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Alabama Man Tweets Kill The President

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#1 jnelsoninjax

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 15:01

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- A federal judge this afternoon halted a guilty plea hearing and set a trial date for Jarvis Britton, the Birmingham man charged with threatening the life of President Barack Obama through Twitter messages, after Britton told the judge he was actually threatening the life of the president of Assyria.

Britton had been indicted by a federal grand jury for knowingly threatening to kill, kidnap or inflict bodily harm on the president by tweeting the message, "Let's kill the president. F.E.A.R.," on Sept. 14.

But when U.S. District Court Judge Lynwood Smith asked Britton to read over the portion of his plea agreement with prosecutors about the charge of threatening to kill President Barack Obama, Britton said that wasn't true. He told the judge he meant the president of Assyria, "Barack Assad" and the acronym meant Free Everyone Assad Regime.

The president of Syria is Bashar al-Assad.

Smith immediately stopped Britton's guilty plea hearing and set a trial date of March 18.

Britton was arrested Sept. 21 and charged by criminal complaint for threatening the president. The arrest came after the tweeted a threat, despite having been warned by a Secret Service agent in June about threatening tweets aimed at President Obama.

According to a Secret Service agent's affidavit, Britton's June 28 tweet stated "Free speech? Really? Let's test this! Let's kill the president" and later "I'm going to finish this, if they get me, they get me! #ohwell. I think we could get the president with cyanide. #MakeItSlow."

A June 29 tweet stated "Barack Obama, I wish you were DEAD!," according to the affidavit.

Earlier in the hearing Smith had ruled Britton was competent to stand trial after reviewing a report from psychologist Kimberley S. Ackerson.

Britton, dressed in a red and pink stripped Bessemer county jail uniform, told the judge that he had not completed the ninth grade in school and was taking drugs for bipolar disorder.

Smith said he found that Britton did not presently suffer from a mental disease or defect that would prevent him from understanding the charges or assisting his attorneys with the Federal Public Defender Office with his defense. Also, during the time period of the offenses charged, Britton was not suffering from a severe mental disease or defect and could appreciate the wrongfulness of his acts, the judge said.

Smith also had asked prosecutors and defense attorneys to provide written arguments of why Twitter messages - tweets - are included in the law under which Britton is charged. But in the meantime, the judge said he was ruling that it was encompassed in the law.

Smith said he doesn't tweet and that when the law under which Britton is charged was created by Congress, lawmakers didn't foresee the advent of Twitter.
Source


#2 Richteralan

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 15:04

Why I am not surprised all these things happen in the south.

#3 Nick H.

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 15:07

"Free speech? Really? Let's test this! Let's kill the president"

Well he proved a point for the US, even if it wasn't his intention.

#4 The Laughing Man

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 15:35

I stopped reading at "BIRMINGHAM, Alabama"

#5 HSoft

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 15:53

I stopped reading at "BIRMINGHAM, Alabama"

Is that because Birmingham is a mainly democratic city?

#6 soniqstylz

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 15:57

Well he proved a point for the US, even if it wasn't his intention.


No matter what people think, free speech isn't 100% inclusive. We have laws against threats, libel, slander, incitement, etc.

#7 SierraSonic

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 17:42

If I was a terrorist or planning on killing a figurehead the FIRST thing I would do is go onto social media to scream my plans to everyone!

#8 Shadrack

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 18:00

Free speech has never meant that you can say in public anything you like. This guy is a moron and I hope he gets more than a slap on the wrist for being so stupid. Call to illegal action is not protected free speech. Yelling "fire" (when there is none) in a crowded building (like a movie theater) is not protected free speech. Asking for people to kill anyone on Twitter or Facebook (not just the president) is not protected free speech.

#9 TheExperiment

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 18:07

Funny I've seen the same thing on Facebook and nothing was done. Heh.

(Although it was probably not set to public.)

#10 1941

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 18:14

Making a threat to kill the president is not covered under Freedom of Speech, It is a criminal violation, and a very stupid thing to do.

#11 +techbeck

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 18:18

According to a Secret Service agent's affidavit, Britton's June 28 tweet stated "Free speech? Really? Let's test this! Let's kill the president" and later "I'm going to finish this, if they get me, they get me! #ohwell. I think we could get the president with cyanide. #MakeItSlow."
Source


The guy was an idiot. We have freespeech but when you threaten the life of someone else, you give up that right and the right for freedom as well. The guy know what he was doing and this statement proves it. Not everyone gets caught doing his, but those that do are idiots for putting statements like this on the internet.

#12 1941

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 18:21

Well he proved a point for the US, even if it wasn't his intention.


And he will spend some time in Prison to think about what he tweets.

#13 SierraSonic

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 18:44

And he will spend some time in Prison to think about what he tweets.

Technically he never said he was going to do any of it. He said "Lets kill the president" Never specified which one, never said "I'm going to". It's on par with saying "The president should be killed by someone"

When he said "We could kill the president with cyanide" it could be taken as a true statement. See we can also kill him with suffocation, tickling, making him drink too much water, letting him die of old age, etc. These are all factual ways a president can be killed, if you somehow get passed all his security.

Now, if he said "I am going to kill the president" He could be talking about a company, or a third world nation, etc. Can you prove 100% which president he was talking about? No way, but you can assume.

What he did prove though is this, we cant make open ended statements on the internet, without someone getting their panties in a twist. :)

BTW, I want to see what would happen if /b or whatever actually went into detail with a plan like this, all for ****s and giggles to see what happens. Worlds biggest trolls vs Secret Service and tax payer resources.

#14 -Razorfold

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 18:53

Technically he never said he was going to do any of it. He said "Lets kill the president" Never specified which one, never said "I'm going to". It's on par with saying "The president should be killed by someone"

When he said "We could kill the president with cyanide" it could be taken as a true statement. See we can also kill him with suffocation, tickling, making him drink too much water, letting him die of old age, etc. These are all factual ways a president can be killed, if you somehow get passed all his security.

Now, if he said "I am going to kill the president" He could be talking about a company, or a third world nation, etc. Can you prove 100% which president he was talking about? No way, but you can assume.

What he did prove though is this, we cant make open ended statements on the internet, without someone getting their panties in a twist. :)

BTW, I want to see what would happen if /b or whatever actually went into detail with a plan like this, all for ****s and giggles to see what happens. Worlds biggest trolls vs Secret Service and tax payer resources.


A June 29 tweet stated "Barack Obama, I wish you were DEAD!," according to the affidavit.


Unless there's more than one president Barack Obama in the world, it's pretty clear what he meant.

#15 SierraSonic

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 19:01

Unless there's more than one president Barack Obama in the world, it's pretty clear what he meant.

Are these all different tweets? Maybe he is a watches a lot of politics. One tweet for the US president, another for this guy, then the next somewhere else. Wishing someone dead is not threatening them. I for one, wish about a third of the worlds population was dead.