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7-14-2009 @ 4:05PM
Hey, 20 years in jail? He can still have the semblance of a life afterward, the stupid ass.Unless, of course, he was serious ... then we can just pop a bullet in his head and save the taxpayers' money.
7-14-2009 @ 4:07PM
20 years in jail for a lame joke? Ever hear of the 1st Amendment?
7-14-2009 @ 4:10PM
First amendment doesn't cover threats of violence.
7-14-2009 @ 4:11PM
Ever hear that the First Amendment has all kinds of limitations, and doesn't prevent there being serious consequences for the content of your speech?
Beezle: Sorry to break the news to you, but true threats of violence are outside the First Amendment.
7-14-2009 @ 4:12PM
1st Amend doesn't apply when you're using that speech to incite fear or panic... same reason you can't say you have a bomb on an airplane or scream "FIRE" in a crowded theater. Free speech law is ultimately a balance between your right to speak on the rights of the audience you're directing your speech to. Making passive but viable threats to the public safety =/= valuable speech when weighed against protecting the peace of mind/safety of the public/audience you're making "jokes" toward.
7-14-2009 @ 4:14PM
@Beelzebudhe "claimed" he was lying. maybe he was serious.and i know someone is gonna think "hes 18, what could he do?". a hella lot by exploiting that attitude.
7-14-2009 @ 4:20PM
@ Beelzebud It amuses me greatly when people throw the "but i has First Amendment" out there. Obviously you have never actually studied anything in regards to the constitution and have no understanding what the amendments entail. Why don't you study up a little before you act like you know how the Constitution works and you look like a jackass.
7-14-2009 @ 4:49PM
freedom of speech...as long as the majority likes what you're saying
7-14-2009 @ 4:46PM
@beezle The supreme court ruled waaaaay back in O. W. Holmes day, that freedom of speech didn't include the right to yell "fire" in a crowded theater. I bet you also yell 1st amendment when offensive posts are deleted off Blizz forums? Again, if you're going to pose an argument at least understand it..
7-14-2009 @ 5:10PM
ultimately, what we should take away from this is that it doesn't matter where someone makes a threat, what matters is the nature and seriousness of the threat.
7-14-2009 @ 5:27PM
May as well throw my $0.02 against the idiot above who tried to claim "free speech". The right to freedom of speech was originally placed in the bill of rights to protect political speech. The founding fathers wanted to ensure that those in power would not be able to target those who criticized policy, as was prevalent at the time (you complained about the king you ended up in prison). It had nothing to do you anyone's right to say whatever the hell crap they wanted, and it especially does not cover those who are inciting violence. It also does not mean that you are guarenteed to have an audience for whatever idiocy you want to spout off, conspiricy theorists complain about their "voice being supressed," when in reality it's more of a matter of people thinking they are crazy and ignoring them.
7-14-2009 @ 7:01PM
actually, as far as I know the first amendment should cover his speech. Certain types of speech are unprotected by the first amendment, threats of violence fit into the unprotected category of speech known as incitement of imminent lawless action. The problem there however, is that the lawless action has to be IMMINENT. Unless he stated those words at 7:29 while standing in line to board a plane his threats were not imminent. The yelling fire in a theatre situation was first used by Holmes when he created the clear and present danger test, which was later narrowed to the imminent lawless action test in Brandenburg v. Ohio. The current state of this line of cases is that mere advocacy of illegal action does not justify state action, unless that advocacy incites imminent lawless action and is likely to produce such imminent action. I think that the kid actually has a valid first ammendment case against his arrest for saying something in-game.
7-14-2009 @ 7:07PM
well, he would have a case if he was arrested on that statement alone, I should say.
