The state Supreme Court today upheld charges against a Hall County teenager alleging he made a terroristic threat in a Facebook post. The case speaks to the risks of teens using social media to make threats, even ones written in jest or out of frustration.
The gist: Devon Major, a student at Lanier Career Academy, posted on Facebook about the lack of computers at his school, warning students they would have a hard time graduating because there were too many people and too few machines. Except the teen said it in a far less straightforward way and ended with this comment: “I swear and there so much drama here now Lord, please save me before o get the chopper out and make Columbine look childish.”
The teen’s message was viewed as a threat and he was arrested. Major challenged his indictment, maintaining the statute is unconstitutional because it’s vague and over broad. His lawyer argued the Facebook comment was not a terroristic threat but therapeutic, cathartic expression. The Supreme Court disagreed, saying, “…whether an accused acted with the required criminal intent is a question of fact reserved for the jury, not this Court.”
To read more about the decision, go to the AJC Get Schooled blog.
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