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December 29, 2014

Pardalis & Nohavicka Art and Criminal Law Update: The Pink Fairy and the Furtherance of Justice

The Defendant artist sprayed a single pink fairy on the public sidewalk in front of the Beverly J. Martin Elementary School, and was arrested for Making Graffiti (PL §145.60) and Possession of Graffiti Instruments (PL §145.65). The artist's attorney filed a motion to dismiss the case in the furtherance of justice. The court wrote that "in order for a legal system to be humane, there must still exist at least the tiniest crack that allows a sliver of discretion to shine through when Justice cries out for mercy in spite of the strict application of the law." And in an entertaining and thoughtful decision, Judge Scott A. Miller, out of Ithaca, New York, DISMISSED the case, explaining as follows: ""Here, the Defendant spray painted one tiny pink fairy on a public sidewalk in front of an elementary school. Mr. Thomas was at all times polite and cooperative with law enforcement and freely admitted his creation. The sidewalk was not permanently defaced, but, in fact, a sprinkle of joyous whimsy was added. The Court can only imagine the laughs ringing musically through the late Spring morning air as children were welcomed by this spritely visage as they entered their school on one of those painstakingly long June days before the start of summer vacation"

The decision can be found: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2014/2014_24407.htm#1CASE

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