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Teen arrested for sarcastic facebook comment

000ike
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7/4/2013 12:56:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Basically, the teen made a very graphic but obviously sarcastic comment on facebook and got reported to the police, so they arrested him for making "terroristic threats" and now he's facing 8 years in prison.

How is this even constitutional?
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
YYW
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7/4/2013 1:02:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 12:56:09 PM, 000ike wrote:
Basically, the teen made a very graphic but obviously sarcastic comment on facebook and got reported to the police, so they arrested him for making "terroristic threats" and now he's facing 8 years in prison.

How is this even constitutional?

The first amendment does not protect individual's right to make threats of violence -however unless there was clear evidence of his actually making plans to do what he said it is very unlikely that the charges won't be dropped or substantially reduced. He'll probably plead out on misdemeanor charges and be required to take counseling sessions.
Tsar of DDO
000ike
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7/4/2013 1:12:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 1:02:46 PM, YYW wrote:
At 7/4/2013 12:56:09 PM, 000ike wrote:
Basically, the teen made a very graphic but obviously sarcastic comment on facebook and got reported to the police, so they arrested him for making "terroristic threats" and now he's facing 8 years in prison.

How is this even constitutional?

The first amendment does not protect individual's right to make threats of violence -however unless there was clear evidence of his actually making plans to do what he said it is very unlikely that the charges won't be dropped or substantially reduced. He'll probably plead out on misdemeanor charges and be required to take counseling sessions.

While I wouldn't argue that there should be categorical innocence on threats, we do have to take it on a case by case basis. A threat in which the means, motives, OR opportunity are present to execute it must be taken seriously. A threat that's absolutely isolated can be monitored but CANNOT be prosecuted...that's just outrageous.

And please don't speak about what the first amendment does and does not protect. The First Amendment allows freedom of expression. Full stop. Only when intervening variables turn that speech from a mere expression to an infringement on another legal statute, can it possibly be removed from the protection of the first amendment.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
YYW
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7/4/2013 1:16:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 1:12:26 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/4/2013 1:02:46 PM, YYW wrote:
At 7/4/2013 12:56:09 PM, 000ike wrote:
Basically, the teen made a very graphic but obviously sarcastic comment on facebook and got reported to the police, so they arrested him for making "terroristic threats" and now he's facing 8 years in prison.

How is this even constitutional?

The first amendment does not protect individual's right to make threats of violence -however unless there was clear evidence of his actually making plans to do what he said it is very unlikely that the charges won't be dropped or substantially reduced. He'll probably plead out on misdemeanor charges and be required to take counseling sessions.

And please don't speak about what the first amendment does and does not protect.

lol

The First Amendment allows freedom of expression. Full stop. Only when intervening variables turn that speech from a mere expression to an infringement on another legal statute, can it possibly be removed from the protection of the first amendment.

Threats of violence are not protected by the first amendment. They aren't. The purpose of the first amendment was to keep an open "marketplace of ideas," not to give would-be criminals legal sanction to threaten others (whether they were joking or not). If you would like me to explain to you in more depth why this is the case, I would be happy to do so.
Tsar of DDO
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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7/4/2013 1:22:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 1:16:53 PM, YYW wrote:
At 7/4/2013 1:12:26 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/4/2013 1:02:46 PM, YYW wrote:
At 7/4/2013 12:56:09 PM, 000ike wrote:
Basically, the teen made a very graphic but obviously sarcastic comment on facebook and got reported to the police, so they arrested him for making "terroristic threats" and now he's facing 8 years in prison.

How is this even constitutional?

The first amendment does not protect individual's right to make threats of violence -however unless there was clear evidence of his actually making plans to do what he said it is very unlikely that the charges won't be dropped or substantially reduced. He'll probably plead out on misdemeanor charges and be required to take counseling sessions.


And please don't speak about what the first amendment does and does not protect.

lol

The First Amendment allows freedom of expression. Full stop. Only when intervening variables turn that speech from a mere expression to an infringement on another legal statute, can it possibly be removed from the protection of the first amendment.

