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Prisoner Prosecuted for Masturbation:

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports:

Terry Lee Alexander ... was sitting on his bunk alone in his cell masturbating when a female deputy, monitoring his cell from a nearby control room, took offense.

Today he's scheduled to go to trial to fight a misdemeanor indecent exposure charge and the maximum one-year jail sentence that would go with a conviction. The incident occurred in November.

Although masturbation, a common jailhouse occurrence, violates most jail and prison rules, it doesn't often result in criminal charges. It is generally dealt with internally with a disciplinary write-up and temporary loss of phone or recreation privileges, Florida jail and prison officials said....

Deputy Coryus Veal ... has brought similar charges against seven other inmates in six months.

Seems to me that this sort of restriction is guaranteed to be flouted, and is needlessly cruel. If a prison wants to limit the more visible forms of masturbation, that's fine, so long as it informs inmates what they may and may not do. But a total ban on masturbation strikes me as a very bad idea.

The story suggests that the policy in practice turns on the visibility of the masturbation — "Generally, we prosecute such cases in which the inmate exposes himself in such plain view of the detention staff or other persons," said a prosecutor's office spokesman. But there's no evidence that inmates know what is and is not allowed. And while most of us would know enough, even without being told, not to visibly masturbate in front of strangers, I take it that many inmates aren't constantly conscious of being observed by video, or aware that it's OK to masturbate if they do so under a blanket but not otherwise.

Such prosecutions also lead to situations such as this (thanks to How Appealing for the pointer):

[D]efense attorney Kathleen McHugh ... faced 17 prospective jurors and asked point-blank who among them had never masturbated.

No hands went up.

Then, she went one-by-one, asking each prospective juror if he or she had ever masturbated.

All nine men said yes, two of the 10 women said no.

At least I appreciate the honesty of south Florida male jurors.

UPDATE: The prisoner has been convicted.

liberty (mail) (www):

At least I appreciate the honesty of south Florida male jurors.


What about the poor women who had to admit upon further harassment that they had never been intimate with themselves?
7.25.2007 4:47pm
liberty (mail) (www):
(And you are only assuming that the men were being honest)
7.25.2007 4:49pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
liberty: I can't say with equal confidence that the women were being honest, though I can't say they weren't.
7.25.2007 4:53pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
If this were a male guard, we'd be laughing ourselves silly at his prudish expense. If women want to work in male prisons (and certainly they have the right to), they need to be prepared to put up with this sort of thing (note I said THIS sort of thing, not name-calling, touching, or intentional exposure aimed at the guard herself).

Mind you, we'd need more details to evaluate the merits of this particular charge. Was he in under video observation, or could she see directly into his cell easily from where she was? Did she intentionally look more closely into his cell for some reason, or did he go out of his way to wag it at her?

Men generally behave much less aggressively after sexual release (even when self-induced), so you'd think prisons would encourage such behavior.
7.25.2007 4:57pm
IB Bill (mail) (www):
Yeah, I was in the "good luck finding a jury" camp. Exposing yourself is one thing. Expecting folks to "hold it" while in a cell for 25 years is another. I mean, there's only so much reading you can do, and it's not like they let you bring your toys with you.
7.25.2007 5:02pm
rlb:
Maybe I'm just vindictive, but I can see an alternate theory of the case: the product of masturbation is a handful of bodily fluids that can amount to a deadly weapon, especially in the prison setting.
7.25.2007 5:04pm
LotharoftheHillPeople:
I think the defendant should raise an Eighth Amendment defense.
7.25.2007 5:04pm
John Robinson (mail):
"(And you are only assuming that the men were being honest)"

Most likely they were lying to look cool in front of the court, right?
7.25.2007 5:05pm
holdfast (mail):
90% of men admit to masturbation, and 10% lie about it.

