Supreme Court to look at violent speech used online

Created: 06/18/2014 6:39 AM WHEC.com

If you stand in front of someone, look them in the eye and threaten to sock them, you could find yourself in trouble. But what if you made that threat in an online forum, like Facebook?

It's a question the highest court in the U.S. will soon be considering. The justices have said they will take up a case in which a Pennsylvania man has been sentenced to four years in federal prison for posting violent online rants against his estranged wife. Anthony Elonis claimed his comments are protected by the First Amendment - and that he never meant to carry out the threats. He says he posted the comments as rap lyrics to vent his frustration after his wife left him.

The high court says it will consider whether being convicted of threatening another person under federal law requires that there is a true threat involved.

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