Threats of violence are not protected by the first amendment. They aren't. The purpose of the first amendment was to keep an open "marketplace of ideas," not to give would-be criminals legal sanction to threaten others (whether they were joking or not). If you would like me to explain to you in more depth why this is the case, I would be happy to do so.

lol no. The first Amendment is meant to establish the philosophical principality of the right to express one's self freely, not so just so we can disagree with the government.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
CanWeKnow
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7/4/2013 1:23:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
ROFL what a joke. People are too touchy. Someone did something similar recently at my high school. One Facebook comment and the whole district (5 high schools) was put into lock down for a good hour. One comment, which had been posted about 2 days earlier actually.

There is a stark difference between displaying psychotic behavior and espousing frequent threats (we're watching you Kim Jong Un) and making sarcastic comments. I should get life in prison for all the crass sarcastic comments I have made on Facebook. I won't be surprised if the NSA appears at my door.
YYW
Posts: 36,391
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7/4/2013 1:23:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 1:22:45 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/4/2013 1:16:53 PM, YYW wrote:
At 7/4/2013 1:12:26 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/4/2013 1:02:46 PM, YYW wrote:
At 7/4/2013 12:56:09 PM, 000ike wrote:
Basically, the teen made a very graphic but obviously sarcastic comment on facebook and got reported to the police, so they arrested him for making "terroristic threats" and now he's facing 8 years in prison.

How is this even constitutional?

The first amendment does not protect individual's right to make threats of violence -however unless there was clear evidence of his actually making plans to do what he said it is very unlikely that the charges won't be dropped or substantially reduced. He'll probably plead out on misdemeanor charges and be required to take counseling sessions.


And please don't speak about what the first amendment does and does not protect.

lol

The First Amendment allows freedom of expression. Full stop. Only when intervening variables turn that speech from a mere expression to an infringement on another legal statute, can it possibly be removed from the protection of the first amendment.

Threats of violence are not protected by the first amendment. They aren't. The purpose of the first amendment was to keep an open "marketplace of ideas," not to give would-be criminals legal sanction to threaten others (whether they were joking or not). If you would like me to explain to you in more depth why this is the case, I would be happy to do so.

lol no. The first Amendment is meant to establish the philosophical principality of the right to express one's self freely, not so just so we can disagree with the government.

Yes, Ike... that would be the marketplace of ideas.

Learn your con-law, kiddo.
Tsar of DDO
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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7/4/2013 2:21:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
"Laws that limit inciting or provocative speech, often called fighting words, are subject to Strict Scrutiny."

Basically, if you make threats or endanger people or provoke people the Courts have a right to use Strict Scrutiny and ban it. As they have. Come on Ike... You can't shout fire in a movie theater.
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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7/4/2013 2:31:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Ike, why do you say he was sarcastic?

1. He was nineteen.
2. Doesn't Poe's law apply here? Sarcastic trolling and intending madmen would say the same things.
3. They mention this was in a reply, but what was the OP?

As far as Constitutional, you are contradicting yourself. You are saying it is unconstitutional, yet are saying that if the threat is credible, then it is okay. Which is it?

Regarding credibility, why do assume it isn't credible? The teen has means I assume (job perhaps), there is likely nothing stopping him from buying a gun. Plus, he lives 0.5 miles from an elementary school.
My work here is, finally, done.
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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7/4/2013 2:32:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 2:21:28 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
"Laws that limit inciting or provocative speech, often called fighting words, are subject to Strict Scrutiny."

Basically, if you make threats or endanger people or provoke people the Courts have a right to use Strict Scrutiny and ban it. As they have. Come on Ike... You can't shout fire in a movie theater.

You're not following what I'm saying. If I may borrow the phrase from Schenck v. US, there needs be a "clear and present danger" in which either the means, motive, or opportunity is present to execute the threat...and only under those conditions can speech be actively INVESTIGATED (forget about sentencing), meaning it would be justified to temporarily detain anyone shouting fire in a movie theater.

What I will never support is the idea that if someone makes a sarcastic, isolated remark in private he/she can be arrested because of it. This kind of autocratic suppression was what the constitution seeks to prevent. The founders did not write the first Amendment just so we can argue, but so that the government and it's laws are forever qualified by a set of philosophical PRINCIPLES. So don't tell me that the founders weren't trying to protect criminals therefore we get to jail everyone we think said something that sounds criminal.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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7/4/2013 2:38:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 2:32:29 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/4/2013 2:21:28 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
"Laws that limit inciting or provocative speech, often called fighting words, are subject to Strict Scrutiny."

