UCLA law professor Robert Goldstein is under fire for putting a test question on an exam that asked students to write a brief on whether Louis Head, the man who infamously screamed, "Burn this bitch down," after the Michael Brown grand jury refused to indict Darren Wilson, should be charged with incitement.
Personally, I think it's heck of a good question.
I am not a lawyer, but my understanding of the incitement crime is that there must be a direct link between the incitement and the act. We know that within moments of the announcement, people were charging to the area in Ferguson where the rioting, fires and looting occurred. What I think is crucial is whether the people in the crowd who heard Head's words themselves acted on the words. Did those particular people engage in the rioting? I assume not all of the rioters were out in front of the courthouse waiting for the announcement. Not everybody was spurred to riot by hearing what Head said.
But will Head ever be charged? Whatever the evidence indicates, there is always the political consideration. I would be surprised if he is charged.
I hope this doesn't offend any of the UCLA law students.