Last year, a convicted murderer on death row used a smuggled cell phone to threaten a state legislator and try to influence a reporter.

Those who oppose the bill banning jammer argue that jamming calls with a mobile phone jammer inside prisons could affect calls outside the prison walls.

State and local police want the same authority as federal officials to jam signals during arrests and other dangerous situations.

Cell phones can give criminals, gang members and terrorists a tactical advantage during raids. This is why federal officials find jamming so useful. So why isn't this capability allowed for state and local police?

But if cell phone access is so vital to health and safety, why are we asked to silence or turn off cell phones in the theater? Only people who flout the theater's requests get to receive incoming emergency calls? Is it OK for the theater or the cinema to block the cell phone signal with 3G mobile phone jammer?

And if people need cell phone access at all times in case of emergency, shouldn't airlines be "required" to enable cell phone access during flights? Why is cell phone access required during a two-hour movie, but not required during a five-hour flight?