Letter to the Editor: To Lazarus Long, Yank

Carl Miller

I ignored your “catch me if you can” challenge in a previous letter but in your April 29 letter to the editor, you interpret California code.

I’m not a lawyer but when a sea-lawyer issues a challenge, I always have an opinion.  In the middle of your letter, you admit your work is graffiti.

Another given is your intent to graffiti some part of the campus.

In your opening paragraph, you call your work a ghastly catastrophe artistically, so it is also given that it has no beautification intent or value.

Since it would change the current look and is not an improvement, it can be termed defacing.

You state that if the graffiti is not removed properly, there will be damage.

You claim no responsibility if there is damage because you are not the one personally trying to remove it.

I have seen nothing in your writings that tell how to remove the graffiti properly, only that it must be done.

Let’s do a quick recap.  You willfully put up graffiti with no artistic value that you know will cause damage if it is not removed properly.

You give no indication as to what the correct procedure is.

I can only conclude that you do intend to create damage if those charged with cleanup are not as clever as you.

Elsewhere, I have heard the phrase, “malice of forethought.”

Couple that idea with the potential for damage and that tells me your intent is to do harm under certain conditions and therefore, your graffiti is done maliciously. 

Lastly, regarding property ownership the code you quote says, “…any real or personal property not his or her own…”

We both know the campus is not your personal property.

So Lazarus, let me say it one more time.  You admit your work is graffiti. 

You admit it has no artistic value so it defaces.

You admit that dealing with your graffiti can cause damage.

The campus is not your personal property and there is malicious intent.

It’s just my opinion but if you are caught, I think you can be charged and you can be prosecuted. Pray I’m not on the jury because for both you and the Yank, I’ll vote to “hang ‘em high.”