Judge Nap Explains When Free Speech Is Prosecutable
Judge Andrew Napolitano appeared on "The Real Story" today to weigh in on what should happen to the six Baltimore police officers who were involved in the deadly arrest of Freddie Gray, plus what it would take for protesters' free speech to be prosecutable.
Judge Napolitano said the government has to reveal what it knows about Gray's arrest - which appears to have no legal basis - including arrest reports and autopsy reports.
"We need to see a decision on whether or not to prosecute them," Judge Napolitano said, asserting that one reason there were not riots in South Carolina following the Walter Scott shooting was because the officer involved was quickly charged with a serious crime.
"Either these guys have to be charged so that the public knows that they are being treated as anyone would be treated when they maliciously or criminally caused a death, or they have be exonerated and the reasons for the exoneration stated," he said.
As for the issue of protesters' free speech, Judge Napolitano said the presumption is that all speech is protected.
"So it is the government's burden to demonstrate that speech is unprotected," Judge Napolitano explained, adding that the key issue is if there is time to rebut the free speech.
"So if I am talking about how to burn down a building, if I am teaching how to burn down a building, if I am teaching how to construct a riot, that's absolutely protected," he said.
"If I'm on the street corner [and] saying, 'Burn, baby, burn,' and somebody else says, 'What are you crazy? That's my grandmother's house. You can't burn it down,' the speech is protected because there was more time to rebut my speech," he explained. "But if I'm on a street corner and I say, 'Burn, baby, burn, and the crowd responds immediately with violence and lawlessness and burns down the house that I'm suggesting they burn down, then I can be prosecuted for my speech."
"The offensive speech is protected, but where the crowd reacts immediately with lawlessness and violence ... then the speech can be prosecuted."
Get more insight from Judge Nap in the "Real Story" clip above.
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