Federal Court Says Call for Obama’s Assassination was Freedom of Speech

By JasmineHughes

Many are wondering if this issue is being taken too lightly.  On Tuesday, a federal appeals court overturned the conviction of a man who posted internet messages threatening Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign.

Walter Bagdasarian was convicted in 2009 of two felony counts of threatening a major presidential candidate.  The conviction stemmed from statements that were made in 2008. Bagdasarian posted several messages to a Yahoo Finance message board, including one that called Obama a racial epithet and another that said “he will have a 50 cal in the head soon.” A reference to a .50 caliber gun.

A retired Air Force officer forwarded the postings to the Secret Service. Yahoo provided Bagdasarian’s subscriber information to investigators, who raided his house and seized six guns and a hard drive containing an email with similar sentiments.

A divided three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that violent and racist creeds against Obama were “repugnant” but not criminal. The court also said it was obvious the San Diego man wasn’t planning to attack the candidate and that the postings were protected by Bagdasarian’s free speech rights.

District Judge Marilyn L. Huff found him guilty and sentenced him to 60-days in a half-way home. But the appeals panel said no “reasonable person” could have taken Bagdasarian’s posts seriously.

“The evidence is not sufficient to support a conclusion that a reasonable person who read the postings within or without the relevant context would have understood either to mean that Bagdasarian threatened to injure or kill the presidential candidate,” Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote for the majority.

 

 

  • Mykeesha

    Wowww! Not even shocked,smh.

  • Head_In_a_book

    Don’t like the president,but will defend him when it comes to his life.He has just as much reason to live as much as everyone else.

  • Kftaylor2

    This person reminds me of Sarah Palin’s bull’s eye of Gabby Gifford’s location. She recently remarked that there may be someone out there who might harm her. She’s doesn’t no how right she is. if you wish or pray for harm to come to someone else, it’s bordering on aspects of Voodoo. Mr.Bagdasarian had better keep in touch with a high priest  to deflect the boomerang effect because that 50 cal, a stroke… Hell! a freak meteor that kills only him will probably wipe him out.

  • blkgalusa

    This man’s reputation is ruined right about now. He will be looked upon differently by his colleagues, friends and family as an embarrassment. Most people who know this man most likely has no more respect for him. So, let him go on about his business and live a little while longer…But, if I were him, I would watch my back….

  • blkgalusa

    This man is an idiot plain and simple.  So, my advice to this man is to go on about my business, my daily life with my friends and family.  But I would also keep in mind that this statement that was made about our president may cost him his respect.  Most people that he thought would be on his side will turn their backs on him.  However, if I were this man, I would definitely watch my  back.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_73CIKYA25XJQN4I3WN5CX6JTCU LEROY A

    WOW I remember when they did a movie on the death attemp of president Bush. No wonder the charge did not stick.

  • CATHERINE

    WHAT DO THEY HAVE TO DO KILL HIM?  WE NEED CHRISTIANS JUDGES AND LAWYERS.  THE WORLD IS ALL MESSED UP.  DOUBLE STANDARDS EVEN IN THE WHITE HOUSE.

  • Catherine

    “The evidence is not sufficient to support a conclusion that a reasonable person who read the postings within or without the relevant context would have understood either to mean that Bagdasarian threatened to injure or kill the presidential candidate,” Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote for the majority.”  What do they have to do kill him.  Not enough evidence?  People be real.  I am not a racist but I am not a dummy either.  Had this man been Black the keys would have been throw away.