Thanks G*d they didn't enforce rules like this when I was in the military. We would have all gone [more] crazy.
7.25.2007 5:08pm
KJ (mail):
Maybe I'm just vindictive, but I can see an alternate theory of the case: the product of masturbation is a handful of bodily fluids that can amount to a deadly weapon, especially in the prison setting.


Under this theory, production of urine and feces could be punished.
7.25.2007 5:17pm
Sean O'Hara (mail) (www):
Can the jurors actually be compelled to answer the question?
7.25.2007 5:20pm
WHOI Jacket:
The mind boggles at the potential enforcement quandaries.
7.25.2007 5:21pm
OrinKerr:
Eugene, I think your instincts as to what is fair or unfair actually seem to track Florida law pretty well. In Hoffman v. Carson, 250 So.2d 891 (Fla. 1971), the Florida Supreme Court held that the indecent exposure statute only applies to lascivious displays of private parts, and in Schmitt v. State, 590 So.2d 404 (Fla. 1991), the Florida Supreme Court held that a display is lascivious only if it reflects an intent to be offensive. Putting these two cases together, my sense is that the defendant is not guilty of indecent exposure based on the facts in the story.
7.25.2007 5:27pm
bigchris1313 (mail):

(And you are only assuming that the men were being honest)


I would.
7.25.2007 5:28pm
liberty (mail) (www):

Most likely they were lying to look cool in front of the court, right?


I simply don't think it makes much sense to assume that either the men or the women were more likely to have been honest.

For example, what if one of the men had a chronic condition since childhood that could not be treated with Viagra, and he was unable to please himself - wouldn't he be likely to be embarrassed by it and lie? Or perhaps one of the men was just a somewhat asexual kind of excessively reserved personality, or was raised in a very formal manner, and had problems opening up and letting go, even when alone-- he may also not want to admit it.

As much as people think that women are embarrassed to admit that they such things, I think men are probably horrified by the idea of admitting publicly that they don't.

It is not dis-similar to sex with others: men are supposed to do it, women aren't.
7.25.2007 5:29pm
NYU 3L:

I think the defendant should raise an Eighth Amendment defense.


And Ninth Amendment. How does this law survive after Lawrence? Doesn't seem like a compelling state interest to me.
7.25.2007 5:32pm
lee (mail):
The fact that the deputy has filed similar charges seven times in six months is enough to know the problem is the deputy.
7.25.2007 5:35pm
ak47pundit (www):
One can understand the deputy's problem. After all, Deputy Veal doesn't want the prisoners to beat their meat.
7.25.2007 5:39pm
rlb:
"How does this law survive after Lawrence? Doesn't seem like a compelling state interest to me."

That's a pretty easy one-- Lawrence, as ridiculous as it was, concerned private conduct in a person's home. Prisoners have by their actions demonstrated that they can't be trusted to either live in their own homes or with privacy in their cells. They have neither, and so Lawrence doesn't apply.

"Under this theory, production of urine and feces could be punished."

There are a lot of easy distinctions, but the most obvious one is that urination and defecation by prisoners is simply unavoidable. Masturbation is not.
7.25.2007 5:42pm
liberty (mail) (www):

There are a lot of easy distinctions, but the most obvious one is that urination and defecation by prisoners is simply unavoidable. Masturbation is not.


a) There is probably a valid debate on this issue
b) Even if it were technically avoidable, it might not be in the interests of the state to force prisoners to restrain themselves in this way.
7.25.2007 5:46pm
Tom H (mail) (www):
Has anyone called Joycelyn Elders for the defense? This could be good.
7.25.2007 5:50pm
BABH:
liberty:
Did you miss the fact that we *know* that at least two of the women were dishonest, even if we don't know which time they lied?
7.25.2007 5:55pm
Rich B. (mail):

During jury selection Wednesday in the case of inmate Terry Lee Alexander, all seven jurors admitted to attorneys that they have masturbated.


