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Criminal Law

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2020

COVID-19

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'Terroristic Threats' And Covid-19: A Guide For The Perplexed, Chad Flanders, Courtney Federico, Eric Harmon, Lucas Klein Jan 2020

'Terroristic Threats' And Covid-19: A Guide For The Perplexed, Chad Flanders, Courtney Federico, Eric Harmon, Lucas Klein

All Faculty Scholarship

The first few months of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States saw the rise of a troubling sort of behavior: people would cough or spit on people or otherwise threaten to spread the COVID-19 virus, resulting in panic and sometimes thousands of dollars’ worth of damages to businesses. Those who have been caught doing this — or have filmed themselves doing it — have been charged under so-called “terroristic threat” statutes. But what is a terroristic threat, and is it an appropriate charge in these cases? Surprisingly little has been written about these statutes given their long history and …