Basically, if you make threats or endanger people or provoke people the Courts have a right to use Strict Scrutiny and ban it. As they have. Come on Ike... You can't shout fire in a movie theater.

You're not following what I'm saying. If I may borrow the phrase from Schenck v. US, there needs be a "clear and present danger" in which either the means, motive, or opportunity is present to execute the threat...and only under those conditions can speech be actively INVESTIGATED (forget about sentencing), meaning it would be justified to temporarily detain anyone shouting fire in a movie theater.

What I will never support is the idea that if someone makes a sarcastic, isolated remark in private he/she can be arrested because of it. This kind of autocratic suppression was what the constitution seeks to prevent. The founders did not write the first Amendment just so we can argue, but so that the government and it's laws are forever qualified by a set of philosophical PRINCIPLES. So don't tell me that the founders weren't trying to protect criminals therefore we get to jail everyone we think said something that sounds criminal.

Explain why there is no clear and present danger when a 19 year old who lives close to a school decides to publicly (Facebook is not private) declare he is crazy enough to shoot up a school. Keep in mind school was in session in February.

If a criminal states his intent, can he also say he was being sarcastic as his defense, then declare the crime as a coincidence?
My work here is, finally, done.
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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7/4/2013 2:44:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 2:32:29 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/4/2013 2:21:28 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
"Laws that limit inciting or provocative speech, often called fighting words, are subject to Strict Scrutiny."

Basically, if you make threats or endanger people or provoke people the Courts have a right to use Strict Scrutiny and ban it. As they have. Come on Ike... You can't shout fire in a movie theater.

You're not following what I'm saying. If I may borrow the phrase from Schenck v. US, there needs be a "clear and present danger" in which either the means, motive, or opportunity is present to execute the threat...and only under those conditions can speech be actively INVESTIGATED (forget about sentencing), meaning it would be justified to temporarily detain anyone shouting fire in a movie theater.

What I will never support is the idea that if someone makes a sarcastic, isolated remark in private he/she can be arrested because of it. This kind of autocratic suppression was what the constitution seeks to prevent. The founders did not write the first Amendment just so we can argue, but so that the government and it's laws are forever qualified by a set of philosophical PRINCIPLES. So don't tell me that the founders weren't trying to protect criminals therefore we get to jail everyone we think said something that sounds criminal.

Oh no I agree with that second part. I did misfollow you. I'm sorry. I agree that in cases like this, this is a silly overreach of power. Clearly, everyone knows that this comment wasn't serious.
YYW
Posts: 36,391
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7/4/2013 2:48:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 2:32:29 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/4/2013 2:21:28 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
"Laws that limit inciting or provocative speech, often called fighting words, are subject to Strict Scrutiny."

Basically, if you make threats or endanger people or provoke people the Courts have a right to use Strict Scrutiny and ban it. As they have. Come on Ike... You can't shout fire in a movie theater.

You're not following what I'm saying. If I may borrow the phrase from Schenck v. US, there needs be a "clear and present danger" in which either the means, motive, or opportunity is present to execute the threat...and only under those conditions can speech be actively INVESTIGATED (forget about sentencing), meaning it would be justified to temporarily detain anyone shouting fire in a movie theater.

What I will never support is the idea that if someone makes a sarcastic, isolated remark in private he/she can be arrested because of it. This kind of autocratic suppression was what the constitution seeks to prevent. The founders did not write the first Amendment just so we can argue, but so that the government and it's laws are forever qualified by a set of philosophical PRINCIPLES. So don't tell me that the founders weren't trying to protect criminals therefore we get to jail everyone we think said something that sounds criminal.

So, recognize that the most to-date rulings on fighting words is Chaplinsky, RAV v. St. Paul and Snydar v. Phelps. Moreover, what the kid did wasn't try to incite violence (ergo, the fighting words doctrine doesn't apply). What he did is make a threat of violence, which is not protected by the first amendment.

See Watts v. US which defines a "true threat" in the legals sense as a statement where the speaker communicates a serious expression of his or her intent to commit a violent act against a particular person or group of people. Watts held that threats as such are unprotected if an objectively reasonable person would interpret the speech as a serious expression of an intent to cause a present or future harm.

