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A death threat is a threat, often made anonymously, by one person to kill another. These threats are usually designed to intimidate victims in order to manipulate their behavior, in which case a death threat is a form of coercion. For example, a death threat could be used to dissuade a public figure from pursuing a criminal investigation or an advocacy campaign.

In many jurisdictions, death threats are a criminal offense. Death threats are often covered by coercion statutes. For instance, the coercion statute in Alaska says:

A person commits the crime of coercion if the person compels another to engage in conduct from which there is a legal right to abstain or abstain from conduct in which there is a legal right to engage, by means of instilling in the person who is compelled a fear that, if the demand is not complied with, the person who makes the demand or another may inflict physical injury on anyone....[1]

A death threat can be communicated via a wide range of mediums, among these letters, newspaper publications, telephone calls, internet blogs,[2] and e-mail. If the threat is made against a political figure, it can also be considered treason. If a threat is against a non-living location that frequently contains living individuals (e.g. a building) it could be a terrorist threat. Sometimes death threats are part of a wider campaign of abuse targeting a person or a group of people (see terrorism, mass murder).

Here is an example of an actual death threat, from the book Wordcrime by John Olsson. This is a genuine example from a criminal case, provided by the Forensic Linguistics Institute, which analyses all kinds of text, including death threats, ransom demands, hate mail, cellphone texts, etc., for authorship:

Boris: I am one of the 4 employees still in the office. I have withheld my identity because I have realised that nothing is a secret any more, the author of the anonymous doc is now a public information. I write as a matter of genuine concern. We in the office are convinced that there is a real threat at your life, some mysterious people are looking for you (different people at different times).They are not genuine people. The cops are also looking for you, they say they want to return you to court, they look like there is more than meets the eye or more that we know of. regards

Contents

Death threats against a head of state

In the United States and other countries, including democracies, monarchies, and authoritarian governments, threatening to kill a head of state (such as a king, president or prime minister) is considered a crime, for which punishments vary.

Notes

External links

See also


A death threat is a threat, often made anonymously, by one person or a group of people to kill another person or groups of people. These threats are usually designed to intimidate victims in order to manipulate their behavior, in which case a death threat is a form of coercion. For example, a death threat could be used to dissuade a public figure from pursuing a criminal investigation or an advocacy campaign.

In many jurisdictions, death threats are a criminal offense. Death threats are often covered by coercion statutes. For instance, the coercion statute in Alaska says:

A person commits the crime of coercion if the person compels another to engage in conduct from which there is a legal right to abstain or abstain from conduct in which there is a legal right to engage, by means of instilling in the person who is compelled a fear that, if the demand is not complied with, the person who makes the demand or another may inflict physical injury on anyone....[1]

A death threat can be communicated via a wide range of mediums, among these letters, newspaper publications, telephone calls, internet blogs,[2] and e-mail. If the threat is made against a political figure, it can also be considered treason. If a threat is against a non-living location that frequently contains living individuals (e.g. a building) it could be a terrorist threat. Sometimes death threats are part of a wider campaign of abuse targeting a person or a group of people (see terrorism, mass murder).

Here is an example of an actual death threat, from the book Wordcrime by John Olsson. This is a genuine example from a criminal case, provided by the Forensic Linguistics Institute, which analyses all kinds of text, including death threats, ransom demands, hate mail, cellphone texts, etc., for authorship:

Boris: I am one of the 4 employees still in the office. I have withheld my identity because I have realised that nothing is a secret any more, the author of the anonymous doc is now a public information. I write as a matter of genuine concern. We in the office are convinced that there is a real threat at your life, some mysterious people are looking for you (different people at different times).They are not genuine people. The cops are also looking for you, they say they want to return you to court, they look like there is more than meets the eye or more that we know of. regards

Contents

Death threats against a head of state

In the United States and other countries, including democracies, monarchies, and authoritarian governments, threatening to kill a head of state (such as a king, president or prime minister) is considered a crime, for which punishments vary. U.S. law provides for up to 5 years in prison for threatening the President of the United States.

Osman warning, letter or notice

These are warnings of death threat or high risk of murder that are issued by British police or legal authorities to the expected victim. [3] They are used when there is intelligence of the threat but there is not enough evidence to justify the police arresting the expected murderer. [4]

The warnings are named after a victim of Paul Paget-Lewis, who after murdering a pupil's father and two others in 1988 said "Why didn’t you stop me before I did it, I gave you all the warning signs?". The police had known Paget-Lewis had posed a threat to several people, including Ahmet Osman's father, and had carried out criminal acts against some of them but the police had not informed those at risk of the seriousness of the threat.[5]

See also

References

  1. ^ Alaska Statute 11.41.530(a)(1)
  2. ^ Blog death threats spark debate BBC News retrieved September 30, 2007
  3. ^ http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/news/2157509/Dads-death-threat-warning.html
  4. ^ http://www.bedfordtoday.co.uk/bed-news/Beds-is-one-of-nations.4185282.jp
  5. ^ http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article4092890.ece

External links








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