Grace’s Law 2.0 criminalizes cyber-bulling in Maryland

MARYLAND –  “It has led to young people killing themselves.”

Cyber-bullying in Maryland could soon become a criminal offense punishable by law.

Sheree Sample-Hughes, delegate to the 439th Maryland General assembly tells 47 ABC the bill is a step in the right direction to prevent more young people from self harm, and in the worst cases, suicide.

She said, “We as legislators are sending the message to the individuals that think that this is appropriate, that it is not.”

Lawmakers are pushing for policy that would make bullying someone from behind a computer screen illegal.

That means that anyone that does it, could face up to three years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine.

According to Grace’s Law 2.0 though, the bullying must be malicious or in in a way “that alarms or seriously annoys another.”

But that may be difficult to prove in court.

Psychologist Dr. Kathryn Seifert said, “Malicious intent is really difficult to define. We have to have good definitions of malicious intent before we go forward with having a law about it.”

To that end, Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes explains why its so important to have legislation that would prevent said malicious intent from infesting mass communication platforms, like Facebook or Snapchat.

She said, “A lot of us are on social media. Unfortunately you have that direct feed which has very quick information that impacts your life.”

Categories: Local News, Maryland