Assumedly, the Defense struck the two non-onanistic (or lying) women. One wonders whether such a decision violates equal protection, as it would correlate fairly closely to only eliminating women.
7.25.2007 6:00pm
Stash:
I agree with Tom H. on calling Joycelyn Elders. And, seriously, given the acute problem of prison rape, shouldn't authorities be happy when some form of harmless release is used?
7.25.2007 6:01pm
liberty (mail) (www):
BABH,
Yeah, I guess I missed that. What, you saw them masturbating?

Or, do you just mean that when asked in front of a courtroom full of strangers to single themselves out as people incapable or unwilling to be intimate with themselves, that they as jurors of the court did not feel right away that they wanted to, or that they would be in contempt of court to not, open up their own sex lives for the public and admit to being different from everyone else in this way?

Because, if you simply mean the latter, then I would not classify that as "lying."
7.25.2007 6:02pm
whit:
i am waiting to hear a similar case involving a male corrections officer and a female inmate...

waiting...


waiting...
7.25.2007 6:03pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
liberty: The last line of my post was a little joke.
7.25.2007 6:11pm
John Armstrong (mail) (www):
... 17 prospective jurors...

... nine men... 10 women...


Wait, last I checked (some time during my Ph.D. studies in math at Yale) 9 plus 10 is 19, which is more than 17.
7.25.2007 6:15pm
BABH:
Okay, if they weren't lying, they were at least being dishonest.
Recap: EV admires the men's honesty, debate ensues as to the likelihoods of each group's honesty or dishonesty.
I claim that two women are known to be dishonest, and therefore that their dishonesty (a certainty) is more likely than the men's.
You do not grant that they should have raised their hands the first time. Fine. I still think it's likely that the men were, on the whole, more honest. Dan Savage would be the one to go to for the best figures, but I believe that the American male masturbation rate is closer to 100% than the female rate is to 33%
7.25.2007 6:23pm
Randy R. (mail):
Rib: "There are a lot of easy distinctions, but the most obvious one is that urination and defecation by prisoners is simply unavoidable. Masturbation is not."

Speak for yourself!

Semen isn't by itself a deadly weapon. How could it be? The only possible case would be if it contained the HIV virus. In which case, even blood or saliva is potentially a deadly weapon.

But it isn't, as the HIV virus dies quite soon after it leaves a body. It simply can't survive outside of a warm wet environment for more than a few minutes at best.
7.25.2007 6:36pm
Tennessean (mail):
I'd want some more details before evaluating this case. It sure seems like the only basis for his prosecution was run of the mill masturbation, but prisons are not run of the mill sorts of places.

If the prisoner was masturbating as a show of disrespect to the deputy or a repudiation of the prison's ability to control him (which is not completely implausible), then punishment of some form seems more appropriate. The masturbation-as-defiance angle is more plausible if this guard has garnered a reputation for being strict about this issue, and so the prison might consider prisoners openly masturbating in front of her (including in front of a camera they think she is or may be watching) to be more of an offensive that masturbating otherwise would be.

Also, if this deputy has only brought eight charges in half a year, 1 - she is not prosecuting everyone she catches, 2 - she is not actively trying to catch the inmates, and/or 3 - other inmates know how to masturbate discreetly (potentially such that this inmate knows but refuses to do so).

Prison can be an intense, intense environment, and prisoners' modes of expression are rather limited (especially modes of expressing criticism or disdain regarding the prison and its staff). Creativity in that regard, therefore, is more the norm than the exception.

PS - To clarify any doubts, my thoughts are based on the vicarious experience of prison through appellate records.
7.25.2007 6:53pm
Hattio (mail):
I guess I'll have to be the first to point out the humor in the first poster to imply that masturbation is unavoidable being named "Randy." Then, I'll have to second him.

