Did You Know That This Can Happen in America?
Man jailed for breaking a nonexistent law is cleared
by Eric Resnick
Warren, Ohio--A gay man who spent four months in jail for breaking a nonexistent anti-gay sex law has had his name cleared by an appeals court.
Keith Phillips’ conviction of “importuning” was overturned by the Eleventh District Court of Appeals in a unanimous decision December 12.
“In a criminal case, due process requires that the conduct underlying a finding of guilt actually be a crime,” Judge Cynthia W. Rice wrote for the court’s three-page opinion. “Here, it was not.”
Judges William O’Neill and Diane Grendell agreed, reversing the 2003 Warren Municipal Court finding that sent Phillips, then 19, to jail.
The city of Warren had prosecuted Phillips for importuning--asking someone of the same sex for sex, if the person asked was offended--seven months after it was declared unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court...
Cross-Posted at The Moderate Voice.