The Supreme Court Monday threw out a Pennsylvania man's conviction for making threats on Facebook in the form of rap lyrics, the Associated Press reports.
In the 7-2 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that Anthony Elonis' series of posts on Facebook about killing his estranged wife, harming police, and shooting up a school should not be considered illegal threats. It was not enough for prosecutors to prove the comments would make a reasonable person feel threatened, Roberts added. Elonis said in court his comments were meant as therapy for himself, not threats.
According to AP, one post Elonis wrote about his wife read: "There's one way to love you but a thousand ways to kill you. I'm not going to rest until your body is a mess, soaked in blood and dying from all the little cuts."
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In reaching the decision, the court did not address whether Elonis' comments were protected under the First Amendment. The decision is expected to make it more difficult for the government to prosecute people who make threatening statements online.
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