Fake Bomb Defendant Cites 1st Amendment
BOSTON, Fri Feb 01, 12:51 PM
Star Simpson, left seated,19, of Lahaina, Hawaii, watches as her attorney, Thomas Dwyer, delivers his argument at East Boston District Court, Friday, Feb. 1, 2008. Simpson was arrested by state troopers after she set off an airport bomb scare wearing a computer circuit board and wiring on her sweatshirt when she went to the airport to pick up her boyfriend last September. Simpson's attorney asked a judge to throw out the charges, saying the device was a legitimate form of free speech. (AP Photo/Bizuayehu Tesfaye)

 
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A computer science student who unwittingly created an airport bomb scare by wearing a blinking circuit board attached to her shirt had a First Amendment right to express herself in that manner, her lawyer argued Friday.

Attorney Thomas Dwyer Jr. asked a judge to throw out the charge against Star Simpson, 19, who is accused of possessing a hoax device. East Boston District Court Judge Paul Mahoney took the motion to dismiss under advisement and said he would issue a ruling March 21.

Simpson, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology student from Lahaina, Hawaii, had gone to Logan International Airport last September to pick up her boyfriend.

She was held at gunpoint and arrested by state troopers after an alarm was raised over the battery-powered device on her shirt, which had flashing lights and the words "Socket to me" and "Course VI" (a major at MIT) written on the back.

Dwyer said his client, who is studying electrical engineering and computer science, didn't think her shirt would scare anyone. He said she had worn it on campus without alarming anyone.

"People make these objects part of their identity. It's a part of their personal expression," he said. "They are legitimate forms of First Amendment expression."

Dwyer also argued that state law does not clearly define what a hoax device is. The charge carries a penalty of up to 2 1/2 years and a $5,000 fine.


Assistant District Attorney Stephen Kerr said that police officers who arrested Simpson determined that a reasonable person would think Simpson was wearing an infernal device, which includes bombs and other explosives.

The terminal was not evacuated and flights were not affected. But authorities expressed amazement that someone would wear the device to the airport where two of the jets hijacked in the Sept. 11 attacks took off.

Her lawyer said she disconnected the battery to the flashing lights after somebody at the airport told her she shouldn't be wearing something like that.

Simpson, dressed in a long skirt and short-sleeved shirt, did not say anything during the court hearing.

Boston had been the focus of another bizarre security scare earlier last year when dozens of battery-powered devices were discovered around the city. They turned out to be a promotion for the Cartoon Network. Prosecutors dropped charges against two men after they apologized and performed community service.

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Comments:

lillpop
Feb. 1, 2008 at 1:28 PM   The POLIITICAL CORRECTEDNESS HAS REALLY GOTTEN OUT OF HAND!!!!!

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lillpop
Feb. 1, 2008 at 1:30 PM

"People make these objects part of their identity. It's a part of their personal expression," he said. "They are legitimate forms of First Amendment expression."

     Its freedom of EXPRESSION to wear a FAKE BOMB!!!!!

 She didn't KNOW it would "scare people?"
  

 I say lock her ass up for ten years or so and let her " figure out " WHY it may frighten someone!

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Della529
Feb. 1, 2008 at 1:34 PM

This matter doesn't really have anything to do with PC.  Shouldn't we (government and citizens) all re-learn common sense? 

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lillpop
Feb. 1, 2008 at 1:39 PM

  That too! But I do feel it's political, I am SURE this woman is a LIBERAL, and I am SURE the ACLU had something to do with this !

 Thanks for your comment Della

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lillpop
Feb. 1, 2008 at 1:41 PM

  If you SAY the word BOMB in an airport it's a FELONY!

 Why when you wear a fake one , it's not!

  The ACLU thats why, they only have their OWN agendas in mind .

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Della529
Feb. 1, 2008 at 1:43 PM

You are welcome.  What seems POLITICAL about this story or LIBERAL about her?  It sounds like she's just a silly little girl with nothing on her mind but her own silly little world.  I honestly think the ACLU is moronic in their veiwed "freedoms".

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lillpop
Feb. 1, 2008 at 1:48 PM

  well, if you want me to be honest

 MOST liberals are against the war, so thats why I think she is one, it's kind of rare to see a Republican being  so out there in their protests , so thats why I ASSUME that she a LIB .

 Could be wrong , but prob not .

 

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Della529
Feb. 1, 2008 at 2:07 PM

I agree - liberals are against the war.  If they had their druthers, we would just give our country away and that's foolish to me.

After I reread the story, I think I understand where you are coming from.  The portion that states, "Dwyer said his client, who is studying electrical engineering and computer science, didn't think her shirt would scare anyone. He said she had worn it on campus without alarming anyone.  "People make these objects part of their identity. It's a part of their personal expression," he said. "They are legitimate forms of First Amendment expression."  Dwyer also argued that state law does not clearly define what a hoax device is. The charge carries a penalty of up to 2 1/2 years and a $5,000 fine." really riles me. 

I'm now curious about her motive and would question MIT's reaction to her common sense quotent compared to her IQ score.  MIT has long been known to provide the "brain power" but what have they done to teach common sense to their students?

I just wonder, what happened to common sense?  How do you teach common sense?

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lillpop
Feb. 1, 2008 at 2:09 PM

  exactly!! I couldn't articulate it it as well as you did,

 I like what Michael Savage says

 Liberalism is a mental disorder! LOL

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LYNDELOU
Feb. 1, 2008 at 2:13 PM

Hey Lill. I have issue's with this as well , but again I am keeping my mouth shut for certain reasons and hoping you can read BETWEEN the lines here...

You know I agree with you !!

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