Using An Online Map As Part Of Your Criminal Activity Gets You A Longer Sentence In Louisiana

Here’s a bizarre one. Reader withersteen alerts us to a strange new law that has been passed in Louisiana, which will add from one to ten years to your prison sentence if you use an online map in the process of committing a crime:

A bill headed to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s desk would increase penalties for crimes committed with the use of an Internet-generated “virtual street-level map.”

Senate Bill 151 by Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton, provides for an additional year in prison for crimes committed using the maps, including acts of terrorism or other criminal offenses like burglary or stalking.

An act of terrorism using the maps could mean an additional 10 years behind bars.

Apparently the bill passed by a vote of 89-0. I’m trying to figure out what the rationale for this law is, and the best I can figure out is that this is a bizarre kneejerk reaction to services like Google’s Street View, and the claims from some that such services could be used to “scout out” crime locations. Of course, the same is true of driving by a location. Will Senator Adley add a new bill that increases your prison sentence if you first drive by the location before committing the crime?

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