Stephen C. Webster writes in the Raw Story:
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that calling for someone to kill the President of the United States cannot be classified as a threat because standing law does not prohibit “predictions or exhortations” to violence.
In a 2-1 decision, judges on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that California resident Walter E. Bagdasarian was engaging in free speech when he wrote that Obama “will have a 50 cal in the head soon,” then called on someone to “shoot the nig.”
Bagdasarian published his comments on a Yahoo finance website in the weeks leading up to the 2008 presidential election. He was arrested weeks later, after one of the other commenters reported a potential threat to the Secret Service. During a search of his residence, authorities discovered that he did indeed possess a .50 caliber rifle.
“These statements are particularly repugnant because they directly encourage violence,” the judges wrote. “We nevertheless hold that neither of them constitutes an offense within the meaning of the threat statute under which Bagdasarian was convicted.”
For more information, see original article.
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