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Major v. State

800 S.E.2d 348, 301 Ga. 147 (2017)

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Major v. State

Georgia Supreme Court

800 S.E.2d 348, 301 Ga. 147 (2017)

Facts

In September 2014, Devon Major (defendant), a high school student, posted a message on Facebook in which he seemed to threaten to commit a school shooting. Major was arrested and charged with threatening to commit a violent crime with reckless disregard of causing terror with the threat, in violation of Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 16-11-37(a). Section 16-11-37(a) prohibited a person from making purposeful or reckless threats of violence. Major filed a motion opposing the charge, arguing that § 16-11-37(a) was unconstitutionally overbroad because it allowed Georgia (plaintiff) to prosecute defendants for protected speech in violation of the First Amendment right to free speech. In particular, Major argued that § 16-11-37(a) improperly criminalized reckless threats. The trial court denied the motion. Major appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hunstein, J.)

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