To determine if a reasonable person would interpret a particular statement as a threat, the court employed a three pronged test based on the context in which a given statement was made, the content of the statement itself and the reaction of the listeners. Watts also held that a speaker need not even carry out a specific act which he or she threatens to do, because the point of the true threats doctrine is to protect people from the fear of the possibility that violence will occur. So, it is completely constitutional to charge this kid as described -even if his intent was for something other than what he described. This is because given that (1) he issued the threat via electronic media, (2) actually wrote the context of a threat out and (3) there is a cultural history of the kind of violence he threatened -a reasonable person would be inclined to interpret his statement as a threat.

Whether the teenagers of DDO agree with this or not doesn't matter. Because he can be legally charged, I'm guessing that he will. Because he didn't actually intend to carry out the kind of violence he described, I'm guessing he will plead out on misdemeanor charges -as I said from the beginning.
Tsar of DDO
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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7/4/2013 2:50:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 2:38:46 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 7/4/2013 2:32:29 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/4/2013 2:21:28 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
"Laws that limit inciting or provocative speech, often called fighting words, are subject to Strict Scrutiny."

Basically, if you make threats or endanger people or provoke people the Courts have a right to use Strict Scrutiny and ban it. As they have. Come on Ike... You can't shout fire in a movie theater.

You're not following what I'm saying. If I may borrow the phrase from Schenck v. US, there needs be a "clear and present danger" in which either the means, motive, or opportunity is present to execute the threat...and only under those conditions can speech be actively INVESTIGATED (forget about sentencing), meaning it would be justified to temporarily detain anyone shouting fire in a movie theater.

What I will never support is the idea that if someone makes a sarcastic, isolated remark in private he/she can be arrested because of it. This kind of autocratic suppression was what the constitution seeks to prevent. The founders did not write the first Amendment just so we can argue, but so that the government and it's laws are forever qualified by a set of philosophical PRINCIPLES. So don't tell me that the founders weren't trying to protect criminals therefore we get to jail everyone we think said something that sounds criminal.

Explain why there is no clear and present danger when a 19 year old who lives close to a school decides to publicly (Facebook is not private) declare he is crazy enough to shoot up a school. Keep in mind school was in session in February.

If a criminal states his intent, can he also say he was being sarcastic as his defense, then declare the crime as a coincidence?

Oh please, stop this insanity. The context of the conversation suggested obvious sarcasm, and the police OUGHT to have investigated perhaps his purchases and online activity before taking such drastic actions. From all rational angles, this situation is overt and unjustifiable draconianism.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
YYW
Posts: 36,391
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7/4/2013 2:50:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 2:50:19 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/4/2013 2:38:46 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 7/4/2013 2:32:29 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/4/2013 2:21:28 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
"Laws that limit inciting or provocative speech, often called fighting words, are subject to Strict Scrutiny."

Basically, if you make threats or endanger people or provoke people the Courts have a right to use Strict Scrutiny and ban it. As they have. Come on Ike... You can't shout fire in a movie theater.

You're not following what I'm saying. If I may borrow the phrase from Schenck v. US, there needs be a "clear and present danger" in which either the means, motive, or opportunity is present to execute the threat...and only under those conditions can speech be actively INVESTIGATED (forget about sentencing), meaning it would be justified to temporarily detain anyone shouting fire in a movie theater.

What I will never support is the idea that if someone makes a sarcastic, isolated remark in private he/she can be arrested because of it. This kind of autocratic suppression was what the constitution seeks to prevent. The founders did not write the first Amendment just so we can argue, but so that the government and it's laws are forever qualified by a set of philosophical PRINCIPLES. So don't tell me that the founders weren't trying to protect criminals therefore we get to jail everyone we think said something that sounds criminal.

Explain why there is no clear and present danger when a 19 year old who lives close to a school decides to publicly (Facebook is not private) declare he is crazy enough to shoot up a school. Keep in mind school was in session in February.

If a criminal states his intent, can he also say he was being sarcastic as his defense, then declare the crime as a coincidence?

Oh please, stop this insanity. The context of the conversation suggested obvious sarcasm, and the police OUGHT to have investigated perhaps his purchases and online activity before taking such drastic actions. From all rational angles, this situation is overt and unjustifiable draconianism.

