We previously discussed the case of Casey Nocket, a New York-based graffiti artist, who proudly posted pictures of her defacing surfaces in at least six national parks: Death Valley, Colorado National Monument, Canyonlands, Zion and Crater Lake. Thanks to Reddit (one of my favorite sites), she was tracked down by irate viewers who helped the national park investigators. She has now been sentenced to 200 hours of community service but also banishment from all national parks and other federally administered lands. We earlier discussed the fine and probation as facially insufficient. The banishment element is an important advance, even if the lack of jail time is disappointing. For years, I have advocated such a ban for those who deface our national and state parks. Nocket is now banned from 20 percent of the United States and that is a good thing.
Nocket posted her graffiti under her tag “Creepytings” on a variety of social media sites. She boasted that she used acrylic paint, which is difficult to remove. When a person asked her about that, she responded: “I know, I’m a bad person.”
Yes, she is. Nocket’s Tumblr was deleted. Nocket was charged with seven counts of injury or depredation against government property and eventually pleaded guilty to all seven counts. She will also make a formal written apology to the National Park Service.
I hope that banishment will become the norm in such cases for the future. I would have prefer a short jail stint but that is a benefit to pleading guilty. The most important thing in my view is the banishment which is a great improvement over the facially insufficient penalties imposed in the past. Indeed, the Park Service should distribute posters highlight Nocket’s case and sentence for the entries of all parks.
What do you think?