Harassment Provision Overturned in Scrolls Case

, New York Law Journal


The Court of Appeals Tuesday ruled that New York's second-degree aggravated harassment statute is unconstitutional, relieving Raphael Golb of three convictions connected to an online campaign he waged to defend his father's unconventional theory of the origins of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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What's being said

  • Steven Avery


    Exactly, the relatively rinky dink misdemeanors were not closely examined, because they ran on the coattails of the unconstitutional felony law (combined with ultra-tricky prosecution argumentation).

    Legally, the critical point is that a grossly unconstitutional felony law was thrown out. Yet only the one justice understood the implications.

    Now the cabal that brought this case can still look at the leftover remains, (look, he‘s guilty) ignoring the fact that the case should never have been brought in criminal court, and should never have led to even one conviction.


  • E. Scherr

    I‘m puzzled. Criminal charges upheld here because a professor‘s reputation might be harmed? I thought reputations go to Civil not Criminal court- in fact I thought that‘s the main point of this case, as I take Lippman to mean: freedom to (anonymously) criticize online someone more powerful than me, without fear of ending up in prison for it.

  • Anonymous

    He‘d better think again if he believes the Appellate Division is going to return his law license. They‘ll ignore the result of this case and keep him out on the B-S convictions. That‘s what they always do.

  • Quixote

    See the interesting documentation of this case at:


    where the point is made that the aggravated harassment counts were used to "poison the trial atmosphere." Indeed, it‘s hard to see how the jury could have failed to be influenced by all this alleged criminality which ultimately turns out to have been founded on spurious, even blatantly unconstitutional, charges that festered for five years until being vacated. By this token, all prosecutors need to do is pile on as many felonies and "void-for-vagueness" misdemeanors as they can possibly concoct to secure a conviction; when half of the charges are thrown out, at least they‘re left with the other half.

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