LOL, kiddo, you are so off base here.
Tsar of DDO
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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7/4/2013 2:54:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 2:48:05 PM, YYW wrote:
At 7/4/2013 2:32:29 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/4/2013 2:21:28 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
"Laws that limit inciting or provocative speech, often called fighting words, are subject to Strict Scrutiny."

Basically, if you make threats or endanger people or provoke people the Courts have a right to use Strict Scrutiny and ban it. As they have. Come on Ike... You can't shout fire in a movie theater.

You're not following what I'm saying. If I may borrow the phrase from Schenck v. US, there needs be a "clear and present danger" in which either the means, motive, or opportunity is present to execute the threat...and only under those conditions can speech be actively INVESTIGATED (forget about sentencing), meaning it would be justified to temporarily detain anyone shouting fire in a movie theater.

What I will never support is the idea that if someone makes a sarcastic, isolated remark in private he/she can be arrested because of it. This kind of autocratic suppression was what the constitution seeks to prevent. The founders did not write the first Amendment just so we can argue, but so that the government and it's laws are forever qualified by a set of philosophical PRINCIPLES. So don't tell me that the founders weren't trying to protect criminals therefore we get to jail everyone we think said something that sounds criminal.

So, recognize that the most to-date rulings on fighting words is Chaplinsky, RAV v. St. Paul and Snydar v. Phelps. Moreover, what the kid did wasn't try to incite violence (ergo, the fighting words doctrine doesn't apply). What he did is make a threat of violence, which is not protected by the first amendment.

See Watts v. US which defines a "true threat" in the legals sense as a statement where the speaker communicates a serious expression of his or her intent to commit a violent act against a particular person or group of people. Watts held that threats as such are unprotected if an objectively reasonable person would interpret the speech as a serious expression of an intent to cause a present or future harm.

To determine if a reasonable person would interpret a particular statement as a threat, the court employed a three pronged test based on the context in which a given statement was made, the content of the statement itself and the reaction of the listeners. Watts also held that a speaker need not even carry out a specific act which he or she threatens to do, because the point of the true threats doctrine is to protect people from the fear of the possibility that violence will occur. So, it is completely constitutional to charge this kid as described -even if his intent was for something other than what he described. This is because given that (1) he issued the threat via electronic media, (2) actually wrote the context of a threat out and (3) there is a cultural history of the kind of violence he threatened -a reasonable person would be inclined to interpret his statement as a threat.

Whether the teenagers of DDO agree with this or not doesn't matter. Because he can be legally charged, I'm guessing that he will. Because he didn't actually intend to carry out the kind of violence he described, I'm guessing he will plead out on misdemeanor charges -as I said from the beginning.

We're discussing constitutional and moral principle, not just the law. And you're an authoritarian, so I don't expect to convince you on the issue. The sort of thinking that denies the necessary corporeal and intellectual sovereignty of each human being clearly can't be unknotted in one sitting.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Khaos_Mage
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7/4/2013 2:58:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
YYW, if it can be proven that this kid was being sarcastic (which the selected posts suggest, but there is more to the story, like the OP), shouldn't the charges be dropped, since his threat was not actually a threat?

I mean, if I say something negative about someone that people interpret to be true, but I am not in any way implying it is (for example, saying I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. X did Y), should I be guilty of liable?
My work here is, finally, done.
Khaos_Mage
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7/4/2013 3:00:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 2:50:19 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/4/2013 2:38:46 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:

Oh please, stop this insanity. The context of the conversation suggested obvious sarcasm, and the police OUGHT to have investigated perhaps his purchases and online activity before taking such drastic actions. From all rational angles, this situation is overt and unjustifiable draconianism.

WHAT CONTEXT? WHAT CONVERSATION?
I only heard three sentences of "conversation". Which the mother said was a reply to something. So, how can you sit here and tell me the context, when you either won't say it even though I've asked for it, or you don't know.
My work here is, finally, done.
YYW
Posts: 36,391
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7/4/2013 3:04:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 2:54:12 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/4/2013 2:48:05 PM, YYW wrote:
At 7/4/2013 2:32:29 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/4/2013 2:21:28 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
"Laws that limit inciting or provocative speech, often called fighting words, are subject to Strict Scrutiny."

Basically, if you make threats or endanger people or provoke people the Courts have a right to use Strict Scrutiny and ban it. As they have. Come on Ike... You can't shout fire in a movie theater.

