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Jeremy Jaynes Gets One More Chance

John Levine

In 2004 Jaynes became the country's first convicted spam felon under the Virginia anti-spam law. He's been appealing his conviction ever since, most recently losing an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court by a 4-3 decision in February. As I discussed in more detail at the time the key questions were a) whether the Virginia law had First Amendment problems and b) whether Jaynes had standing to challenge it. The court answered No to b), thereby avoiding the need to answer a), the dissent answered Yes to both.

I was surprised to see that last week, the Court agreed to a do-over [PDF] on the First Amendment questions. (I didn't even know courts could do that.) The schedule is fairly brisk, with all briefs due by the 22nd.

As Venkat Balasubramani notes, several recent decisions by the US Supreme Court appear relevant to the standing question, but not necessarily in ways favorable to Jaynes.

Should the court throw out the law, it wouldn't be because it was applied improperly to him, but because it might be applied improperly to someone else. I certainly hope that the court affirms the decision, since one point on which everyone seems to agree is that Jaynes is extremely guilty.

By John Levine, Author, Consultant & Speaker. More blog posts from John Levine can also be read here.

Related topics: Email, Spam

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FREE JEREMY! Stephen Frazier  –  Jul 23, 2008 6:28 AM PDT

I personally detest spam. I don't think, however, that we should punish those who do use it, mainly because they, like the devil, have no power except that which is given by the "victim"

If everybody simply ignored spam, it would go away. Why punish Jeremy or anyone else for taking advantage of some moron's innate stupidity?

If you are going to punish him, you should also force the hosting servers to spend hundreds of millions to block or track the spammers.

If this guy made almost a million bucks per month, then there must be a whole PLANET full of suckers out there who are just begging to be fleeced.

I get hundreds of spam messages every day. I know from the title that I need not respond to them.

Besides, it takes a million suckers to create one millionaire.
The gotta come from somewhere

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