In principle I agree, however reality is another thing.If they're making threats or committing violent acts or plotting domestic acts of terrorism, then by all means lock them up. But just for having their opinions? Definitely not. People should be able to voice any opinion they want, no matter how retarded, as long as it doesn't directly harm anyone.
Saying the Holocaust didn't happen doesn't cause harm to anyone.
We have seen time and time again situations where someone has claimed something and it has stuck as fact, regardless of the truth. Now in most cases it has not had any huge consequences, but in certain cases it has. In recent history we have the famous WMD, and we have the Saddam and links to Al Q, and we have the Gulf of Tomkin incident. Falsehoods can have dire consequences if pushed to the extreme and then being accepted as "fact". Even today you have considerably number of people in the US who actually believe that Saddam was behind 9/11.. are they stupid sure, but that does not change the fact that they believe what some people of "power and influence" have said.
Now in the case of holocaust denial we have 2 factors at least at play.
For one we have laws put in place by a 3rd party, namely the victors of WW2, of which the US was a key member.
Secondly we have nations where the atrocities of WW2 hit very hard and it is often human nature to be in denial of such things even with proof after proof. We have the American Indian example and the Japanese WW2 example or the Turkish Armenian example.
Now in such cases I would be all for having laws in place to punish people who actively spread lies and misinformation in order to press an aura of denial of past deeds. After all the saying goes.. If you dont understand history then you are doomed to repeat it... and frankly I would rather not.
And lets not forget, in the US at one point it was a crime to be a communist or have communist ideals.. well in fact just being accused of it was enough to get you convicted once.
But in this case, he broke the law.. he goes to jail. Jaywalking is not illegal in most of Europe, yet in the US you can get fined and thrown in jail. Does that mean that because I come from Europe I can not be punished for jaywalking? No of course not, but I still find the whole idea idiotic.
I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.