As an aside, there was a Park &Rec guy here who got quoted in the newspaper every once in a while. His name....Randy Virgin. I've always wondered if his parents were clueless or clever...
7.25.2007 7:11pm
DrGrishka (mail):
If the crime is "indecent exposure," shouldn't prisoners who urinate and defecate in their cells (into the toilet bowl) be prosecuted as well if the guard can see it? What about prisoners who wish to change underwear and therefore must be naked for a moment? Wouldn't that qualify as indecent exposure under these bizarre rules?
7.25.2007 7:24pm
Gaius Marius:
They may as well ban prisoners from breathing.
7.25.2007 7:34pm
Casual Peruser:
"And Ninth Amendment. How does this law survive after Lawrence? Doesn't seem like a compelling state interest to me."

Easy. We defer to the prison's judgnent that this is a compelling state interest. See Grutter.
7.25.2007 7:43pm
rlb:
Silliness aside, it's not debatable.

As to the risk of infection, I'm no medical expert, but my understanding is that bodily fluids can transmit a multitude of viruses and bacterial infections for hours after release, as long as the fluids remain moist. Relatively small changes in temperature would probably have no effect (think of the example of AIDS and hypodermic needles).
7.25.2007 7:46pm
jewbulawguy:
rlb, your attempts to distinguish Lawrence v. Texas are unpersuasive. Although I tended to disagree with Justice Scalia's dissent in that case - listing a faux parade of horribles that could be challenged in the wake of the majority's holding - his reference to prohibitions on masturbation seem valid to me. If consensual intimate contact with another cannot be criminalized, why should criminalizing sexual contact with oneself withstand constitutional scrutiny? You note that masturbation is not "unavoidable" and therefore laws prohibiting its practice are constitutional. I question this assumption, particularly in light of the near universality of the behavior trait, despite the shameful associations projected upon it by various cultural and religious belief systems. Moreover, you posit that the fact that prisoners "can't be trusted to either live in their own homes or with privacy in their cells" justifies such a restriction. True, Lawrence suggested there may be a public/private conduct distinction. However, prisoners are obviously unable to retreat to the privacy of their homes to engage in acts of sexual satisfaction. Moreover, the Supreme Court has held that not all privacy rights are abandoned at the jailhouse door. For instance, it is unconstitutional to forbid prisoners from marrying. Whether or not the right enunciated in Lawrence is of equivalent importance to the right to marry is yet to be seen, though early indications suggest that courts are unwilling to recognize a fundamental right to intimate association. Nonetheless, it is at the very least a debatable question. Accepting Scalia's argument that challenges to his ipse dixit examples are absurd merely falls for the dissent's rhetorical trap. The subject should be approached with careful consideration
7.25.2007 7:53pm
Smokey:
I wonder how many other female deputies in this male prison have filed similar complaints, and if so the number each has filed, and if male deputies are in charge of female prisons in Florida?
7.25.2007 8:14pm
rlb:
jewbulawguy, your reading of Lawrence is faulty-- it didn't "suggest" a public/private distinction; it made one: "[The present case] does not involve public conduct . . . ." Kennedy uses the word "private" literally dozens of times throughout the opinion.

Cells in a prison are deliberately designed to not afford privacy to the inmate. This cell apparently had a camera in it.

As to whether some kind of exception has to be made for prisoners to create a legal fiction of privacy, well, I don't see that happening. It would certainly be a big leap from the few "privacy" rights of prisoners that are recognized and protected at this time. After all, a prisoner may have the right to get married, but he doesn't have to be afforded the privilege to consummate it.

Keep in mind that these inmates are in prison for a reason and there are good reasons to keep them from masturbating while in custody. But your necessity argument sounds even more absurd when applied to less blameworthy actors: we don't recognize some exception to laws prohibiting public sexuality for others who may not be at fault like the homeless, or teenagers in a car, whose parents won't give them a place to fool around at home... why extend it to incarcerated criminals except where absolutely necessary?
7.25.2007 8:38pm
DrGrishka (mail):
RLB,

