HOUSTON — Despite serious warnings from Houston law enforcement over the last few days, local teens continue to post jokes — that are being construed as threats — to social media and are being arrested.
Whatever the motive behind this behavior, it's going to cause real world consequences.
“If the prosecution and the law enforcement is really trying to press these cases and sets examples then you're looking at an extensive defense in many thousands of dollars,” Civil Rights and Criminal Defense Lawyer Randall Kallinen said.
He also said some of these charges may have trouble sticking.
“Now the actual law itself of terroristic threat is quite broad, and vague, but it has been tempered by case law... these cases all have to be determined beyond a reasonable doubt and the case law does provide us with some guidance to that,” Kallinen explained.
Many of these perceived threats have been found to be less than genuine.
And in some cases, like criticizing what a government entity is deciding to consider threatening, could be considered protected under the first amendment.
“That being said, we also have to make sure that our schools are kept safe,” Kallinen added.
It's going to be a delicate and expensive lesson in civil rights for kids with nothing but their futures at stake. Put the phones down kids.
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