You're not following what I'm saying. If I may borrow the phrase from Schenck v. US, there needs be a "clear and present danger" in which either the means, motive, or opportunity is present to execute the threat...and only under those conditions can speech be actively INVESTIGATED (forget about sentencing), meaning it would be justified to temporarily detain anyone shouting fire in a movie theater.

What I will never support is the idea that if someone makes a sarcastic, isolated remark in private he/she can be arrested because of it. This kind of autocratic suppression was what the constitution seeks to prevent. The founders did not write the first Amendment just so we can argue, but so that the government and it's laws are forever qualified by a set of philosophical PRINCIPLES. So don't tell me that the founders weren't trying to protect criminals therefore we get to jail everyone we think said something that sounds criminal.

So, recognize that the most to-date rulings on fighting words is Chaplinsky, RAV v. St. Paul and Snydar v. Phelps. Moreover, what the kid did wasn't try to incite violence (ergo, the fighting words doctrine doesn't apply). What he did is make a threat of violence, which is not protected by the first amendment.

See Watts v. US which defines a "true threat" in the legals sense as a statement where the speaker communicates a serious expression of his or her intent to commit a violent act against a particular person or group of people. Watts held that threats as such are unprotected if an objectively reasonable person would interpret the speech as a serious expression of an intent to cause a present or future harm.

To determine if a reasonable person would interpret a particular statement as a threat, the court employed a three pronged test based on the context in which a given statement was made, the content of the statement itself and the reaction of the listeners. Watts also held that a speaker need not even carry out a specific act which he or she threatens to do, because the point of the true threats doctrine is to protect people from the fear of the possibility that violence will occur. So, it is completely constitutional to charge this kid as described -even if his intent was for something other than what he described. This is because given that (1) he issued the threat via electronic media, (2) actually wrote the context of a threat out and (3) there is a cultural history of the kind of violence he threatened -a reasonable person would be inclined to interpret his statement as a threat.

Whether the teenagers of DDO agree with this or not doesn't matter. Because he can be legally charged, I'm guessing that he will. Because he didn't actually intend to carry out the kind of violence he described, I'm guessing he will plead out on misdemeanor charges -as I said from the beginning.

We're discussing constitutional and moral principle, not just the law. And you're an authoritarian, so I don't expect to convince you on the issue. The sort of thinking that denies the necessary corporeal and intellectual sovereignty of each human being clearly can't be unknotted in one sitting.

That is the point of the Supreme Court, Ike. To tell us what the law is/says/means/does. Moreover, you're the one who brought up fighting words -and erroneously so. My political inclinations are not relevant here. Now, in any case, you have been educated where previously you were ignorant.

Even still, what you're arguing is that threats of violence, when they aren't intended by the one who issues the threat to be carried out, ought to be protected by the first amendment -which is a fundamentally absurd argument. It is a fundamentally absurd argument (1) because it is difficult if not impossible to know, in the moment, whether someone is serious or kidding -and whether one does know or not does not justify ignoring the risk posed by the threat, (2) because the argument you are suggesting would give people licensee to threaten other people with regularity and be absolved by the sole defense of "Just kidding! haha!" (3) because of the impracticality of what you're saying for the aforementioned two reasons, (4) because in no way, shape or form is a threat of violence an expression of an idea meritorious of first amendment protection and (5) because you only know that the kid was kidding now because he and his dear sweet mother said so -so, from that post-facto knowledge you are concluding that he should be absolved of charges -which is once more an exercise of stupidity, for the aforementioned 4 reasons.
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Lordknukle
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7/4/2013 3:04:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
This is disgusting. I don't care if the teen said that he had a nuclear bomb in his backyard and he was going to detonate it in the middle of Manhattan- freedom of speech ought to be protected to the extreme. If somebody wants to shout "Fire" in a movie theatre, go ahead. Will people beat you up for it? Probably. Should you face criminal charges? Most fvcking definitely not.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
Lordknukle
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7/4/2013 3:05:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I don't even care if he posted this while he was 100m from the school, with a gun, and intending to shoot it up. Principle is principle.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
YYW
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7/4/2013 3:07:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 2:58:00 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
YYW, if it can be proven that this kid was being sarcastic (which the selected posts suggest, but there is more to the story, like the OP), shouldn't the charges be dropped, since his threat was not actually a threat?

