Across the world, folks are getting in on "the Coronavirus challenge", licking deodorants, toilets, and various other cries for publicity (and help) all organized around of the spread of COVID-19.
Seeing this, the US Department of Justice has gone so far as to put out a memo suggesting that such things might be crimes under federal law, whether as the acts of bioterrorists or as the use of a "weapon of mass destruction".
But are those statutes really a good fit? And what risks are imposed by trying to wrestle imperfect language around imperfect facts?
We never cut a great road through the law...in Virtual Legality.
#Coronavirus #Covid19 #DoJ
Discussed in this episode:
"Those who intentionally spread coronavirus could be charged as terrorists"
Politico - March 24, 2020 - Josh Gerstein
"A man accused of licking deodorants in a Missouri Walmart after asking 'Who's afraid of the coronavirus?' was charged with making a terrorist threat"
Business Insider - March 25, 2020 - Sinead Baker
"Making a terrorist threat, penalty."
2012 Missouri Revised Statutes
Memo - "Department of Justice Enforcement Actions Related to COVID-19"
March 24, 2020
18 USC 178
"Prohibitions with respect to biological weapons"
18 USC 175
"Use of weapons of mass destruction"
18 USC 2332a
CA Health and Safety Code - Sec 120290
"Coronavirus: 'Moron' who licked toilet bowl 'now in hospital with the bug'"
Mirror - March 25, 2020 - Ryan Merrifield
"Virtual Legality" is a continuing series discussing the law, video games, software, and everything digital, hosted by Richard Hoeg, of the Hoeg Law Business Law Firm (Hoeg Law).
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DISCUSSION IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. INDIVIDUALS INTERESTED IN THE LEGAL TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS VIDEO SHOULD CONSULT WITH THEIR OWN COUNSEL.
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