As a Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer, one of the more interesting defenses to a criminal charge is a First Amendment attack on whether the law is Constitutional. Recently, there have made some First Amendment challenges to the Involuntary Manslaughter Statute in Massachusetts in the Michelle Carter case. The Massachusetts Supreme Court ultimately rejected that claim finding that the involuntary manslaughter statute punished conduct and was not punishing someone for their viewpoint, but was permitted regulation of conduct that indirectly impacts speech. Revenge Porn Laws have been challenged on First Amendment grounds. The United States Supreme Court may hear a case from Illinois that deal with the criminalizing so called Revenge Porn and how it can comport with the requirements of Free Speech under the First Amendment. The case is Bethany Austin v. State of Illinois, and the filing can be found on the Scotus Blog.
How did the State of Illinois try to criminalize Revenge Porn?
Illinois passed, like many other states a Revenge Porn Law. The statute precludes online dissemination via the internet of photographic, film, videotape, digital recordings or depictions or portrays of another person engaged in sex act or with their intimate parts exposed. The Act covers any circumstance where a reasonable person would know that the person wanted the images to stay private and published them without consent.