IMHO, this is a very thorny issue in modern society with free speech concerns in the balance. I am really in the middle on this one, but lean toward the free speech side.
Remember in the early 90s how people would say that they felt like “going postal”? I hate to think that we can be held criminally responsible for things said in haste with no true intent to commit these types of crimes, but I understand how nervous some people get about any discussion of them.
What say ye, dopers? As of now, I side with the defense, but can be persuaded.
Notwithstanding Florida law, there is the constitutional free speech question. In a landmark case one can advocate lawbreaking unless a threat is a “true threat” or one “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action.”
I mean, the FL law might ban fictional novels if another person was hypersensitive. That cannot square with free speech.
Glory, glory hallelujah!
Teacher hit me with a ruler
Hit me on the beanie with a rotten tangerine-ee
And I won’t go to school no more
We were so vanilla then.
I don’t think the version I posted directly or implicitly threatened anyone.
Back to the case. David Puy headed out to meet friends for dinner… “On my way! School shooter,” he wrote in a Snapchat post with his photo. I have a hard time seeing that as " …a communicated intent to inflict harm or loss on another person."(Wikipedia) I followed the link in post #2 to the Florida legislative site but I don’t see the law’s text so I don’t know how “threat” is legally defined. Without directed intent, is it a threat?
How far down? As far as a “flippant statement” is judged a threat. How is “threat” defined under Florida law? I posted the Wikipedia definition above: “A threat is a communicated intent to inflict harm or loss on another person.” Does Florida law require intent? Does “On my way! School shooter,” signal intent?
Free speech. There’s more harm in limiting speech than there is when some random person feels threatened by a non-threat. I’m glad I’m not subject to Florida’s laws, because if I were, I might just go down there with a bow and arrow and shoot the legislator who introduced that law into Florida’s governing body.
Obviously a novel is a transmission in a writing that would allow another person to view the threat. The question is would the words in a novel be a threat. If the novel is described as sufficiently auto-biographical as many novels are, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that the author was communicating a threat.
Many 90s rap songs could certainly qualify as they were "transmit[ted] in an “other record.” You could rightfully argue that Ice T was not really threatening to kill cops that he was performing art, but all it would take would be one prosecutor to test the law, and if there was testimony from police officers that they were in fear that the songs would cause young blacks to shoot them, what does a judge do with that?