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The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that Pennsylvania State Senator Kim Ward has preposed a law that would make the failure to report a violent crime a criminal offense.  The bill is named “Jennifer’s Law” in honor of “a Westmoreland County woman who was tortured and murdered.”

For more information, go to:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10172/1067209-100.stm?cmpid=latest.xml

http://senatorward.com/press/2010/0610/061810.htm

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In the News: ACLU opposes PA sexting law

Published on 04 February 2010 by in Blog

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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the ACLU and the Juvenile Law Center are opposing a Pennsylvania bill that is intended to make sexting a lesser offense for minors.  The ACLU argues that by criminalizing sexting, juveniles are left with a permanent mark that would harm their ability to get a job, be admitted to certain colleges, and join the military.

For more information, go to:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10035/1033478-100.stm?cmpid=latest.xml

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The Pennsylvania General Assembly House of Representatives has passed a bill prohibiting drivers from operating a handheld cell phone or wireless device while operating a motor vehicle.  Before the bill becomes law, it must be passed by the Pennsylvania Senate and signed by Governor Ed Rendell.

For more information go to:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10026/1031203-100.stm

https://bickerton-law.com/2010/01/25/in-the-news-pa-house-consides-bill-banning-handheld-cellphone-while-driving/

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After several cases where district attorneys have pursued felony charges against teens accused of sending sexually explicit photos of themselves, the Pennsylvania General Assembly House of Representatives is proposing a bill that would make “sexting” by teens a second-degree misdemeanor.   The statute would amend the criminal code by adding 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6321.

The new statute would prohibit any minor over the age of 13 from sending any nude photos of him or herself electronically.  The statute adopts the definition of nudity set out it 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 5903.  In that section, nudity is defined as showing the “human male or female genitals, pubic area, or buttocks with less than a fully opaque covering, or the showing of the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering of any portion thereof below the top of the nipple, or the depiction of covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state.”

For more information, go to:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10025/1030881-454.stm

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&sessYr=2009&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=2189&pn=3051

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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pennsylvania General Assembly House of Representatives will be taking a final vote on a bill that would ban the use of handheld cellular phones and other wireless devices while operating a motor vehicle.  The bill amends a proposed statute that would prohibit drivers from sending text messages while driving.  The proposed statute would add a new section to the motor vehicle code.  Under the proposed 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3316 statute, drivers would be prohibited from using any “interactive wireless device” while operating a motor vehicle.  An interactive wireless device is defined as “[a] wireless telephone, personal digital assistant, smart phone, portable or mobile computer, or similar device which can be used for texting, e-mailing, browsing the Internet or instant messaging, but does not include a device being used exclusively as a global positioning or navigation system, or a system or device that is physically or electronically integrated into the vehicle.”  The statute would permit a driver to use a hands-free device and to use the wireless device as a navigation system.  Anyone convicted of violating the statute would be subject to a $50 fine.

For more information, go to:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10025/1031007-100.stm?cmpid=latest.xml

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=PDF&sessYr=2009&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=2070&pn=3134

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