A First Things commenter has just been sentenced to forty-one months in federal prison for a comment he left on our site in 2010:
Theodore Shulman, a pro-choice activist who in 2010 threatened to kill several pro-life leaders, has been sentenced to 41 months in federal prison.
Shulman, 51, pleaded guilty in May to one count of transmitting a threat to injure another person. The targeted victims named in the case are Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, and Princeton Universitys Robert George.
In January 2010, as the trial of Scott Roeder, a man accused of killing abortionist George Tiller, was under way, Shulman posted a comment on the news site First Things, threatening that if Roeder is acquitted, someone will respond by killing Father Pavone and Mr. George.
Regulars here know that things can get pretty heated in our comboxes, which is all well and good. One thing we don’t countenance, though, is physical threats. As Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in announcing the sentence: The vibrant exchange of ideas that is a hallmark of our society does not include threats. As Theodore Shulmans sentence makes clear, advocating ones point of view through threats of violence is illegal conduct that will be punished.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you!