Supreme Court: Ranting on Facebook Not a Crime

The U.S. Supreme Court today said the government cannot base a prosecution for sending an Internet threat solely on how the message was perceived, NBC News reported. Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for seven justices, said it was not enough for prosecutors to show that the comments of Anthony Elonis would make a reasonable person feel threatened. But the court did not specify to lower courts exactly what the standard of proof should be. Elonis was prosecuted under a law banning illegal threats after he posted Facebook rants in the form of rap lyrics about killing his estranged wife, harming law enforcement officials and shooting up a school. The justices ordered a new trial for the Pennsylvania amusement park worker.

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