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It's safe to wear light-up sweatshirts in Boston again - or is it? Answered

Star Simpson, everybody's favorite LED-bedecked MIT student, got pre-trial probation today after Suffolk County prosecutors acknowledged they didn't have enough evidence to actually charge her with a felony.

(but read on ...)



Good Grief. I recall Leno saying the other month/year that it was a fake bomb. Shows you how facts lose importance in these matters...

IMHO, the whole Star thing is retarded. I realize where the police are coming from (better safe than sorry) but really. She wasn't trying to hoax anything, and it's a freaking LED light. Any moron can tell the difference between a light and a bomb.

And anybody with any sense and training would realise that bombs only have LEDs and count-down displays in movies.

Well, yeah. But did star have a count down display or a little beeping noise every second? Did something happen at the last second of the countdown? Did Star end up doing a belly flopper onto the ground at the last second when the bomb went off?

Pre-trial probation?

What is this nonsense??

"We haven't convicted you of anything, and it would be hard to do because we don't actually have enough evidence, but we're going to punish you anyway. Just in case."

Land of the free...?

. It's a bit of a misnomer. As Patrik and TUA point out, it's basically a plea bargain.

Yeah, that sounds about right. :-D

It's an eminently practical solution, really:

"Look, we could take this to court and waste a lot of time and money all around - why don't you just take the punishment, and in exchange this won't get on your record if you're a good girl for the next year..." :-/

It's essentially a plea bargain - she can choose to accept this deal and move on with her life, or choose to fight it in court, in which case the judge may very well "throw the book at her", even if she's guilty of nothing more than being a hare-brained MIT student who underestimated the paranoia and frayed nerves of her fellow Bostonians...

I had to look up "pre trial probation" sounds horribly unconstitutional, but you enter into it voluntarily, ignoring the threat of punishment both severe and arbitrary if you decline.

I thi k the difference, and I'm not a lawyer either, is nolo contendre you end up with a conviction record and with PTP you don't.


10 years ago

A bit off topic (of course)...

That is one poorly written "news" item. If that link represents the norm for blogging journalism today, then I'm (nearly) speechless.

Read the comments--a three paragraph story, consisting of only four sentences, and already it's been edited to correct for inaccuracies. Awkwardness beats inaccuracy, at least.

I'd like to see her decline this "pre-trial probation", insist on her day in court, and embarass the DA properly! Although I understand the cost of failure is probably to high!


10 years ago

Good for her! Although it sucks having to do that community service. I'm sure she could do a lot of good - and have a great time - by teaching those veterans to weld, or to program microcontrollers, but they'll probably just have her do grunt work in a VA hospital or somesuch. Sigh... I wonder what the legal standard is for "disorderly conduct". Depending on the legal definition, and how the jury interprets it, I could imagine that she might be found guilty even if she merely underestimated the degree of paranoia and stupidity at the airport. So she's probably better off gritting her teeth and doing the probation, rather than fighting the disorderly conduct charge...

I heard a short thing about this on the news today. They didn't say anything about instructables though....