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Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network.
To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 206-1942.

Posted On: May 3, 2013

METHUEN TEEN HELD WITHOUT BAIL OVER ALLEGED BOMB THREAT

Today, I bring you a case that I have already told you I feel is “disgustingly unreasonable”. It is a case that takes what I have warned you might happen and shown you that it is already happening. It involves the loss of one of the most basic of Constitutional rights that you rely on every day.

…At your own risk apparently.

Cameron D’Ambrosio is an 18-year-old high school student (hereinafter, the “Song Writer”). Song Writer likes rap music. In fact, he writes and performs his own songs. His latest music video, however, has not only landed him in criminal court, but due to what I can only imagine to be inept lawyering, overzealous (to be generous) prosecuting and a judge who I must assume has let his fear of the press lead him to a shamefully ugly stain on his judicial record has locked him away for awhile.

Like so many rap songs, his songs are said to contain profanity. They also contain images of violence. It is the genre which has not yet been declared illegal. Yet.

Claiming that his recent video contained a “bomb threat”, law enforcement decided, by way of a blatant and reprehensible taking advantage of the recent Boston Marathon Bombing, to perform alittle censoring of their own. They arrested Song Writer and brought him to court.

Once in court, Song Writer pleaded not guilty. Apparently, his defense attorney got that move right. The prosecutor then came up with the brilliant idea of requesting a Dangerousness Hearing in over a week and, in the meantime, holding Song Writer in custody without any right to bail.

According to accounts, the prosecutor did not go into details of the offense in order to justify the outrageous request. She did not have to. She had something better… the consent of the defense attorney!

Counsel apparently waived the bail hearing, thus damning Song Writer to life behind bars until the subsequent hearing. That is, unless the judge had not only some sense, but some testicular fortitude.

The judge may or may not have had the former, but he surely did not have the latter. He went along for the ride, perhaps figuring that he might be charged with being “too soft on crime” in the next day’s media.

So much for that oath about upholding meaningless verbiage like the United States Constitution.

After what anyone with any understanding of the justice system would recognize as a travesty, the defense attorney, with whom I share a profession and which brought about folks like Clarence Darrow and William Kunstler, told the media, “I’m not going to make any comments about the case…I just met him and I need to meet with him in private.” Apparently not letting lack of knowledge about the client or the case stop him from agreeing to lock his client up without any attempt to stop it, counsel went about his merry way doing G-d only knows what damage.

Now, let’s look at some of the offending language. Here are some of the quotes:

“I’m not in reality, So when u see me (expletive) go insane and make the news, the paper, and the (expletive) federal house of horror known as the white house, Don’t (expletive) cry or be worried because all YOU people (expletive) caused this (expletive),”

“(Expletive) a Boston bominb wait till u see the (expletive) I do, I’ma be famous rapping, and beat every murder charge that comes across me!”

Stupid? Especially in light of the recent happenings?”

Yup.

Rude and insensitive?

Absolutely.

Worthy of criminal charges and being held without bail?

Well, let’s see now…


Attorney Sam’s Take On Anti-American Prosecutions

Yes, I realize that there are limits to free speech. We have discussed them in many past blogs. Now, let’s consider where Song Writer’s words fall.

First, let’s check out some of Song Writer’s fellow terrorists…

“I’d rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man”, “Better run for your life if you can, little girl. Catch you with another guy, that’s the end. Little girl” ---John Lennon/Paul McCartney “Little Girl”
“If I had me a gun, I'd find the bastards and shoot 'em on sight” ---Bruce Springsteen “Jack Of All Trades”
“When I was just a baby,
My Mama told me, ‘Son,
Always be a good boy,
Don’t ever play with guns,’
But I shot a man in Reno,
Just to watch him die.” ---Johnny Cash “Folsom Prison Blues”
“I'm a rocket ship on my way to Mars On a collision course I am a satellite I'm out of control I am a sex machine ready to reload Like an atom bomb about to Oh oh oh oh oh explode” ---Queen “Don’t Stop Me Now”
“They said I can't rap about being broke no more They ain't say I can't rap about coke no more (AH!) Slut, you think I won't choke no whore 'til the vocal cords don't work in her throat no more?!” ---Eminem “Kill You”
“As I grab the glock, put it to your headpiece One in the chamber, the safety is off release Straight at your dome homes, I wanna see cabbage” ---BIGGIE SMALLS “Ready To Die"

Here’s an even scarier one which was never set to music by a real rabble-rouser:

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” --Benjamin Franklin

Song Writer’s song begins with an expression that he is fantasizing. He talks about exploding, about becoming famous. Typical verbiage for a teenager’s rap song. However, just as performers who intend to “kill” during their performances are seldom arrested for threats of murder, not many song writers have turned into mass murderers. In fact, most anyone with awareness of the human mind will tell you, it is usually a good thing for someone (especially a kid) to express anger and thoughts in things like songs. It tends to prevent the anger and feelings from bubbling up into something truly violent.

But even that is not the point. We praise our great New England society and we bless our American values. Among the primary things we glorify as setting us different form other lands is our right to free speech.

Are we really going to surrender that right? Do we truly want to do what the enemies of this country and associated terrorists have been unable to do? Kill our way of life? Force the creative mind under ground?

Outlaw works of art that we find offensive?

Perhaps I had better stop. I am sure this blog is offending some people in positions of power.

Have a great, safe and law-abiding weekend.

If I am not locked up for MY thoughts, I will be back on Monday.

For the original story upon which this blog was based, please go to http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/05/teen_methuen_rapper_held_without_bail_for_facebook_bomb_threat