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HESS V. INDIANA, 414 U. S. 105 (1973)

U.S. Supreme Court

Hess v. Indiana, 414 U.S. 105 (1973)

Hess v. Indiana

No. 73-5290

Decided November 19, 1973

414 U.S. 105


Appellant, who was arrested during an anti-war demonstration on a college campus for loudly stating, "We'll take the fucking street later (or again)," was subsequently convicted for violating the Indiana disorderly conduct statute. The State Supreme Court affirmed, relying primarily on the trial court's finding that the statement "was intended to incite further lawless action on the part of the crowd in the vicinity of appellant, and was likely to produce such action."

Held: Appellant's language did not fall within any of the "narrowly limited classes of speech" that the States may punish without violating the First and Fourteenth Amendments, and, since the evidence showed that the words he used were not directed to any person or group and there was no evidence that they were intended and likely to produce imminent disorder, application of the statute to appellant violated his rights of free speech. Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U. S. 444. See also Terminiello v. Chicago, 337 U. S. 1, 337 U. S. 4. ___ Ind. ___, 297 N.E.2d 413, reversed.

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