RIVERSIDE (CBS) — A Riverside County judge may be forced to revisit an old case after a California Supreme Court ruling on whether someone can be imprisoned for making verbal threats.

Eddie Lowery was arrested after he told his incarcerated wife he would shoot a man who accused the couple of stealing $250,000.

Lowery was convicted of threatening a crime victim and sentenced to a one year in prison, according to the Associated Press.

The California Supreme Court ruled last Thursday that a verbal threat is not protected by free speech if a reasonable listener concludes the threat was made in earnest.

In the decision, Justice Joyce Kennard said the threat could be perceived as legitimate “even if the person had no intention of carrying out the threat”.

Comments (4)
  1. Jane says:

    There has to be more to this; otherwise, the obvious defense is to cite colloquial and common use. Humorous but common examples: The Stooges’ “I’ll moider ya” and Honeymooners’ “One of these days, Alice, pow! Right in the kisser.”

  2. ts says:

    Talk about your half ass news…….. the ruling sounds like it would keep him in. Who really cares any ways?

  3. Karen says:

    The story does not match the court case. Apparently, the threat was deemed credible and that is why he was in jail. The Supreme Court ruling AFFIRMED the lower court judgment. Whoever wrote this article needs a new career.

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