The whole notion of right to privacy sprang from "penumbras and emanations" formed in part by the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments. If there is absolutely no privacy of any kind in prison, then isn't the next logical conclusion that the prison officials may listen in on atty-client conversations and read atty-client correspondance? And if that is NOT the case, then we must admit that there are some privacy rights that remain even in prison. And if that is so, it seems to me that prison officials would have to come up with a better excuse to "no masturbation" policy then simply "the prisoners lost their privacy."
7.25.2007 8:46pm
KJ (mail):
there are good reasons to keep them from masturbating while in custody



Please describe the "good reasons" why masturbating privately in a cell should be criminalized.
7.25.2007 8:48pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
The jury of masturbators convicted the man today.
7.25.2007 8:56pm
rlb:
There are any number of justifications for forbidding prisoners from masturbating. First, it's something that guards and other inmates don't want to see. Second, masturbation is pleasurable and prisoners are routinely denied pleasures either as punishment or because it may deter others from committing crimes. Third, semen is a bodily fluid that can transmit any number of diseases. Semen in a prison is both unsanitary and dangerous.

Ever see Silence of the Lambs?
7.25.2007 8:57pm
charles vine:
It is my opinion, in the words of Henry Kissinger (albeit in another context) that Prison Guard Veal is just "jacking everyone around."

May I also say, with all due respect, and in view of his mug shot on The Smoking Gun, that one would indeed be foolish to invite the prisoner to a cocaine-sniffing party.
7.25.2007 9:51pm
Steve:
I'm stunned that this wasn't handled within the context of the prison disciplinary system. You can physically assault another inmate and it may not be referred for criminal prosecution. Prosecuting for masturbation, when prison officials have innumerable ways to discipline a prisoner if they so choose, is an absurd waste of resources.
7.25.2007 9:54pm
djh5:
Great lawyering there, defense counsel McHugh. I guess I missed that day in trial technique class where they said ask the prospective jurors embarassing personal questions.
7.25.2007 10:06pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
djh5... I don't think the question is out of line at all. For one thing, uncomfortable fact patterns in cases often lead to uncomfortable questions being asked in voir dire. Beyond that, the fact that the guy masturbated was not debatable, so the only shot the defense had stemmed from sympathy and a hope that the jury would find that masturbation is a basic human need that shouldn't be denied even to prisoners.
7.25.2007 10:39pm
djh5:
PatHMV -- do you really think you would have to ask to find out this information? What do you think the range of possible responses are for a mixed sex group of 20 random people?

Putting people on the spot like that to find out something you already know is stupid and can (and probably did) destroy any rapport or sympathy the defense could expect.
7.25.2007 10:54pm
amuzed12:
What an utter waste of taxpayer money. Doesn't anyone else think that our government has become oppressive when it seeks to prosecute this type of nonsense? Why must everything be a criminal offense?

And if a female guard can't handle life in the "big house" then too bad. Either women can handle it or they can't. Stop asking the world to change so that we can have "gender equality".
7.25.2007 10:56pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
I might not have asked the individual questions, but the group question, absolutely. Sometimes you've got to make the jury think about it directly. I expect counsel wanted to make them feel uncomfortable, precisely to make them feel sympathetic with the defendant, who hardly has the option to get more privacy for his personal activity. He's not only being questioned about it, he's being CHARGED for it. "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you know how uncomfortable you felt when I asked you a question about masturbation. Imagine how the defendant feels to be charged for doing it in the relative privacy of his own cell."
7.25.2007 11:03pm
Smokey:
Ever see Silence of the Lambs?
Yes. And please note that agent Starling didn't go running to file a complaint like the obviously mentally screwed up agent Veal does, when all she really has to do is look at something else.
7.25.2007 11:09pm
David Chesler (mail) (www):
If the crime is "indecent exposure," shouldn't prisoners who urinate and defecate in their cells (into the toilet bowl) be prosecuted as well if the guard can see it?

