- Missing Jackson woman found dead in Bollinger County pond (06/23/16)2
- Village of Zalma must disincorporate, law says (06/23/16)5
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)8
- Police: Men chase woman, fire shots, apologize for mistaken ID when mom arrives (06/17/16)14
- I want an angry president (06/21/16)15
- Man allegedly kicks woman, punches man after denied a sexual favor (06/23/16)
- Advance graduate will become superintendent of its schools (06/21/16)1
- Odd court hearing ends with judge declaring probable cause in abuse case (06/22/16)4
- Business notebook: Plastics firm moves to area to help laid-off workers (06/20/16)1
- Freshman from Southeast Missouri ropes in state title (06/16/16)
Anti-swearing law unconstitutional, appeals court decides
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- A state appeals court Monday struck down Michigan's 105-year-old law against using vulgar language in front of women and children, throwing out the conviction of a canoeist who let loose a stream of curses after falling into the water.
The three-judge panel unanimously overturned the 1999 conviction of Timothy Joseph Boomer. A jury had found him guilty of violating the law by swearing repeatedly after tumbling into the Rifle River.
He was fined $75 and ordered to work four days in a child-care program, but the sentence was put on hold while the case was under appeal.
Enacted in 1897 and slightly reworded in 1931, the law says that anyone using "indecent, immoral, obscene, vulgar or insulting language in the presence or hearing of any woman or child shall be guilty of a misdemeanor."
The appeals court declared the law unconstitutional, saying it would be "difficult to conceive of a statute that would be more vague."
"Allowing a prosecution where one utters 'insulting' language could possibly subject a vast percentage of the populace to a misdemeanor conviction," the court said.