Ga. Justices Strike Down Law Against Indecent Phone Calls

The Georgia Supreme Court has struck down a state law that criminalized "obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent" suggestions made by telephone. . . .

[T]he law struck down by the high court appears to have been little used since its adoption by the General Assembly in 1968. A search of Georgia appellate decisions on the Lexis-Nexis database reveals only five cases in which the law is mentioned.

The high court's four-page decision reversed the misdemeanor conviction Anthony McKenzie received after making collect telephone calls to a 14-year-old girl while he was an inmate at the Forsyth County Detention Center. Then 17, McKenzie was serving time for violating probation for a statutory rape conviction, said his lawyer, R. Parker McFarland Jr. of Cummings McFarland & McFarland. The girl's mother objected to the calls, during which McKenzie and the girl engaged in sexual banter, according to court briefs. The calls were recorded by the jail, and McKenzie was prosecuted by Forsyth County Solicitor Leslie C. Abernathy, convicted in a bench trial and sentenced to two years of probation. McKenzie appealed to the Georgia high court, arguing that the law violated the First Amendment.

Details here from the Fulton County Daily Report via