Is Ignorance of the Law an Excuse?

News Review / Opinion Piece
            I was scanning the realms of news headlines when my truth glasses instantly fogged as the words “Judge elevates Sharia Law over US Constitution in Pennsylvania”.  Instantly I knew this was something our readers needed to be aware of, because something was mentioned in the article: “ignorance of the law.”  Ignorantia Juris Non Ecusat, “Ignorance of the Law Excuses No One”, meaning, regardless of being aware that a certain action may be a crime under law is not a valid reason for defense of violating that law.  The rationalization of thought in this law is that if someone committed a crime and shrugged their shoulders saying, “I had no idea that was a law”, that does not absolve them from being punished or arrested due to “not knowing any better.” 
            According to the article, Ernie Pierce was dressed up as a Zombie Muhammad (costume) and was representing a group known as Atheists of Central Pennsylvania in a parade.  That is when things in turn got a bit ugly, apparently the costume offended one, Talaag Elbayomy who in turn decided to attack Mr. Pierce because “the costume presented an offensive basis.”  In turn, the assault landed the defendant in court and the Judge presiding over the case, upheld the defendant’s basis of Sharia Law that says when someone insults their prophet, they must act and that the defense pleaded they had no idea of the laws of the region.  In essence, the Judge granted Mr. Elbayomy the right to pummel anyone who insulted a part of his beliefs as they had no idea beating someone in the United States would get them thrown in jail or was a crime; go figure that, we have assault laws that someone doesn’t know about. In addition to this basic violation of using the “I didn’t know” defense, the judge then began to scold the assailed Mr. Pierce and remind him that in that religion, some things warrant death, which effectively showed the stance of the judge in relation to religious beliefs vs. law.
            What is particularly disturbing is the person who was assaulted also has about 500 or so death threats now in his possession.  This author wonders the same thing that the article lists, how many of those are from Muslims or radicals who now know that if they see anyone mocking their faith, which it is ok for them to get mad, pummel them and nothing will come of it as Sharia Law compels them to do so.  This author is outraged that any judge would consider anything other than the basic constitutional rights of our land and a local assault law was anything other than Law that needed to be applied.  Never mind the rights of the victim who apparently does not have freedom of expression rights or civil rights, I could go on and on about the ignorant application of this setting, however, the article has taken the liberty of providing a petition to have the judge removed.  Before I set our truth glasses down and clean the fog off them, I wanted to help our readers become familiar with a couple of things.
            There are only two cases that this author knows of where exceptions to the “ignorance of law” applied, Lambert vs. California (city ordinances) and Cheek vs. United States (tax case).  Both of these cases were presided by the US Supreme Court.  In criminal law, ignorance cannot be used as a valid defense, however it can be used in consideration of sentencing, in particular if the law is unclear or vague or the person who is affected has sought legal advice or counsel of some magnitude.  A careful study and follow of the case where Sharia vs. Law should be started by someone in research and study of crime causation, cause I just don’t see how this can be fair to any party involved, the immigrant, the citizen, the officer and the court system, truth glasses cleaned and ready.

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