Cited as a source by the ProJo's PolitiFact column, Professor Jared Goldstein weighs in on a Rhode Island law that appears to make lying a misdemeanor.

Upcoming Events

Secrets & Scandals

Secrets & Scandals

A Day In The Life of Congressman David Cicilline
OCT
08
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Appellate Courtroom 283
Info Session for Prospective Students
OCT
10
8:30 am - 12:00 pm
RWU Law, 10 Metacom Avenue, Bristol, RI 02809
Marine Affairs Joint Degree Informational Meeting
OCT
17
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
David A. Logan Conference Room - Law 244
Jeopardy!
OCT
17
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Appellate Courtroom 283
Movie Screening: Inequality for all
OCT
21
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Room 276

Trending@RWULaw

09/26/2014
By Larry Ritchie
Keeping abreast of the criminal justice and evidence areas of the law can be a time-consuming proposition for a law professor.  Of course, I regularly read the Criminal Law Reporter and other...


Affordable Excellence at RWU LAW

Archives

Newsroom

Goldstein on 'Anti-Lying' Law

Cited as a source by the ProJo's PolitiFact column, Professor Jared Goldstein weighs in on a Rhode Island law that appears to make lying a misdemeanor.

From the PROVIDENCE JOURNAL: "You are now, mostly, free to lie on the Internet" by C. EUGENE EMERY JR. JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
   
June 25, 2012: [...] previously, you could have faced misdemeanor charges in Rhode Island, if you believe state Rep. Christopher Blazejewski, a Providence Democrat. On June 12, he told the Rhode Island House that it was illegal to transmit a lie on the Internet, on radio, on TV, or over the phone about anything.

Professor Jared Goldstein[...] Jared Goldstein, a law professor at Roger Williams University School of Law, said the plain language of the law did “indeed appear to make it a crime to knowingly or intentionally send any false information over the Internet, without any limitation on the context or subject matter. If read literally, the language would seem to cover giving false information on a dating site. Or lying to a friend in an e-mail message. Or maybe even clicking ‘Like’ for a friend’s photo that you don’t really like.

“If the provision is read in that literal way,” he said, “it would almost certainly be unconstitutionally overbroad because it would prohibit a huge amount of constitutionally-protected speech. Even if it is not read that way, but construed narrowly to cover only false information that can constitutionally be prohibited, the law may still be unconstitutionally vague, because it doesn’t clearly tell the public what is prohibited.” [...]

For full story, click here.