Monthly Archives: August 2003

Creative Writing—or Criminal Act?

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare: Masked teenage commandos raid the campus office and kill the principal. A second group of students sets bombs around the building, synchronizing them to explode at lunchtime. And on the roof, snipers fire at cops and bystanders below.

After he finished his assignments in a computer class one day last year, Brian Robertson—then a senior at Moore High School, in Moore, Okla.—penned that chilling scenario and saved it on the school computer’s hard drive.

Robertson insists the two pages of writing were fiction—a work of dark “literary art,” he told NEWSWEEK. But local prosecutors saw it differently. In April 2002, after a teacher discovered the file on the computer, the district attorney charged Robertson with the felony offense of “planning a violent act.” Robertson, who is now 19, became the first person in the Oklahoma City area charged under that law, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

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Texas Showdown

Back when George W. Bush lived in the Texas governor’s mansion, his allies painted Austin as a paragon of bipartisanship. No longer. This summer, a Republican plan to redraw the state’s congressional lines has set off a  showdown with Democrats that has played out like a black-and-white Western flick.

There’s the sheriff and his deputy–Rep. Tom DeLay and Gov. Rick Perry, who are pushing strongly for redistricting. Then there are the bandits–11 Democratic state senators who have been holed up in New Mexico since late July, effectively blocking a vote on the matter. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Bush–who is vacationing in Crawford, Texas, this month–is resisting pleas from both sides to get involved.

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