On Peter Watts's sentencing hearing


7 Responses to “On Peter Watts's sentencing hearing”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry, this is not a victory. The man spent months of time and I hate to think how many thousands of dollars aside from the fine. Screw “court costs” that is a fine. The fact that the state decided he’d been punished enough is not a victory.

  2. danarmak says:

    She writes,

    > What happened to Peter Watts could happen to any of us. I think that this realization galvanized the number of people that it did.

    Certainly the incident with the border guards could happen to any of us. What wouldn’t happen to almost any of us is getting the huge publicity and support that allowed Peter to win his court case. As Peter said, not everyone has a friend with a readership of BB scale.

    I like Peter’s books, I contributed a bit of money to his defense fund, and it’s nice that he wasn’t jailed and “only” had to spend half a year dealing with this shit. But there’s nothing to be really happy about here, people. We won one insignificant fight. The reality that “this could happen to any of us” hasn’t changed one bit.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sadly, I have to agree with you. But if it weren’t for pyrrhic victories, then we wouldn’t have any victories at all.

  3. Machineintheghost says:

    The true measure of any civilization is the way it treats its Science Fiction writers. Hurray!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I read on some other post that the jurors were “obliged” to find Watts guilty because the judge instructed them to do so. I thought the whole point of a jury trial was that one’s peers would decide one’s guilt based on their understanding of the facts at the trial and their innate sense of justice. By this reading the jurors were wrong to convict if they did not believe he was guilty: they were in fact guilty of caving in to “authority,” a serious problem in today’s world (and many of yesterday’s worlds, to be sure).
    Cheers, Tedsy

    • bersl2 says:


      First of all, even the slightest hint of knowledge of nullification during jury selection will lead to an instant peremptory challenge by one side or the other. Or so is my understanding.

      That, and some racist juries used nullification to acquit murderers during the ’60s. THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS

  5. rachelb says:

    Okay, so now how do we help Peter get the felony conviction expunged? I’m happy that he’s got his life back, but the consequences still suck balls.

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