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Jack Thompson Officially Disbarred, Files for Retrial

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 15 comments

Jack Thompson, outspoken critic of violent video games, has been permanently disbarred by the Florida Supreme Court. Effective 30 days from today, Thompson has also been ordered to pay Florida Bar fees in excess of $43,000 dollars.

Image copyright: Penny-Arcade.com

 

In what has been almost a year-long ordeal, the disbarring stems from an ethics hearing back in November of last year concerning several complaints about Thompson’s conduct in court cases against the video game industry.

"The Court approves the corrected referee’s report and John Bruce Thompson is permanently disbarred, effective thirty days from the date of this order so that respondent can close out his practice and protect the interests of existing clients. If respondent notifies the Court in writing that he is no longer practicing and does not need the thirty days to protect existing clients, this Court will enter an order making the permanent disbarment effective immediately. Respondent shall accept no new business from the date this order is filed.

While Thompson’s legal career seems to be coming to a close, there is the chance of a retrial, as long as a member of the Florida bar who is in "good standing" files the motion. Seeing how this excludes Jack Thompson, the fact that he submitted a motion for retrial on his own behalf is bizarre to say the least. Thompson’s claims that the judgment is in retaliation for his book, Out of Harm’s Way, which according to Thompson through Kotaku, "blew the whistle on what he describes as the Florida Supreme Court’s attack on his activism against the American entertainment industry."

Thompson’s emergency motion for a retrial was filed today. In it, he outlines that his disbarring will be detrimental to potential clients, including one Richard Gorman, with whom Thompson was supposed to meet this Friday. According to the motion, "Mr. Gorman is sitting in his prison cell solely because of the unethical conduct of Assistant State Attorney Matthew Alex Smith and the obstruction of justice by the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar. The attached Report of No Probable Cause is a smoking gun document that proves that the entire Board of Governors of The Florida Bar is involved in a cover-up in order to keep this innocent man in jail, all for the purpose of protecting the corrupt Leon County State Attorney’s Office."

Could the face of anti-video game violence be at the center of a statewide conspiracy? Hopefully a retrial will keep this story going for another year. In the meantime, I’m sure Thompson will keep making appearances on Fox News, attempting to connect the latest violent crime to Counter-Strike.

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  • 0 Hide
    zaintiraris , September 25, 2008 7:43 PM
    Penny Arcade > Devin

    Let's go choke some droids in force unleashed. Thats not violent cuz its Not-Choking Droids, right?
  • 5 Hide
    Ananan , September 25, 2008 7:46 PM
    I think I speak (type) for all gamers when I post:

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
  • 2 Hide
    chaohsiangchen , September 25, 2008 7:52 PM
    Now that's a good news. :) 

    American Entertainment Industry is built upon First Amendment, and Jack "Now Disbarred" Thompson is trying to make his name by attacking First Amendment. Sure there are inappropriate content in some video games, and so are some TV shows, movie, porn and O'Reilley Factor. We can't cave in because some assholes think it's immoral or indecent. We need to use our brain and exercise personal responsibility as individuals instead of letting some asshats to grant what we can have.
  • -5 Hide
    drysocks , September 25, 2008 8:24 PM
    1. O'Reilly is a good person.
    2. Jack is a good person with his heart in the right place.
    3. Innocent people should not go to jail.
    4. If Sesame Street can be a positive influence on children then why can't violent video games have a negative influence on children. You have to have it both ways.
    If you don't think a government doesn't put innocent people in jail. Then I suggest you look at our current federal admistration.
  • 1 Hide
    frozenlead , September 25, 2008 9:33 PM
    drysocks4. If Sesame Street can be a positive influence on children then why can't violent video games have a negative influence on children. You have to have it both ways.


    I would just like to point out that children take their own stance on Sesame Street - therefore, they are the originator of any effect the program has on them.

    Blaming the video game is like blaming the gun for killing someone.
  • 2 Hide
    MailDeadDrop , September 25, 2008 10:18 PM
    drysocks4. If Sesame Street can be a positive influence on children then why can't violent video games have a negative influence on children. You have to have it both ways.

