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40ish and beyond... 40ish and beyond...

Debate Question: FaceBook threat

Posted by on Jul. 5, 2013 at 7:19 AM
  • 31 Replies
  • 1363 Total Views

 Justin Carter is  19 year old and facing years in prison over what he said on FB. He is in jail waiting trial for saying he wanted "to shoot up a kindergarten class just to see the blood of the innocent rain and eat the beating heart." His father is defending him saying that the boy is scared and it was just a sarcastic comment and he shouldnt have been arrested. Others are saying that his 1st Amendment was violated because he should be able to say what he wants. 

Question: Is it threat like this that some ignore and we have school shootings? Should he be placed in jail or was this just a kid who was "thinking outloud?"

What are your thoughts?

Here is the story: 

(CNN) -- It was a sarcastic Facebook comment during an argument about a video game. And, according to the father of 19-year-old Justin Carter, it was enough to land his son behind bars for months, facing the possibility of years in prison.

Carter, who is currently on suicide watch in Comal County Jail near San Antonio, Texas, has been locked up since February. He faces a charge of making terroristic threats, a felony that could theoretically bring a sentence of up to eight years.

"He's very depressed. He's very scared and he's very concerned that he's not going to get out," Jack Carter, Justin's father, told CNN on Tuesday. "He's pretty much lost all hope."

In February, Justin, then 18, and a friend were arguing on Facebook with someone else over the online video game "League of Legends."

"Someone had said something to the effect of 'Oh you're insane. You're crazy. You're messed up in the head,'" Jack Carter told CNN affiliate KVUE in Austin. "To which he 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.'"

 

Facebook comment joke or threat?

 

Dad: Jailed Facebook teen 'lost hope'

According to court documents, Justin wrote "I'm f---ed in the head alright. I think I'ma (sic) shoot up a kindergarten and watch the blood of the innocent rain down and eat the beating heart of one of them."

Jack Carter said his son followed the claim with "LOL" and "J/K" -- indicating that the comment wasn't serious.

But someone else -- Carter says a woman in Canada -- noticed the comment and reported it to authorities. Coming two months after the deadly shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, the report wasn't taken lightly. According to court documents, Carter lived less than a half-mile from an elementary school in New Braunfels, Texas.

A search warrant was issued on February 13 and, a week later, a judge issued a warrant for his arrest.

"I thought it was a joke," Jack Carter told CNN. "I couldn't believe the person that called me. I kept telling them they have to be kidding. When I realized he wasn't, I literally broke down crying."

A judge set bond for Justin Carter at $500,000, meaning that 10% of that, or $50,000, would have to be posted to get him out of jail while he awaits trial. His lawyer, Donald H. Flanary III, says that's far more than his family can afford.

"It's outrageous," Flanary, who is working the case for free, told CNN Tuesday. "I've represented murderers and their bond was $150,000."

Flanary said he planned to meet with Justin Carter Tuesday afternoon and ask a judge for the bond to be reduced. He said police didn't find any weapons or other items to suggest that Justin's comment was serious, but that, "in the times we're living in, it was kind of a perfect storm."

"The law enforcement, the sheriff's department, the district attorney's office -- nobody wants to be the one that let him go," Flanary said. "They don't think about the person or the crime or the lack of crime ... they don't want to take responsibility for something happening in the future."

A spokeswoman for the police department in Austin, where Justin was originally jailed, referred a request for comment and arrest documents to neighboring New Braunfels Police. A police department spokesman there did not immediately respond to a similar request.

Meanwhile, people have come together online to support the jailed teen.

A Change.org petition titled "Release Justin Carter and Change the Investigative Criteria for Terroristic Threat Laws" had received nearly 35,000 digital signatures as of Tuesday afternoon.

"Too many teenagers are being arrested, jailed and having their lives forever altered because of anti-terrorism laws and investigations that impede their 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech," reads the petition.

Jack Carter says that, as a parent, he understands why authorities are so vigilant about threats of school violence.

"I definitely see the need to investigate such claims. Absolutely," he said. "But at some point during the investigation there has to be some common sense."

 

 

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by on Jul. 5, 2013 at 7:19 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Brooklynchic
by on Jul. 5, 2013 at 7:36 AM
1 mom liked this

 wow  thats more than just a sarcastic comment...thats a crazy statement...he definitly needs some sort of punishment.. with all the shootings that go on today , and then afterward somebody always comes around and says  " oh well  there was warning signs but they were ignored."  know what i mean dana.....a lesson needs to be learned here i believe.....ughhh whats wrong with some kids today...scary!!!!

dana63
by Momma of 40ish on Jul. 5, 2013 at 7:45 AM

 I have seen the story for the past few days on our local news and I am sorry but this started over a fight with another over a video game and he was called crazy and insane and he decided to chime in with his comment. In my opinion you dont say stuff like this if you havent thought about it before. If someone called me crazy or insane I wouldnt even talk about hurting a innocent child more less eating their beating heart.

