Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Have You Committed an "Improper Photography" Offense?

The Texas Penal Code section 21.15 states, in part:

(b) A person commits an offense if the person:
(1) photographs or by videotape or other electronic means records, broadcasts, or transmits a visual image of another at a location that is not a bathroom or private dressing room:
(A) without the other person's consent; and

(B) with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person;

What exactly does that mean? That is apparently the question that was on the minds of Texas Appeals Court judges who have declared the law unconstitutionally vague.

If the state is going to criminalize activity, substantive due process requires that there be sufficient description of the conduct being criminalized so that people don't inadvertently engage in criminal conduct.  This statute clearly falls short. 

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