Federal prosecutors charged Johnny Logan Spencer Jr. with threatening to kill the President after he posted a 16-line poem titled “The Sniper” on a neo-Nazi website.
According to The Courier-Journal, threatening the life of the President is a felony that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The case may test limitations of free speech. While the defence argues the verse is merely offensive and should be protected as art, the prosecutor says the line “DIE negro DIE” is enough to strip Spencer’s speech protection.
Courier-Journal: Spencer’s poem describes an assassin’s mission to kill a president who is black. While it doesn’t mention President Barack Obama by name, Spencer said, after being arrested Wednesday, that he was referring to Obama, according to an affidavit filed by Secret Service Special Agent Stephan Pazienza.
Pazienza said he received a call earlier this month from an FBI special agent who said that a man with the user name “Pain1488” —later identified as Spencer — had recently posted the poem on a Web site used for social networking by white supremacists.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Dave Whalin will decide next week if there is probable cause that Spencer committed a crime.
Read more details at Kentucky’s Courier-Journal.
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