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The US Supreme Court overturns conviction for death threats on Facebook

threats on Facebook

“I shall know the rest until your body is in pieces , bathed in blood and dying of his injuries. “According to the US Supreme Court , this type of remarks, posted on Facebook , is not always wrong. Monday, June 1 , the highest court overturned the previous ruling in 2011 which convicted the author of these lines for threats on Facebook.

After being left by his wife, Anthony Elonis , an American from Pennsylvania, had published several such messages on the social network . He also spoke of a massacre in a primary school and threatened to kill an FBI agent who interrogated . For these threats on Facebook, he was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and three years of supervised release .

But the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the conviction, saying that death threats had to include malice to be condemned. In his defense, Anthony Elonis had argued that his messages were not threats on Facebook but it was written in the form of rap lyrics, had a “therapeutic” role and that he had never intended to kill whoever it was. He cited several artists on this occasion about violent perpetrators, including rapper Eminem.

The prosecution, she argued that the intention does not matter, and that the threat was proven if a “reasonable person” was threatening these remarks. An argument deemed insufficient by the Supreme Court.

Its decision was eagerly awaited, especially on the issue of the protection of this type of place in the name of freedom of expression. But the Supreme Court dodged the debate because “it unnecessary to address the questions of the First Amendment” on the subject.

Sidra Sajid
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