The article, by reporter Daniel González, explored the issue of text messages sent by Lydia Guzman to alert people when Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is conducting crime sweeps.
Guzman, an advocate for immigrant and civil rights, said she sends the message to help people avoid racial profiling, but Arpaio said he thinks they are designed to help illegal immigrants avoid detection.
Hessick told González that sending warnings to people that they might be subject to racial profiling would likely be considered free speech protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. But sending messages with the specific intent of warning illegal immigrants to help them avoid arrest could be akin to being an accomplice after a crime and, therefore, illegal.
"Let's say a murderer is around and you saw the police coming and you knew this person was a murderer and you said, 'Watch out, the police are coming,' and by doing that you helped him get away, and you said it with the purpose of helping him get away. That is just not OK," Hessick told The Republic.
Hessick also said that, based on the text Guzman sent Nov. 15, she is not breaking the law.
"That (message) on its face does not indicate one way or another what the intent is," he told González. "It's not saying, here is the warning so that all of you who are subject to arrest can evade arrest. Nor does it have the intent to warn everyone here that they might be subject to racial profiling. If it were to be illegal, there would have to be a lot more evidence than just that text message."
Read the article here.Hessick teaches Civil Procedure, Administrative Law, the Supreme Court in American Politics, and Judicial Remedies.