Most legal, philosophical, and psychiatric minds would say no; but in the wake of hacking scandals that have exposed everything from politicians’ sexual indiscretions to flesh-eating fantasies, public perception nips at the contrary.For proof of this, we needn’t look any further than the case of former NYPD officer Gilberto Valle, dubbed the ‘Cannibal Cop’ by New York City’s ever-creative bold-face journalists.
Guess he won't be going for the over-the-thigh look that's so in vogue for boots this fall.
After public outrage demanded the criminal prosecution of an imagination that was wholly bizarre but hardly unlawful, he was convicted in 2013 of conspiracy to kidnap and for illegally accessing NYPD databases to engage in graphic online communications about kidnapping, killing, and eating women, crimes that he had never acted upon.
In December 2015, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that Valle’s actions weren’t criminal, overturning his conviction, and declaring, “We are loath to give the government power to punish us for our thoughts and not our actions.
George Orwell introduced the idea to us through his Thought Police in and its Precrime Division, which penalized crimes that hadn’t yet happened.
Forty-five states in the US have hate crime laws that heavily penalize bias-motivated violence over thoughtless brutality.