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News & Politics News & Politics

Teen Faces 8 Years in Prison for ‘Sarcastic’ Comment He Wrote on Facebook

Posted by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 8:43 AM
  • 8 Replies

Teen Faces 8 Years in Prison for ‘Sarcastic’ Comment He Wrote on Facebook

by Lindsay Mannering

computerA teenager in Texas faces eight years in jail for a so-called "sarcastic" comment he wrote on Facebook. Justin Carter, 18, was having what he thought was an innocuous conversation online with his friends about a video game when an outsider saw the comments, intervened, and called the cops. Justin's been in jail since March, and his dad's on a mission to get him out.

Jack Carter explains his son's comments as such:

Someone had said something to the effect of 'Oh you're insane, you're crazy, you're messed up in the head,’ to which [Justin] replied 'Oh yeah, I'm real messed up in the head, I'm going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts,’ and the next two lines were lol and jk.

A woman in Canada somehow saw Justin's comment, Googled his address, noticed he lived near an elementary school, and called the police. Justin was arrested for making terroristic threats and has been behind bars for the last three months. A search of his home in Austin, Texas uncovered no weapons.

Dad Jack started a petition to raise awareness of Justin's predicament and wants to help people realize that "social media is not a playground." The Carter family has learned the hard way that anything you say on Facebook can and will be used against you -- Jack wants to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else.

As parents, it's our job to talk to our kids about the dangers of social media and really drive home the point that what goes on the Internet stays on the Internet. A flippant, insensitive comment about violence isn't easily erased and could possibly land you in jail.

A "funny" Facebook comment now could turn into a living nightmare later.

Do you think this is fair?

by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 8:43 AM
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Replies (1-8):
JustCJ
by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 9:37 AM

In light of all the loony bullshit these days...He'll be a good example of what NOT to say, even kidding.

survivorinohio
by Rene on Jun. 28, 2013 at 9:48 AM

I understand why he is being looked at but perhaps enough is enough.  I dont know if he should be in jail so long.

How far you go in life depends on your being: tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of both the weak and strong.  Because someday in life you would have been one or all of these.  GeorgeWashingtonCarver


parentalrights1
by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 10:03 AM
He sounds like a typical teenage douchebag to me but no I don't think he should be in jail over something so obviously not serious.
Pema_Jampa
by 2HotTacoTini on Jun. 28, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Let it be a lesson to him and others who make comments like these.

TimetoMomUp
by Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 11:14 AM
1 mom liked this

I think this has gone too far. Already in jail three months?  Let him go.

Luvnlogic
by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 11:26 AM
Investigate? Yep. 3 months in jail when no evidence was found that he was actually planning a shooting? Nope. I think the point has been made.
Clairwil
by Platinum Member on Jun. 29, 2013 at 6:12 AM
Quoting parentalrights1:

He sounds like a typical teenage douchebag to me but no I don't think he should be in jail over something so obviously not serious.

People often joke around about something, before actually doing it.   I don't think it is that straight forwards.

If you want people to report teens they think might be about to do a school shooting, then you have accept that at least 50% of those reported will turn out to be innocent, because if you tell people not to report unless 100% certain, then you'll miss stopping quite a few who could have been stopped.

And, once it gets reported to the police, things WILL be done according to a procedure.  There is no room for a desk sergeant to use judgement and say "nah, not important".  I'm guessing the procedure will be to act as though the threat is serious until such time as a qualified detective or child psychologist or similar puts their butt on the line by making the call that, in this case, there is no danger.

So, yeah, being in jail for a day or two until a qualified person gets to see the complete logs in context (and probably the contents of his home computer and cell phone), and maybe interview a friend or two, is the Right Thing (tm).


3 months, on the other hand, is way too long for just deciding if he was an actual threat, and isn't justified on any other grounds.

Carpy
by Platinum Member on Jun. 29, 2013 at 8:24 AM
I suspect there is more to the story.
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