What is the law of Seditious Libel in Maryland and what are the punishments for it?
Intolerance is the most annoying habit of today’s generation in the United States of America. Youth today are aggressive and exhibit their displeasure through social media posts, inappropriate posters, defamation articles, etc. in social media and print media. Many possess half-truth and jump into judging government and people who hold reputed post based on news feeds and the fourth estate.
Sedition is thus found everywhere in Maryland and there are specific laws with which seditious libel charges are handled in the state. In general, Maryland recognizes two kinds of defamation- defamation per se and defamation per quod. In either case, the case is heard and damages are claimed. However if the seditious conspiracy has created any political outburst, it can be classified as a felony and the prime accused can be punished by Federal law against seditious conspiracy stated in the U.S code (18 U.S.C.2384).
What is Seditious Libel?
The laws of defamation in Maryland define Seditious libel as a written statement which is not a fact and is a negligent statement. It can cause physical damage or character assassination. A statement is considered defamatory and charged under seditious libel if it is made to a third party without the consent of the defamed person. Seditious libel is also issued on online social media posts that are derogatory and can cause political unrest. Generally, political parties defame one another with wrong false statements which can be filed under criminal sedition.
What is the Law of Seditious Libel In Maryland?
The Statutes of Limitation for defamation In Maryland is one year. Also in Maryland, the media that are responsible for the sedition namely print, broadcast, and online are held responsible for the defamatory statements made by their employees. If the case is Defamation per se, the plaintiff needs to prove the defendant was negligent in making a defamation statement. Statements related to fraud, criminality, immorality, etc.
are classified under Defamation per se. However, in Defamation per Quad, The jury has to decide if the statement carries a defamatory meaning wherein the plaintiff must allege the defamation and prove the same. Similarly, public figures need to prove the existence of the actual defamation and private figures need to only prove the negligence of the defendant.
Seditious libel accusations that have created political unrest and cause disruption of day to day activities will be charged under the felony, and the prime accused, and his team can be punished under federal law, overruling Maryland’s defamation statutes.
Punishments for Seditious Libel in Maryland?
In Maryland, for defamation per se charges, general damages are claimed. But if the words used in the seditious libel are actionable and have caused physical assault stress and character assassination, the plaintiff needs to prove the damages namely:
- Case-specific recoverable compensatory damages wherein the injured party will be compensated for the incurred damage and for the injury sustained.
- Compensatory damages that are general and not caused any physical or property assault.
- Punitive damages that are recoverable as the charges are proved and the evil intent is highlighted.
Also, in Maryland, there is a liberty of press provision. According to this despite given the freedom of the press, seditious libel cases will be prosecuted with full sincerity. Truth is the only defense to defamation. Hence if anyone is charged with seditious libel, they need to bring evidence of the false claim to free themselves from the charges.
Sedition is a serious crime as it affects the mental stability and character of a public or private figure. Seditious Libel should be avoided as it can create unnecessary political unrest and affect the peace of the state.