What are the two sides of the Arguments presented in the Elonis v United States court case ? I need to write 2-3 pages on one side of the argument and 2-3 pages on the other side of the arguments....
What are the two sides of the Arguments presented in the Elonis v United States court case ? I need to write 2-3 pages on one side of the argument and 2-3 pages on the other side of the arguments.
http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/13-983_bq7d.pdf (this might help, but I didn't fine the arguments)
Elonis v. United States has raised a lot of questions about what kinds of speech through what kinds of media constitute a threat. A lot of us might feel like we know threats when we hear them—but how do we define a "threat" consistently and legally, particularly in light of new technologies and social media?
After posts featuring some of his original (and graphic) rap lyrics regarding local police, his wife, an FBI agent, and local kindergarten classrooms appeared on Facebook, Anthony Elonis was convicted on four counts of threats. In Elonis v. United States, Elonis protests his 44 month sentence. He argues that the jurors who found him guilty "hadn't used the appropriate definition of what constitutes a threat" (New Yorker). They convicted him based on the belief that a reasonable person would read his posts and regard them as a "serious expression of intention" to do harm. Elonis believes that his posts can only be construed as "threats" if he, the writer, meant them as such. He and his lawyers point to the 2003 case Virginia v. Black, in which Virginia state laws prohibiting cross burning were struck down; it was ruled that burning a cross could not always be construed as a threat, and so the act could not be made illegal as such. Elonis's lawyers interpreted the ruling to suggest that the intent behind a "threat" must be taken into account when defining communications (or, in other words, there should be a "subjective intent" standard). Elonis's lawyers are also arguing that this is a particularly relevant issue, not only because of the implications for the protection of free-speech, but also because online communications, the tone of which can be notoriously difficult to read, are rendering the issue particularly muddy.
The opposition feels that a "reasonable person" is still perfectly able to take into account the context of an act of speech, regardless of whether it's made online or not, in order to determine whether it might reasonably be understood as a threat (the "objective" standard). Intention, they argue, is a poor measuring-stick; the definition of "threat" understood by the jury that initially convicted Elonis was appropriate; an act of speech is a "threat" when it is determined that a reasonable person would interpret it as containing an intention to do harm.