Should the charges be dropped? No. Because that precedent would give validity to all future issuers of threats's defense of "just kidding!" -which would be both arbitrary (because it would rely on the speakers word) and not pragmatic (because it would constrain law enforcement's ability to respond to threats that are issued). Should the charges be reduced? Probably, and I suspect they will.

I mean, if I say something negative about someone that people interpret to be true, but I am not in any way implying it is (for example, saying I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. X did Y), should I be guilty of liable?

Saying something negative is not the same as threatening a person with violence. You can insult someone as much as you like (with a few exceptions, but that's not the case here). You can't threaten them with violence.
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Khaos_Mage
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7/4/2013 3:09:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 3:04:57 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
This is disgusting. I don't care if the teen said that he had a nuclear bomb in his backyard and he was going to detonate it in the middle of Manhattan- freedom of speech ought to be protected to the extreme. If somebody wants to shout "Fire" in a movie theatre, go ahead. Will people beat you up for it? Probably. Should you face criminal charges? Most fvcking definitely not.

So, if there was no fire in a theatre, and people naturally flee for the exits when "fire" is shouted, and someone is trampled to death when I knowingly falsely should "fire", am I culpable?

Is it your contention that I should not be either jailed or sued for the death?

What if I hold a loaded gun to your head and say I'll kill you? I have no intention of doing it, so I should not face any charges?
My work here is, finally, done.
CanWeKnow
Posts: 217
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7/4/2013 3:12:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
^_^ But how is this different from any other conversation we would have in a public setting?

If I'm at a coffee shop talking with Rachel about how much we hate Shontel and I sarcastically say "God, sometimes I want to kill Shontel so bad." Is that grounds for arrest? Is that ethically wrong?
Khaos_Mage
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7/4/2013 3:14:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 3:07:33 PM, YYW wrote:
At 7/4/2013 2:58:00 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
YYW, if it can be proven that this kid was being sarcastic (which the selected posts suggest, but there is more to the story, like the OP), shouldn't the charges be dropped, since his threat was not actually a threat?

Should the charges be dropped? No. Because that precedent would give validity to all future issuers of threats's defense of "just kidding!" -which would be both arbitrary (because it would rely on the speakers word) and not pragmatic (because it would constrain law enforcement's ability to respond to threats that are issued). Should the charges be reduced? Probably, and I suspect they will.

I mean, if I say something negative about someone that people interpret to be true, but I am not in any way implying it is (for example, saying I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. X did Y), should I be guilty of liable?

Saying something negative is not the same as threatening a person with violence. You can insult someone as much as you like (with a few exceptions, but that's not the case here). You can't threaten them with violence.

Let me rephrase my question:
Should the charges be dropped if people should not have taken the threat seriously in the first place? If the sarcasm was clear and only an idiot would believe them.

I mean, if I am ten and live in London and say I am going to blow up the Grand Canyon, should I be arrested (I am using age as a means of absurdity via no ability, no "children aren't culpable" argument please).
My work here is, finally, done.
Lordknukle
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7/4/2013 3:14:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 3:09:38 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 7/4/2013 3:04:57 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
This is disgusting. I don't care if the teen said that he had a nuclear bomb in his backyard and he was going to detonate it in the middle of Manhattan- freedom of speech ought to be protected to the extreme. If somebody wants to shout "Fire" in a movie theatre, go ahead. Will people beat you up for it? Probably. Should you face criminal charges? Most fvcking definitely not.

So, if there was no fire in a theatre, and people naturally flee for the exits when "fire" is shouted, and someone is trampled to death when I knowingly falsely should "fire", am I culpable?

Criminally, no. Civilly, yes.

Is it your contention that I should not be either jailed or sued for the death?

You can get sued, but not jailed.

What if I hold a loaded gun to your head and say I'll kill you? I have no intention of doing it, so I should not face any charges?

Except that that's already aggravated assault.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
YYW
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7/4/2013 3:17:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 3:12:57 PM, CanWeKnow wrote:
^_^ But how is this different from any other conversation we would have in a public setting?

If I'm at a coffee shop talking with Rachel about how much we hate Shontel and I sarcastically say "God, sometimes I want to kill Shontel so bad." Is that grounds for arrest? Is that ethically wrong?