In Massachusetts those who void where prohibited may be charged with "open and gross lewdness" (aka indecent exposure.) That same charge has been leveled against men having sex in the men's room. I still haven't figured this out: if urinating is gross lewdness, and being in the men's room isn't enough to make something not open, why isn't urinating in the bathroom open and gross lewdness?
7.25.2007 11:36pm
great unknown (mail):
Note that the sentence was 60 days to run concurrently with the miscreant's present ten-year sentence.
A waste of money indeed.
The only practical consequence might be in affecting a parole decision.
7.25.2007 11:37pm
Toby:
To me the only questions that are relevant are:

1) Was he waving it at the camera? Points to Veal for pointing out disruptive activity tending to reduce the authority of the guards

2) Was he not? Re-assing Veal to work for which she is suited.
7.26.2007 12:05am
JG:
Eugene: I had the same question one of the other commentators did: Can a prospective juror actually be forced to answer a question like this? What if the question is, "Have you committed adultery" (assuming adultery's not a crime in the jurisdiction, to eliminate the self-incrimination issue)? I presume in practice that if a juror refused to answer a question regarding his personal masturbation habits or the like, the judge would simply dismiss the juror (or perhaps the juror could force the same outcome by indicating that the question had irreparably biased him against the attorney asking the question). But if none of those things happened, could the judge order the juror to answer the question, on pain of contempt if he doesn't?
7.26.2007 12:30am
Randy R. (mail):
rlb: "First, it's something that guards and other inmates don't want to see. Second, masturbation is pleasurable and prisoners are routinely denied pleasures either as punishment or because it may deter others from committing crimes. Third, semen is a bodily fluid that can transmit any number of diseases. Semen in a prison is both unsanitary and dangerous."

Did you hold the position of Miss Manners in high school?
I mean, this sounds like a transcript for a 1950s movie about what happens when you are convicted of smoking a cigarette on campus. Reread it again, and you'll see what I mean.
7.26.2007 12:45am
jvon (mail) (www):
I seem to recall reading somewhere that human males need -- NEED -- to ejaculate once every two weeks to maintain normal sexual function. Most, of course, manage it more frequently than that.

Is the jail willing to accept liability for health problems that will arise if they somehow manage to stop prisoners from masturbating? (Which seems damned unlikely to me.)
7.26.2007 12:57am
jvon (mail) (www):
Er, "arise" was not meant to be a pun.

As for an earlier poster who asked about a case involving a female inmate and a male guard, obviously not, as the male guard would be masturbating also. (Presumably behind a locked door.)
7.26.2007 1:03am
Michael Bolton (www):
I'm a free man and I haven't had a conjugal visit in six months.
7.26.2007 1:08am
PatHMV (mail) (www):
But Michael, I have to ask: Are you master of your domain?
7.26.2007 1:21am
nodak boy (mail):
So, Mr. Eugene,you are calling for a hands-off policy on masturbating while incarcerated.
Despite the all-too expected raucous laughs such a position might elicit, you must realize the difficult practical problems this will, well, raise for those (mostly, anyway) behind bars.
Do you volunteer to clear all cells then, of, say, the weekly Bundt cake package from mama? Or the growing cache of pilfered peanut butter cups from the cafeteria?
Now when inmates are caught digging a hole behind the life-sized poster of Raquel Welch (look her up)we'll know it isn't a sign of an escape attempt, eh?
This hands-off approach, Volokh, is,is it not, taking the modern move away from manual labor in prisons a foot too far.
7.26.2007 1:26am
Nikki:
Either women can handle it or they can't. Stop asking the world to change so that we can have "gender equality".

amuzed: I'm going to say that to the next guy I encounter who complains about gender inequity in custody and support cases.

Also: I can't used the cite tag on the VC? Bah.
7.26.2007 1:33am
StephenOccasionally (mail):
RLB said:

"..the product of masturbation is a handful of bodily fluids..."


I so wish I was a teenager again.
7.26.2007 2:48am
Tom in GA:
As of roughly 2 AM EDT, the portion where the individual jurors are questioned about whether they masturbated has been exorcised from the article.

