Supreme Court Reverses Conviction in Facebook-Threats Case
In a follow up to our previous post, the Supreme Court has now decided Elonis v. United States, reversing the conviction based on threats the defendant posted on Facebook against his ex-wife and others. The Court held it was error for the lower court to instruct the jurors that the defendant could be convicted if the posts would be considered by a reasonable person to be threatening, characterizing that standard as one of traditional civil negligence. The Court did not address the First Amendment issues concerning the criminalization of Facebook posts.
- Elonis v. United States, No. 13-983, 575 U.S. ___ (June 1, 2015) (Court’s official PDF) (Bloomberg Law copy).
- Elonis v. United States, 134 S. Ct. 2819 (2014) (grant of petition for writ of certiorari).
- United States v. Elonis, 730 F. 3d 321 (3d Cir. 2013) (reversed and remanded by Elonis v. United States, No. 13-983 (June 1, 2015)).
- United States v. Elonis, 987 F. Supp. 2d 335 (E. D. Pa. 2012) (district court’s decision now reversed and remanded by Elonis v. United States, No. 13-983 (June 1, 2015)).