the spirit of the holidays to unite in common opposition to what has to be one of the stupidiest and most tasteless ideas ever.

Are you sure that this didn't actually come from America's Finest News Source?

Posted by: Zack | Dec 17, 2008 5:21:17 PM

"Dare I ask what would (baby) Jesus do?"

In this day and age, we would need to protect baby Jesus from those sex offenders.

Posted by: | Dec 18, 2008 11:20:14 AM

"In this day and age, we would need to protect baby Jesus from those sex offenders. "

Lets expand on that a bit...

First off some therapist would have to come in and convince the virgin mary that god raped her and then the county prosecutor would announce that god was a sex offender since she didn't give the consent to having god's child.

Then god would be dragged to court and found guilty with the minimal of evidence and would have to register as a sex offender. Since god is 'everywhere' he would be in violation of every sex offender residency restriction on the planet and in violation of many registries for not having an exact address.

Then the politicians would come in and tell the virgin mary her child is doomed to be attacked by a sex offender and if she votes for them they would make sure that will never happen.

Then when baby jesus gets old enough to play on the internet another round of politicians will come along and tell the virgin mary that jesus is doomed to become a victim of an internet predator and that voting for them would allow that politician time enough to pass a predator email address addition to the sex offender registries in order to better protect Jesus.

By the time jesus becomes an adult and is able to save humanity, he'll be ignored by our news media and government officials because safe kids aren't the scare tactics politicians need for votes or new outlets can use to get ratings.

Posted by: Mark | Dec 18, 2008 6:35:52 PM

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