I suspect that the jurors might have complained, as relatives and friends might have been quite interested to see the copious number of self-copulators.
7.26.2007 2:55am
D K Warren (mail):
Some pertinent facts are found in this story.

Notably, the deputy was in what appears to be a panopticon configuration. The inmate sat at the foot of his bunk alone in his cell. The deputy could see him from a glassed-in, centrally located control room with a direct view of inmates' cells. "He was staring directly at me," she said. "I observed him long enough to recognize what he was doing and I looked away."

A jail cell is not a private place. But even if it arguably could be, that's an issue for the jury to decide.

State v. Kees, 919 So.2d 504 (Fla. 5th DCA 2005) is instructive and explains why he would indeed, under FL law, be guilty of the crime charged.

The court also explains why Schmitt isn't applicable.

But the most on-point Florida appellate case would be State v. Cromartie, 2006 WL 2771869 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006) (holding that defendant's alleged exposure while masturbating in a jail cell was "in public" within meaning of exposure statute).
7.26.2007 5:20am
M. Simon (mail) (www):
D K Warren,

Masturbation often works better with inspiration.
7.26.2007 6:06am
PatHMV (mail) (www):
D K Warren... Do those cases explain why he could be guilty of indecent exposure for masturbating in his cell but could not be found guilty of public urination for peeing in the toilet in his cell?

Thanks for the link to a much better article, which begins:

The jailhouse deputy didn't bring the indecent exposure charge against the inmate until the third time he masturbated in front of her.

That's what Deputy Coryus Veal told Broward County jurors Wednesday as they heard the state build its case against Terry Lee Alexander, 20.

Every time he did it, he stared directly at her, said Veal, 45, a nearly nine-year veteran with the Broward Sheriff's Office and mother of a 19-month-old.

It was the deliberateness of the act that offended her, she said.

Had he covered himself with a blanket, Veal said, "we wouldn't be here today."


I still don't see why this wasn't dealt with by prison discipline procedures, unless the authorities wanted some kind of sex offender offense tagged on him.
7.26.2007 10:02am
edhesq (mail):
Sounds like a Seinfeld episode. The Contest: who on the jury can go without the longest?


"The Clerk will call a recess."

I'M OUT !!!
7.26.2007 10:07am
spiffy (mail):
Elsewhere-

This trial was performance art -- a sublime act of the purest sexual sadism.
7.26.2007 1:02pm
Ken O:
another chapter in the feminist war on men .

men admit to masturbating .. just don't expect an honest answer on how often .
7.26.2007 1:42pm
neurodoc:
Seems to me that this sort of restriction is guaranteed to be flouted...

While "flouted" is used correctly in that sentence, wasn't Deputy Veal saying in effect that it appeared to her that Mr. Alexander "flaunted" it?
7.27.2007 3:27am
D K Warren (mail):

D K Warren... Do those cases [Kees, 919 So.2d 504 and Cromartie, 2006 WL 2771869] explain why he could be guilty of indecent exposure for masturbating in his cell but could not be found guilty of public urination for peeing in the toilet in his cell?

Interesting question . . .

There is no state law in Florida which expressly or directly addresses the act of urinating in public, and these cases explain why public urination doesn't violate indecent exposure laws: Payne v. State, 463 So.2d 271 (Fla. 2d DCA 1984) (act of urinating on a public parking lot did not as a matter of law constitute a violation of indecent exposure statute); Durant v. State, 647 So.2d 163 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994) (act of urinating in public does not by itself constitute lewd or lascivious act).

As for local laws prohibiting urinating in public, Section 16-75(a)(5) of the Code of Ordinances for the City of Ft. Lauderdale (where the Broward County Jail is located) states that it's a crime only if a person urinates or defecates in some place other than a toilet or washroom.
7.27.2007 5:41am
Peter Young:
Keep in mind that these inmates are in prison for a reason and there are good reasons to keep them from masturbating while in custody.

One of the more hilarious statements seen on the VC.
7.27.2007 10:46pm