7-15-2009 @ 5:16PM
I'm sorry, but 20 years in jail for a stupid empty threat made by a teenager in a video game chat channel?! Are you insane? Add to that all the other comments under this post that advocate (half-jokingly, I hope) that we dole out prison sentences for stupidity and whatnot, and we have a pretty sad picture of our society today. That kid? He is a fellow American that you just advocated depriving of freedom and submitting to, essentially, torture for 20 years. According to you, he deserves to have a "semblance of a life" afterward, all for being a "stupid ass" and scaring a few people. People like you and your cavalier attitude towards stripping your own countrymen of their freedom are responsible for far more pain and suffering across this Nation than any terrorist could ever dream of. You know what you do to people that yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater? You bar them from theater. You make them repay the damage caused by the ensuing panic. And if irreparable damage was done to people, you charge them with associated crimes. Only in the face of actual charges for actual damages do you deny them the right to a First Amendment defense and, by extension, their otherwise inalienable right to freedom. Coming back to the story at hand, what exactly would you charge this kid with? Who suffered harm here? Was there panic in the streets? Were planes grounded across Indiana? Did somebody jump out of a window in panic? No. A few people got wary and Blizzard called the cops. From the sound of it, the subsequent investigation will likely show that he is not a terrorist. At that point, a slap on the wrist and a public humiliation is in order, after which you set him loose to go on with his life. Not a "semblance of a life", but a normal productive life that's actually beneficial to society.
7-14-2009 @ 8:10PM
They arrested him because it sounded like he had a plan. Sure, saying he was going to board a plane to Chicago at 7:30 isn't that concrete, and he could have even been joking (if, for example, he hadn't already bought the ticket, he probably wasn't going to follow through), but the government does reserve the right to protect it's people like that. Saying you're gonna kill the president isn't going to get you in jail. Saying you're gonna kill the president at this time with this gun will get you questioned, at the very least.Now, say he is joking. The word joke implies comedy. As far as I know, the only people laughing are the one's who enjoy this guy's misery. I hate to say it, but I almost would not mind if they just arrested this guy as a message saying "There is a limit to what you can try to do to incite the masses, even with the anonymity of the internet." What people try to do "for the lulz" nowadays is getting dangerously close to crossing the border from "Wow, that guy is willing to do some crazy stuff!" to "Wow, that guy will just do anything to get a rise out of someone." A wakeup call to the masses to think twice before they say something completely retarded doesn't seem like that bad a thing in this day and age.
7-14-2009 @ 8:28PM
the most recent and relevant case regarding the necessity of imminent lawless action is Hess v. Indiana where the supreme court overturned a conviction of Hess who was leading a protest in the streets. When the police cleared the streets Hess yelled, "we'll take these f---ing streets later!" And the police arrested him. The Supreme Court overruled his conviction citing Brandenburg saying that Hess's speech was unlikely to cause "imminent" harm (because he was advocating taking the streets "later"). Actually having a concrete plan to kill the president will land you in jail for attempt, conspiracy, etc. But 'saying' that you have a plan which will be carried out at a later time, is protected under the 1st ammendment. Even if you specifiy when and where and with what gun. It may give the police probable cause to watch you, and arrest you upon any actions taken in furtherance of such a plan. But those words alone are not sufficient to subject you to prosecution.
7-15-2009 @ 12:28AM
Yes, I said 20 years, and I meant it. Anyone stupid enough to make a threat like that, the way the world is today, deserves it.Lesson: If you don't want to go to jail, don't be a fucking idiot.
7-15-2009 @ 12:35AM
Big Brother is watching you.
7-15-2009 @ 3:39AM
@Shady:The *man*, not kid (he's eighteen and thus an adult and old enough to know better), threatened to kill people. You call that a prank? A stunt? Harmless? You, my friend, are what is wrong with this country. You and every other simpering, bleeding heart who thinks people have a right to do whatever they want just because a DNA test would call them human.I say no. He's an adult. If he's stupid enough to make threats of terrorism *anywhere*, he deserves to be locked up for life or shot outright. It'll keep his stupid ass from voting at least.Oh, and yelling "Fire"? That's a crime. You can go to jail for it, especially if you're an adult. Just like people can be charged with a crime for dialing 911 for non-emergencies. I suggest you consider the actual seriousness of these situations before being so aghast at their punishments.
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