A Remarkable Law
To the Editor
I have noticed a great many items on the Internet regarding (and ridiculing) various things about the State of Tennessee. However, in California law I have discovered a remarkable law, CPC148.5(Penal Code) This law, provisions a through d, all specify the various conditions of KNOWINGLY (deliberately, intentionally) making a false report of crime.
Provision (e) of that same law states: (e) This section does not apply to reports made by persons who are required by statute to report known or suspected instances of child abuse, dependent adult abuse, or elder abuse.
How about it? Does your state have a law that allows such 'mandated reporters' the luxury of submitting KNOWINGLY FALSIFIED REPORTS with NO criminal prosecutions? Acknowledged criminals - protected from prosecution for deliberate crime - by law?
In California there are THIRTY SIX categories of 'mandated reporters'. My favorite is #19 - PEACE OFFICERS. Note that this law does NOT specify the subject of the false report or any relation to the abuses for which it is presumably intended. Presumably the legislators intended that the magistrate would use some common sense, but the language of the law does not permit it. Public employee X can falsely report that a driver who cut him off in traffic was brandishing a weapon at him - and NOT be prosecutable for a false report of crime, although guilty of it. It is possible that Public employee, if fired for the false report of crime, could SUE for 'wrongful termination' since he was 'enjoying' an activity protected (i.e. permitted) by law.
I have looked for another law that does allow for prosecution of this crime - but cannot find one. Ergo, to all evidences there is none. Therefore it is only reasonable to assume that these criminals are in fact protected by law. Does your state have anything near this stupid and unlawful, not to mention un-American?
Joseph Edward Bodden,