    I wasn't aware that anyone had claimed that video games *designed* to have a negative influence actually didn't (i.e. were ineffectual). You're comparing a passive TV program designed to have a positive influence on young minds with an interactive video game designed to be entertaining. Other than being primarily video of pretend environments, I don't see where you can make useful comparisons; it's like comparing apples and prime rib -- both are foods, but that's about it.
  • 1 Hide
    ZootyGray , September 25, 2008 10:49 PM
    Children do not take stances. They experience things. Sesame Street could be viewed as fostering violence, codependency, conformity, brain-washing, insecurity, nightmares, and a world of fantasy, etc. etc.

    I am sure Sesame Street means well - well kinda sure - but has anyone considered that they might be breeding serial killers? And tv training, conditioning - tune in for more, kids.

    It is difficult to consider these things. It is a known fact that people on killing sprees have seen their actions as being just like Doom. It is unknown, perhaps, if it really started there.

    Some very wise people think it would be good to put the parents of offenders in jail.

    The problems with correctional systems, is that they only function after there is a problem. There is no correction or prevention really happening. The problem began long before the crime. Some things cannot be legislated - and yet the law makers constantly try to control the uncontrollable - and guess what - it does not work.

    The education system is also completely useless in this regard - although there is potential. But it is not known how to teach healthiness - especially when kids started out perfect in the first place.

    But in all these things, we live in a world where money calls the tune, not humanity, not humanness, not recognition of our true talents - sorry, but you somehow have to qualify to be the amazing creature you really are - violence will be a problem until that changes. And for that to change, we have to bring entire economies down and pronounce them wasteful. The environment is going to be gone before we learn this. The problem is the sudden transition to a real world of happiness - people would freak if that were the world we live in - funny thing, we do anyway; but these unhealthy institutions destroy people; because they all need a bad guy to function. If no bad guy, no police. If no disease, no health care. If no money, no poverty. These are all extremely abusive miscreations. And we are all victims of it. You could end up in jail for no good reason. If you are packing a gun; you are lost in it, a victim of it, and furthering it. It is insanity. Welcome to the insane world. The real terrorists might be the ones on our side. But there's only one world - whom would you exclude? And whom would exclude you? Peace is just some uneasy thing that awaits the next statement of stark truth. How do you justify that in 2008, people are starving and suffering - you really think this is working? What 50% efficient? Are you happy? You feel at ease? Feel what you are denying; there's a chance that way. Stupidity does not exist; it's all planned and perpetuated because it is profitable. The hippies almost had it right - how did it sidetrack? Drugs were introduced - by whom?

    Free thinking scanning will show you a lot more than I can say. So much waste and futility - human potential simply of no value. This is very stimulating rather than depressing - if you can follow it. If not, there's always socalled reality, which we know, and it is depressing. What do you support? Hey, it's election time - any of this on the ballot? No. Problems are on the ballot. Change is difficult; the alternative is worse.

    During mcarthyism, I would be arrested - is it really any different today? Freedom? To be? To be what you would make me be? Then what?

    There are things to do in the world; and we are not doing them because we have to do something else instead.
  • 2 Hide
    Maxor127 , September 26, 2008 12:17 AM
    Funny... I swear the guy is mentally ill. Anyone who thinks violent video games cause violence are retarded. It's not like violence never existed before video games. Some people are fucked in the head and most aren't. People are going to kill people if they're crazy enough. Just because they happen to play video games too means nothing. You could make the same argument that sports causes violence or even eating causes it. And throwing in that it negatively effects kids is a worthless argument. There are game ratings for a reason and kids shouldn't be playing those types of games. And if they do, it's the parent's fault. Our ratings system is still messed up though where a head getting shot off is more acceptable than some naked breasts.
  • 2 Hide
    jaragon13 , September 26, 2008 1:00 AM
    Maxor127Funny... I swear the guy is mentally ill. Anyone who thinks violent video games cause violence are retarded. It's not like violence never existed before video games. Some people are fucked in the head and most aren't. People are going to kill people if they're crazy enough. Just because they happen to play video games too means nothing. You could make the same argument that sports causes violence or even eating causes it. And throwing in that it negatively effects kids is a worthless argument. There are game ratings for a reason and kids shouldn't be playing those types of games. And if they do, it's the parent's fault. Our ratings system is still messed up though where a head getting shot off is more acceptable than some naked breasts.

