According to legal experts proving that accused “hoaxers” Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens intended a hoax may be difficult:
David White-Lief, the state bar’s president-elect and a Boston lawyer, said the lighted boxes probably do not meet the state statute’s definition of a hoax device, which must resemble an “infernal machine.” He interprets that description to mean something that looks like dynamite or a Molotov cocktail.
But the devices in Boston, which displayed a boxy-looking cartoon character giving the finger, “looked like toys,” White-Lief said.
More than three dozen electronic signs were placed in high-profile spots in Boston weeks before authorities responded Wednesday. Authorities shut down highways, bridges and river traffic while bomb squads checked out devices that turned out to be harmless. There was barely a stir in nine other cities across the country where similar devices were placed.
[Second graphic via Los Barrios.]