NY State Supreme Court Justice Michael Ambrecht dismissed charges against BASE (Building, Antenna, Span, Earth) Jumper Jebb Corliss.
Corliss was charged with reckless endangerment for trying to parachute from the 86th floor (observation floor) of the Empire State Building on April 27th, 2006. He snuck his equipment in the building and through security by hiding it under a fat suit.
The prosecution argued that Corliss was placing bystanders and Empire State Building personnel in danger with what he intended to do. The judge said he wouldn’t be putting others in danger.
The judge decided that Corliss has a constitutional right to free expression and that jumping off the Empire State Building was free expression. (Source)
My question is why wasn’t he charged with, say, tresspassing? The fact that he snuck in his equipment says that he knew that his actions wouldn’t be met with, shall we say, open arms.
The owners and management of the Empire State Building have property rights that should trump Mr. Corliss’ individual freedom of expression…