A Michigan man was recently indicted for threats he made against government officials who are Jewish. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says that he made the threats earlier this year while in another state, posting violent threats on his Twitter account. While he never actually caused harm to anyone or committed physical acts against another person, he was taken into custody by federal law enforcement officials. He is accused of hate crimes, which means he is subject to a Hate Crime Motivation penalty enhancement under federal sentencing guidelines.
When are threats a federal crime?
Certain types of threats are considered particularly serious under federal law. Hate speech against another person, specifically speech that threatens harm to another person, is a grave criminal offense. In his Twitter profile, the man stated that he would come back to Michigan and kill any Jewish government leaders who did not leave the state or confess.
The indictment alleges that the man directed his threats toward specific individuals, including the Attorney General of Michigan. The defendant was allegedly heavily armed. The Attorney General viewed the threats against her as a murder plot.
How can he defend himself?
The defendant is currently being held in custody while he awaits trial. At this point, he will benefit from learning more about his defense options, and he may find it helpful to seek the guidance of an attorney with experience in federal cases. Regardless of the nature of the charges against him, he has the right to seek the best possible outcome for his case.