The Volokh Conspiracy

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Free Speech

Man Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison for Threatening Congresswoman


According to the Indictment in U.S. v. Comiskey, the defendant tweeted, about Rep. Lauren Boebert,

  • "If I ever saw Lauren I'd be glad to take her out and go to prison. Would be job well done."
  • "Don't worry Lauren, someone is coming soon to show your face the 2nd amendment in practice with a copper jacket. Enjoy."
  • "Someone needs to put Lauren down like a sick dog. She is a true waste of life! Someone exercise their 2nd amendment right to her face! Since the @CIA is a failure and @FBI is incompetent at charging her for being a terrorist it's time to do it ourselves! Pew pew Lauren."
  • "I got my 2 amendment tool all ready to destroy Lauren's face! Hopefully in  front of her kids."
  • "[D]on't come to Florida us libs have big guns here and we stand out [sic] ground. Take you down like Trayvon."

Defendant pleaded guilty (and was sentenced Monday), so we don't have more detailed facts about the context here. But on its face, these do indeed seem like constitutionally unprotected "true threats" of criminal conduct. And the court agreed that the indictment sufficiently alleged true threats, despite defendant's argument "that two of the Twitter posts contain conditional statements, while another does not indicate that Defendant 'personally' threatened to shoot the Representative."

Annika Marie Miranda, Karla Albite & Yara Klukas represent the government.