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Woman Convicted for Posting Threat on Message Board

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posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 03:04 PM
Woman Convicted for Posting Threat on AOL

Dec 8, 12:06 AM EST

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A 32-year-old woman was convicted for posting a death threat on an Internet message board, authorities said Wednesday.

Dera Marie Jones, of San Francisco, was convicted by a federal jury Tuesday afternoon of sending a death threat across state lines, according to U.S. Attorney Kevin V. Ryan.

She faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

I posted this because it seems kind of strange to me.
She shouldn't have typed those words. But still, was she really a threat? Bit of overkill if you ask me.

I Guess we'll have to wait for the sentencing to see how hard they punish her.


[edit on 12/10/05 by makeitso]

posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 03:17 PM
Well, i guess if i (would never do it :shk
threatened to kill you, it would not be taken very lightly around here either.

You might want to, but you know you wouldnt.

posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 03:55 PM
A true and apparently sincere death threat should not be tolerated on any message board, and generally isn't, but to have outside authorities actually take action is sort of frightening.

Long ago, when I first started posting on message boards, a poster made an apparently sincere post urging the assassination of then-President Clinton. That was virtually the last post that he made there. His account still existed, but he vanished from sight. I had no doubt then, nor do I now, that he was arrested. I was and remain sort of ambivalent about even that. He really did appear to be sincere, so I understood it, but still...

There's a fair amount of civil legal action threatened or even undertaken over message board posts. All forums, including this one, have rules concerning the posting of copyrighted materials and of libelous or slanderous material and such specifically because there's a very real threat that they could be sued over it. But that's civil action-- not criminal. Again, I understand it, but it makes me sort of uncomfortable.

The last board that I lived on had no real moderators, which, as a minarchist, I considered to be a distinctly positive thing (but that's a different subject...) Instead, they relied on a "Report Abuse" button that came up with every post-- if a poster felt that a particular post was abusive for some reason, then they could report it to the admin, and action might or might not be taken regarding the post or the poster. The only time that I ever pushed that button was in response to a death threat posted by one poster to another. I felt then and feel now that that was wholly unacceptable, and I applauded when the admin banned the poster that issued the threat.

But getting the police involved in such a thing is an entirely different matter. I'm wary of moderation on a message board-- it's all too easy for the forum to be destroyed, or at least warped to the point that it's no longer a legitimate place to post potentially unwelcome opinions, if the moderators are given too much power (take a look at FreeRepublic for a good example of this), but that's purely an internal issue. There are still other sites and other boards, and the loss of one isn't a real threat. But the thing that makes the internet truly valuable, to me at least, and, I believe, to all who appreciate freedom, is that it provides a place for a free exchange of ideas unlike any that has ever existed in this world. As such, it poses a direct threat to the power elite, and they have been scrambling for control of it since its inception for just that reason. This ruling provides them with an opportunity to exert that control that they so desperately desire.

Granted, we're speaking here of a death threat-- a form of "speech" that is already nominally illegal, even if not often prosecuted. But who's to say what this or that government will attempt to prosecute next, or even what form of speech they might seek to make illegal next. While I don't see this particular action to be a direct threat to the free exchange of ideas that I value so dearly, I do see it as a potential step in a dangerous direction. Still it's not a direct threat, but it does concern me. All expansion of political power is incremental, and the government's control of what is posted by whom on the internet just clicked up one more notch.

Personally-- since it's not really a threat, I feel somewhat safe to say: If I could confront that woman, I'd love to say, "Hey, way to go MORON! Way to ruin it for all of us MORON!" And I have to admit that for that wholly selfish reason, I kind of want to be pleased to see her get figuratively smacked upside the head for her apparently grossly idiotic actions. But I recognize that it's exactly that sort of short-sightedness and inattention to potential consequences that allows the powers-that-be to slowly and surely expand their power and destroy ours, so I fight that self-involved view.

Jeez, but still-- what a shame that we should all lose even a tiny bit of our freedom to exchange ideas because of one petty person's inability to behave like a decent human... :shk:

posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 04:13 PM

When you utter threats in the real world you can be prosecuted according to your local laws.
The same thing applies in print.

"If she dies, I will kill Michael Schiavo and the judge," Jones wrote. "This is real!"

So this woman was one of the many who wanted to save a life? But then she turns around and says she wants to murder two people? There is something seroiusly wrong with that.

posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 04:38 PM

Originally posted by Umbrax
So this woman was one of the many who wanted to save a life? But then she turns around and says she wants to murder two people? There is something seroiusly wrong with that.

...have always loved that hypocracy...much like Pro-Lifers killing Abortionists...

But then again, to threaten someone over the net is a pretty good indication that the hamster ain't running too well in her wheel ya know...

posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 08:02 PM
Never, Never, ever, threaten to kill a judge. I think they will make an example of her.

posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 02:25 PM
Seems a little overblown. Serious offense, but it's an AOL message board. The odds that anything on there is serious is about nil. Much worse is said all over the internet at any given moment.

Still, stupid to threaten a judge.

posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 09:29 PM
I think this was taken seriously because the threat was not to an otherwise anonymous individual posting to a message board, but a threat against two well-known and easy to find targets. The fact that one is a judge didn't help matters very much. Their being parties to such a high-profile, emotionally-laden case didn't make things any better, either.

posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 10:10 PM

Originally posted by Bob LaoTse

Jeez, but still-- what a shame that we should all lose even a tiny bit of our freedom to exchange ideas because of one petty person's inability to behave like a decent human... :shk:

the sooner you learn that there will always be an asshole to ruin everything for everyone else, the better off youll be

posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 01:33 AM
What I find fascinating is that a judge was reading message boards about a case he was presiding on...

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