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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Illinois Passes Law Targeting Violent "Flash Mobs"

A "flash mob" is defined as a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then quickly disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire, and artistic expression.  Flash mobs are typically organized via social media (Twitter, Facebook) or through text messages or email communications. 
Flash mobs are supposed to be spontaneous and fun and for the purpose of entertainment; however, recently some groups (often teenagers) have been organizing "flash mobs" for the purpose of committing crimes.  But a couple of recent, widely publicized incidents in Chicago spurred the Illinois General Assembly to enact legislation to toughen penalties on violent flash mob participants.  SB 1005, which passed both houses and was sent to the Governor for signature, increases the penalties for "mob action" where the use of electronic communications is involved from three to six years.     

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