WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has thrown out the conviction of a Pennsylvania man accused of making threats on Facebook.
The justices ruled Monday that it was not enough for prosecutors to show that the comments of Anthony Elonis would make a reasonable person feel threatened.
Elonis was prosecuted for making 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.
Elonis claimed the government had no right to prosecute him if he didn’t actually intend his comments to be threatening to others. But the Obama administration said that the test is whether the comments would strike fear in a reasonable person.