x
Breaking News
More () »

Supreme Court Overturns Facebook Threat Conviction

In a free speech case that involved a man from eastern Pennsylvania, the United States Supreme Court has ruled in his favor. The case all has to do with threats...

In a free speech case that involved a man from eastern Pennsylvania, the United States Supreme Court has ruled in his favor.

The case all has to do with threats posted on Facebook.

This is the first time the Supreme Court has ruled on free speech and social media, in this case, Facebook.

It means a Lehigh Valley man is now, at least temporarily, in the clear.

Anthony Elonis posted several violent messages on his social media account in 2010 after his wife left him. Elonis claimed he was an artist who turned to rap lyrics for therapeutic purposes to help him cope with depression.

Elonis wrote about shooting his wife, and shooting up an elementary school and an amusement park.

The government saw those as threats and so did a federal jury. Elonis was found guilty in 2011, and spent 44 months in jail.

But on Monday morning, the Supreme Court ruled prosecutors should have been required to prove Elonis actually intended to make a threat and the high court threw out his conviction.

It's not over yet. The Supreme Court sent the case back to a lower court. The Allentown Morning Call reports Elonis was arrested in April on charges of attacking his girlfriend's mother with a pot.