- Chaplinsky v New Hampshire I In 1942 a member of the Jehovahs Witnesses was convicted in the municipal court of Rochester New Hampshire for

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Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire I. In 1942, a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses was convicted in the municipal court of Rochester, New Hampshire, for violation of the Public Laws of New Hampshire. Chaplinsky was distributing literature of his sect in the streets of Rochester on a busy Saturday afternoon. Some citizens complained to Bowering, the City Marshal, but he told them Chaplinsky was lawfully engaged. He then warned him that the crowd was getting restless. A fight broke out, and Chaplinsky was pulled from the scene to the police station. He wasn’t told he was being arrested, and when Bowering came to the scene, Chaplinsky asked him to arrest the men who caused the disturbance. While being pulled away, Chaplinsky repeatedly said, “You are a God damned racketeer” and “a damned Fascist and the whole government of Rochester are Fascists or agents of Fascists”. He was arrested for, and later convicted of, using offensive language in public.
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This note was uploaded on 01/12/2011 for the course COMM 452 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at University of Michigan.

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