Ulugbek Kodirov plotted to assassinate the American president, because the internet. At least that's how his defense attorney sees it.
Mr. Kodirov’s lawyer, Lance Bell, blamed the Internet for radicalizing the young man... “I’m not calling him a victim,” Mr. Bell said, “but he’s a victim to a degree of social media.”
It's an update to the insanity defense.
How does it work, this internet-driving-person-to-violence thing?
According to the signed confession in his plea agreement, which was posted online by The Birmingham News in February, the young man hatched his plot to shoot the president after being radicalized while watching jihadist videos online. He then communicated via YouTube with someone he believed to a member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which is on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.
It's a very practical defense. It sidesteps questions of mental health, individual responsibility, and religious violence. It could connect with an older/cyberphobic jury.
(via Ed Webb's Diigo)