[free-sklyarov] ok, i was willing to buy the flight risk line

Alex Fabrikant alexf at hkn.eecs.berkeley.edu
Fri Aug 24 00:09:47 PDT 2001

[Disclaimer: IANAL]

Silly puns re "flight risk" notwithstanding, there're several differences
that may have affected the difference in the proceeding durations.

First of all, as you correctly mention, this guy will probably be charged
with no more than a misdemeanor, while Dmitry may be charged with a
felony and faces much more serious penalties. Yes, we all know that what
Dmitry did SHOULD have been perfectly legal (and WAS, in Russia), and that
the law is unjust, but, to the justice system, an existing law can be
ruled unjust only by a court, and bail hearings are rarely, TBMK, the
place to declare laws unconstitutional.

Second, Dmitry had to be extradited across state lines, since his case was
being handled by the US Atty's office of Northern District of CA rather
than the Nevada office; the extradition is what took the most time. His
final bail hearing occured only a weekend after his arrival to CA -- a
single business day's delay.

And keep in mind that he was release on bail after all.

On Thu, 23 Aug 2001, Paul Callahan wrote:
> ...but, and I realize this is a little off topic, we have some guy
> from France making an ass of himself around the Statue of Liberty
> and endangering the lives of people who have to come and 
> rescue him:
> http://www.cnn.com/2001/US/08/23/statue.parasail/index.html
> This is a unambiguous offense committed on US soil.  This knucklehead
> is
> immediately out on bail (passport confiscated--making it harder to
> leave the country) unlike Sklyarov who was in Federal custody
> for weeks.  Nobody called the stuntman a "flight risk" despite
> the fact that his home is in France.  
> Can someone please explain why Sklyarov was more of a flight risk 
> than this person?
> OK, is itbecause it's a misdemeanor offense to selfishly
> misdirect valuable safety resources (not to mention potentially
> damaging a national monument) whereas "circumventing" a poorly
> designed encryption system by writing a program on a computer
> in Russia is a "felony" under DMCA? That's about all I can figure.  
> Or maybe French are treated better than Russians in this country?
> Seriously, I'd be interested in a legal analysis from 
> someone who can speak authoritatively.  Clearly, it is *not* the 
> case that foreign nationals are routinely denied bail in the US as
> "flight risks."  I was more or less bamboozled into thinking this 
> *was* the case after hearing the official explanations for 
> Sklyarov's initial bail status.
> Let me repeat: Clearly, it is *not* the case that foreign nationals 
> are routinely denied bail in the US as flight risks.  Dmitry was 
> treated badly.  Anyone want to convince me otherwise?
> --Paul
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