In that situation a reasonable person would very likely not interpret that as a threat because (1) in the context of such a statement it is clear that you are expressing the desire rather than the intent to carry out some act of violence, (2) because you did not in that statement actually threaten violence and (3) because it is not likely that listeners to that statement would interpret that to be a violent threat (assuming you have no prior history of violent acts, etc.). So, no, it is most likely not grounds for arrest. Ethically wrong to want to kill someone, even in a joking sense? It's probably not good...
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drhead
Posts: 1,475
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7/4/2013 3:18:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 2:38:46 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 7/4/2013 2:32:29 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/4/2013 2:21:28 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
"Laws that limit inciting or provocative speech, often called fighting words, are subject to Strict Scrutiny."

Basically, if you make threats or endanger people or provoke people the Courts have a right to use Strict Scrutiny and ban it. As they have. Come on Ike... You can't shout fire in a movie theater.

You're not following what I'm saying. If I may borrow the phrase from Schenck v. US, there needs be a "clear and present danger" in which either the means, motive, or opportunity is present to execute the threat...and only under those conditions can speech be actively INVESTIGATED (forget about sentencing), meaning it would be justified to temporarily detain anyone shouting fire in a movie theater.

What I will never support is the idea that if someone makes a sarcastic, isolated remark in private he/she can be arrested because of it. This kind of autocratic suppression was what the constitution seeks to prevent. The founders did not write the first Amendment just so we can argue, but so that the government and it's laws are forever qualified by a set of philosophical PRINCIPLES. So don't tell me that the founders weren't trying to protect criminals therefore we get to jail everyone we think said something that sounds criminal.

Explain why there is no clear and present danger when a 19 year old who lives close to a school decides to publicly (Facebook is not private) declare he is crazy enough to shoot up a school. Keep in mind school was in session in February.

If a criminal states his intent, can he also say he was being sarcastic as his defense, then declare the crime as a coincidence?

Actually, a threat is only a crime if the person threatened believes you intend to carry through with it, and if a reasonable person would have believed that you intend to carry through. It varies a lot by state law. Some states require that the threat had the intent of terrorizing someone or causing an inconvenience. But in most cases, practical limits apply. There's a difference between "I am going to put a bullet between your eyes the next time I see you, so you had better run" and "i am going to KILL you if you do that, LOL".
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Khaos_Mage
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7/4/2013 3:18:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 3:12:57 PM, CanWeKnow wrote:
^_^ But how is this different from any other conversation we would have in a public setting?

Most conversation don't suggest intent.

If I'm at a coffee shop talking with Rachel about how much we hate Shontel and I sarcastically say "God, sometimes I want to kill Shontel so bad." Is that grounds for arrest? Is that ethically wrong?
This has no intent. There is a world of difference between saying "I wish someone was dead, and I'd like to be the reason", and "I am going to kill them". So, please give a better example to illustrate the difference you are claiming.
My work here is, finally, done.
YYW
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7/4/2013 3:19:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 3:14:04 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 7/4/2013 3:07:33 PM, YYW wrote:
At 7/4/2013 2:58:00 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
YYW, if it can be proven that this kid was being sarcastic (which the selected posts suggest, but there is more to the story, like the OP), shouldn't the charges be dropped, since his threat was not actually a threat?

Should the charges be dropped? No. Because that precedent would give validity to all future issuers of threats's defense of "just kidding!" -which would be both arbitrary (because it would rely on the speakers word) and not pragmatic (because it would constrain law enforcement's ability to respond to threats that are issued). Should the charges be reduced? Probably, and I suspect they will.

I mean, if I say something negative about someone that people interpret to be true, but I am not in any way implying it is (for example, saying I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. X did Y), should I be guilty of liable?

Saying something negative is not the same as threatening a person with violence. You can insult someone as much as you like (with a few exceptions, but that's not the case here). You can't threaten them with violence.

Let me rephrase my question:
Should the charges be dropped if people should not have taken the threat seriously in the first place? If the sarcasm was clear and only an idiot would believe them.

I think that would have to depend on the specifics of a situation. Maybe... but maybe not.

I mean, if I am ten and live in London and say I am going to blow up the Grand Canyon, should I be arrested (I am using age as a means of absurdity via no ability, no "children aren't culpable" argument please).

If a ten year old made a threat like that, it's not likely anyone would care...
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