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

Sounding the Alarm on Mass Incarceration

Sounding the Alarm on Mass Incarceration

Accepted Students Day
APR
10
9:45 am - 2:15 pm
RWU Law, 10 Metacom Avenue, Bristol, RI 02809
School of Law Commencement
MAY
15
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
RWU School of Law, Bristol, RI

Trending@RWULaw

03/24/2015
By Judge Judith Savage
This Friday, March 27, an extraordinary gathering will take place here at RWU Law to discuss mass incarceration and mass probation -- one of the most important public policy issues of our time. A...


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.