Should he serve 8 years in prison, maybe not but this was not a sarcastic comment. He acted like he didnt know if he placed something like this on a social media that someone would not take offense and say something.

Maida265
by Spanking the Monkey on Jul. 5, 2013 at 7:47 AM

 When I first heard this story, I thought it was a bit of an over reaction but now that I see the full story, I DO agree that there should be some sort of punishment given.

Brooklynchic
by on Jul. 5, 2013 at 7:49 AM

 thats what i mean momma  how can you say such a statement...thats horrific,,,ughhh..

Quoting dana63:

 I have seen the story for the past few days on our local news and I am sorry but this started over a fight with another over a video game and he was called crazy and insane and he decided to chime in with his comment. In my opinion you dont say stuff like this if you havent thought about it before. If someone called me crazy or insane I wouldnt even talk about hurting a innocent child more less eating their beating heart.

Should he serve 8 years in prison, maybe not but this was not a sarcastic comment. He acted like he didnt know if he placed something like this on a social media that someone would not take offense and say something.

 

dana63
by Momma of 40ish on Jul. 5, 2013 at 8:01 AM

 

Quoting Maida265:

 When I first heard this story, I thought it was a bit of an over reaction but now that I see the full story, I DO agree that there should be some sort of punishment given.

 I agree when I first heard it I thought it was just a statement he said on FB and thought it was over the top with the large bail. Then his comment came out and I thought he needs to be evaluated because this young man has some issues that could be hidden..

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dana63
by Momma of 40ish on Jul. 5, 2013 at 8:03 AM

 He singled out a class (Kinder) and that is what I find disturbing. I also find him wanting to eat the beating heart a bit mental as well.. What normal person says that?

Quoting Brooklynchic:

 thats what i mean momma  how can you say such a statement...thats horrific,,,ughhh..

Quoting dana63:

 I have seen the story for the past few days on our local news and I am sorry but this started over a fight with another over a video game and he was called crazy and insane and he decided to chime in with his comment. In my opinion you dont say stuff like this if you havent thought about it before. If someone called me crazy or insane I wouldnt even talk about hurting a innocent child more less eating their beating heart.

Should he serve 8 years in prison, maybe not but this was not a sarcastic comment. He acted like he didnt know if he placed something like this on a social media that someone would not take offense and say something.

 

 

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cjcharlie1959
by Dungeon Queen on Jul. 5, 2013 at 8:05 AM
1 mom liked this

 Not in prison, then it would make him a criminal.  Criminals learn about committing crimes in prison. he should be taken to a mental health facility to determine if this young man has issues that he can be helped or determine he is a sociopath and should be locked up. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer as too many people are afraid.  So one little thing can be blown out of proportion but again, the threat not taken seriously and we have a devastating situation.

dana63
by Momma of 40ish on Jul. 5, 2013 at 8:08 AM

 He is in jail (suicide watch) until his bail is made or trial. I think he does need evaluation just to see what issues he does have.. I also agree if unresolved then it could turn into a bigger issue.

Quoting cjcharlie1959:

 Not in prison, then it would make him a criminal.  Criminals learn about committing crimes in prison. he should be taken to a mental health facility to determine if this young man has issues that he can be helped or determine he is a sociopath and should be locked up. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer as too many people are afraid.  So one little thing can be blown out of proportion but again, the threat not taken seriously and we have a devastating situation.

 

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starlight1968
by 40ish hang out queen on Jul. 5, 2013 at 8:23 AM
2 moms liked this

 I'm sorry but that is not a "normal" statement to post ANYWHERE.. I feel the authorities did the right thing.  Better to be 'safe than sorry' in my book.  he needs some therapy for just stating it I think... Who says that kinda thing and then follows with a j/k????

dana63
by Momma of 40ish on Jul. 5, 2013 at 8:32 AM

 I think he thought if you end it with a J/K or LOL that it would be taken as a joke but I am sorry I wouldnt take it as a joke.. I had someone "blame" me for doing something I didnt do (it was very minor) and she said J/K but it still hurt my feeling.

Quoting starlight1968:

 I'm sorry but that is not a "normal" statement to post ANYWHERE.. I feel the authorities did the right thing.  Better to be 'safe than sorry' in my book.  he needs some therapy for just stating it I think... Who says that kinda thing and then follows with a j/k????

 

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