Johnson v Texas
Johnson v Texas was a case that was decided from the United States Supreme Court in nineteen eighty-nine. The court decided that Gregory Johnson was protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution regardless of Texas State law. He was charged with desecrating the American flag when he burned it at the end of a rally during the nineteen eighty-four Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas.
I agree with the court that this was not a case of criminally negligent homicide. The definition of criminally negligent homicide is when with criminal negligence, the result is the death of another person. In this incident, Johnson only burned the flag. While many do not agree with this action, he caused no physical harm to any other person. He did it only to make a statement which was protected by the First Amendment. In fact, most of those attending the rally agreed with the actions of Johnson. However, there were a few who were upset and even proceeded to take the charred remains of the flag and bury it as if it were a person. It was not and therefore, there is no way that this act can be seen as any type of homicide, especially one of criminally negligence.
Thomas L. Tedford and Dale A. Herbeck. Freedom of Speech in the United States, 5th ed.
State College, PA: Strata Publishing, Inc., 2005 www.bc.edu/free_speech