The first-ever felony conviction for spamming in the U.S. inevitably went to an appeals court, where the spammers sought to skirt the law via the constitution. The courts upheld the conviction, however, and determined that an anti-spam law specific to Virgina does not violate free-speech rights. Simply put, the spammers broke the law and that's been confirmed in court twice now. I for one don't feel bad in the slightest that this spammer was caught and punished.
That's good news for those of us who want to see the spam issue solved for good, or at least see the Government working with people to help stop it. It is a huge problem, and since it is a problem that spans the globe, it will require an awful lot of cooperation to tackle. Just a few months ago, Barracuda Networks released data claiming that spam composed 95% of email volume.