Albert Snyder sued the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church for unspecified damages after members demonstrated at the March 2006 funeral of his son, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq.
The federal jury first awarded $2.9 million in compensatory damages. It returned in the afternoon with its decision to award $6 million in punitive damages for invasion of privacy and $2 million for causing emotional distress.
Gotta admit that I’m surprised by this verdict. I figured that the law would get in the way of justice. It’s a pleasant surprise.
Still, I’m sure that Free Speech watchdogs are going to be all over this, and I can see why. And the Westboro loons plans to appeal.
In 2006 I checked out a Westboro loon appearance at a local funeral. In particular, check out the semi truck that drove past on the street between the loons and the church where the funeral was being held. The loons had referred to the Michigan government as the “Michigan Taliban” because they were passing a law restricting such protests.
I think we can all agree that morons like these loons are wrong. But how about the judgment? Was that really right? Any predictions on the appeal or how far it’s going to go?