While Puerto Rico continues to suffer from an epidemic of drug-related street crime, legislative efforts to update its criminal laws have drawn a First Amendment challenge in the federal district court in San Juan.
Of all the crimes faced by the “Island of Enchantment,” a U.S. Territory, legislators decided to tackle what they view as criminal acts related to public protests.
The island’s new criminal code imposes a mandatory three-year prison term on anyone who “engages in any disorder” in the “immediate view and presence” of the Puerto Rico Legislature, or of any municipal council, that “tend to interrupt their activities” or “reduce the respect due to their authority.”
The legislation was approved last month by Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuño, one of the speakers at this month’s Republican National Convention in Tampa.… Seguir leyendo »