Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts


Pedro Celis


In United States v. Jeffries, the Sixth Circuit upheld a defendant’s conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 875(c) for transmitting a threat through interstate commerce after the defendant posted a music video on YouTube. The video threatened a local judge presiding over the defendant’s child custody proceedings. Circuits have split on whether § 875(c) and other similar federal threat statutes require the defendant to possess a subjective intent to threaten. This Article argues that the “true threat” test courts use to apply § 875(c) essentially incorporates a subjective intent to threaten. The Article then applies the subjective intent requirement to YouTube videos, using the reasoning in United States v. Alkhabaz as a model.

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