Despite substantial evidence and criticism of his own misleading ads by the New York Times, Barak Obama’s Camapign has taken a thuggish turn towards intimidation and police-state prosecution and has stated that St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch and St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, (both Obama supporters), are implying that they will bring criminal libel charges against anyone who levels what turns out to be false criticisms of their chosen candidate for President. It may work as intimidation, on the other hand it may only be thuggish intent:
In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision, New York Times vs Sullivan, that set the benchmark for libel vis-a-vis “public figures,” of which Barack Obama is certainly one. If a public figure brings a civil libel lawsuit against an individual or a group, then s/he has to prove to a civil jury (usually nine out of twelve jurors) that a preponderance of the evidence (i.e. it is more likely than not) shows that the defendant(s) knowingly said or wrote something factually incorrect about the plaintiff(s). If a prosecutorial authority brings criminal libel charges against a defendant on behalf of a plaintiff, as McCulloch and Joyce are threatening to do, then the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to twelve out of twelve jurors that the defendant knowingly said or wrote something factually incorrect about the defendant.