In Haley v. State, the Georgia Supreme Court upheld
the conviction of Andrew Scott Haley for making a false
statement. Haley created a username and posted videos to
the Internet in which he claimed to have committed a
series of murders, goading his audience to try to solve the
"mysteries." Haley was convicted under a Georgia statute
that proscribes the making of a false statement within the
jurisdiction of an agency or department of state of Georgia.
After discussing the historical legal and philosophical
underpinnings of the First Amendment right to free
speech, this Note argues that the Georgia statute is
unconstitutionally overbroad. First, the speech prohibited
by the Georgia law does not exhibit the same qualities as
the other categories of speech that have historically been
prohibited by the courts. Second, the language of the
Georgia statute departs from the comparable federal
statute, the Federal False Statements Act. This Note
suggests several ways to cure the issues with the Georgia
law, including reexamining the jurisdictional provision,
adding a materiality requirement, and distinguishing
between false and fraudulent statements. Finally, this
Note offers a unique commentary on the future of the First
Amendment right to free speech in the dynamic and
burgeoning online environment.
Priddy, Virginia R.
"War of the Words: Why False Statements Should be Guaranteed First Amendment Protection,"
Georgia Law Review: Vol. 47:
2, Article 7.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/glr/vol47/iss2/7