    Yup,I've been raised improperly,didn't get enough porn action >:( 
  • 3 Hide
    rocky1234 , September 26, 2008 1:18 AM
    yes yes yes.....woohoo bye bye dude. oh yeah
    lolololololololololololol
    there is justice
  • -1 Hide
    BGP_Spook , September 26, 2008 1:58 AM
    ZootyGray: Dude, ramble less and take the tin-foil hat off. Please try again, as you sound like you might have something interesting to share but you lost me when you got to the the massive block of text.
    -----------

    Although, I disagree with the assessment that violent video games(or media in general) are the root cause of violence in real life situations. I do agree that children are predisposed to mimic what they experience. I remember reenacting portions of movies I saw when I was a kid. Of course, my parents very closely monitored what we watched, played, and who we hung out with, as was their duty as responsible parents.

    The level of mimicry that is typical and healthy in children is up for debate. For example, my siblings and I did not go on rampages because we watched Tom and Jerry inflict various bodily damages on each other. Similarly, A Boy and His Blob did not inspire spelunking and a predisposition to jump from high places. Nor did playing Doom at the young age of 9 to 13 make me grab a shotgun and go parading through downtown.

    Finally, I am a little suspicious of some recent dealings in the Florida courts recently. This might seem like a bit of a stretch and as likely as not will amount to less than a hill of beans but ...Joe Francis of 'Girls Gone Wild' fame is suing a judge for some allegedly funny business where he claims he was under duress when he signed a settlement. There are some additional accusations on his part about a bit of a supposed conspiracy with some other legal officials as well. I recommend people research and read up on it if they are interested.

    All of that to say, in spite of my disagreement with his stance on violent video games, I would like to see Thompson get a chance to defend himself and maybe expound on what he has said. If he is as big a idiot as he comes off as then he should quickly be proved completely full of hot air.

    I stress, however, that this opinion is based on a very limited understanding of the facts, and is mostly built out of curiosity in the matter.
  • 3 Hide
    noobe1981 , September 26, 2008 2:13 AM
    LMAO.. Good this idiot deserves it. People need to start taking responsibility for their own actions instead of blaming video games. My friends and I used to play war games long before any video games came out *or at least became main stream best thing we had was the atrai lol* Yet, when we grew up we didn't go around killing people.. Why? Our parents taught us it was pretend and movies, tv shows were also pretend. Video games are just a different way of playing.

    Video games have ratings now. Parents needs to pull the head out of their asses and start paying attention to their kids. If a game has more influence on your kid then you do as a parent. Thats YOUR FAULT!

    As far as the guy in jail I don't have enough info. to make any assumptions one way or the other, but he can always get another lawyer anyways.
  • 0 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , September 26, 2008 2:32 AM
    BGP_SpookAll of that to say, in spite of my disagreement with his stance on violent video games, I would like to see Thompson get a chance to defend himself ...

    I thought that's what the whole thing was about in the first place? He -had- his chance and he blew it. Now he's disbarred.
    I'm surprised it took this long. In fact his career has been one long and drawn-out series of nut-case accusations, one-sided feuds, conspiracy theories, and religious persecution complexes.
    Looking on Wikipedia:

    "In 1990, after his election loss, Thompson began a campaign against the efforts of Switchboard of Miami, a social services group of which Reno was a board member. Thompson charged that the group placed "homosexual-education tapes" in public schools. Switchboard responded by getting the Florida Supreme Court to order that he submit to a psychiatric examination. Thompson did so and passed, and since then has stated on more than one occasion that he is "the only officially certified sane lawyer in the entire state of Florida."[17]"

    I think that says more about the available psychiatric evaluation techniques circa 1990 than it does about Jack Thompson.
  • 3 Hide
    megamanx00 , September 26, 2008 2:57 AM
    Yay \^_^/

    Now normally people getting disbarred isn't a good thing, but in this case it sure is and it's about darn time.
  • 2 Hide
    cynewulf , September 26, 2008 11:49 AM
    drysocks4. If Sesame Street http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sesame_Street can be a positive influence on children then why can't violent video games have a negative influence on children. You have to have it both ways.If you don't think a government doesn't put innocent people in jail. Then I suggest you look at our current federal admistration.


    I would say that violent video games *may* have a slight influence on young children but that's why we have age ratings for games no?

    If children are playing games way above the age they're supposed to be then who's to blame?

    The parents.

    You wouldn't buy an 8 year old pornography so don't buy them games rated for 18 year olds.

    I think there needs to be a bit of 're-education' about games. People are out of touch and still believe they are just 'kids stuff'.