Justin Carter’s Attorneys Contend Facebook Threat Was Misconstrued

For more detail and background on this story, read Game Front’s complete coverage of the Justin Carter case.


Justin Carter’s defense is focusing its attention on the actions of Texas police as it prepares for a pretrial hearing on Sept. 23.

Motions filed by defense attorneys Donald Flanary and Chad Van Brunt call into question a number of police actions following Carter’s arrest in February, after he was accused of threatening on Facebook to “shoot up a kindergarten”. The League of Legends player was then held for months, both in Austin, Texas’ Travis County and later in Comal County, Texas. He finally made bail on June 11 after an anonymous donor gave Carter and his family the $500,000 needed to get him out of jail.

Documents provided to Game Front by Flanary and included in the defense motions cast more light on the actual timeline of events following Carter’s arrest, and show an emphasis placed on working to get the case dismissed during the pretrial hearing later this month.

According to the documents, an arrest warrant was issued in February in Travis County after the Austin Regional Intelligence Center, a police organization, received an anonymous tip from the Canadian Crime Stopper Association. The tip, sent by a Canadian national, includes a screenshot of the Facebook exchange in which Carter allegedly made the threat on Feb. 13.

From there, documents filed as part of the motion make things a bit clearer than they were earlier this summer. Carter was arrested on Feb. 14 and lodged in the Travis County Jail with a bail of $250,000. In the arrest warrant, police state they identified Carter using a link to his Facebook profile provided by the tipster, then compared a photo of Carter on his Facebook page to a Texas driver license for Justin River Carter. Finding a match, they say they gathered Carter’s address from records and arrested him.

However, Flanary contends in one motion that Carter has no Texas driver license, and thus police couldn’t have used it to identify him. How police located Carter and under what jurisdiction he would fall into is also a point of contention: though he was arrested in Travis County, where Carter worked at the time, he actually lived in Comal County, and the Facebook post was allegedly made in the latter. The defense alleges that Austin police couldn’t have known where Carter was when he made the post, or whose jurisdiction under which the alleged threat would fall.

Carter was later bound over to Comal County. That transfer didn’t happen until March, however, and came with a bail that was doubled to $500,000 — an amount Flanary alleged was unreasonable for the crime and far beyond the means of Carter and his family to pay.

The defense’s motions also take issue with other official elements of Carter’s arrest. One cites language on Carter’s indictment in Comal County, which seems to misquote what he actually posted on Facebook. In the screenshot of the Facebook post, Carter allegedly wrote, “I’m f–ked in the head alright, I think I’ma SHOOT UP A KINDERGARTEN / AND WATCH THE BLOOD OF THE INNOCENT RAIN DOWN / AND EAT THE BEATING HEART OF ONE OF THEM (emphasis original).”

However, according to the motions, the indictment quotes the post as saying Carter threatened to “shoot up a kindergarten, watch the blood rain down and eat the beating heart out of one of them,” which the defense alleges misconstrued Carter’s meaning in order to make the statement read more like a threat, and less like satire, as the defense claims it was. The defense also alleges that police failed to include the fact that Carter was responding to other Facebook users’ verbal attacks in the thread when it presented the information to the grand jury, which issued Carter’s indictment.

It also seems that New Braunfels police (the force from Comal County, where Carter actually lives) interviewed Carter while he was still in the Travis County jail, which Flanary said is when police decided he was being held in the wrong jurisdiction. That violated Carter’s Sixth Amendment rights, the defense claims, because Carter had the right to have an attorney present during the interview.

Game Front attempted to contact the Travis County District Attorney, but requests for comment on the case and the allegations of the defense were not returned. The Comal County District Attorney has refused to comment on the case as well.

Carter’s next court date is Sept. 23, when a judge will likely rule on the defense’s motions. Depending on the outcome of that hearing, it’s likely a court date will finally be set.


Read more of Phil Hornshaw’s work here, and follow him and Game Front on Twitter: @philhornshaw and @gamefrontcom.

Join the Conversation   

* required field

By submitting a comment here you grant GameFront a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.

77 Comments on Justin Carter’s Attorneys Contend Facebook Threat Was Misconstrued

Aedelric

On September 13, 2013 at 11:46 am

Satire? him.

My wife works in a kindergarten, I do not take kindly to threats even if they are not acted out. Too many lives have been lost to psychopaths attacking schools and kindergartens, it is not something to be taken lightly.

With luck his jail time has taught him a life lesson, with more luck he will get some more to reflect on how his attitude affects others.

Still, he is a League of Legends player, a game renowned for attracting the dregs of humanity.

AxΣtwin

On September 13, 2013 at 12:32 pm

I still maintain the he DOES belong in jail for his comments. When he is jailed for what he said, I hope others take a close look and realize there ARE consequences for what you say, even on the internet.

Biggins

On September 13, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Freedom of speech is not open for subjectivity. Unless his comments were perceived to be a legitimate threat then it’s ridiculous that it’s gone as far as it has done. The $500k bail was completely disproportionate and as stupid as he was, he’s blatantly being scapegoated due to the fact that he’s a young man with regular internet use and probably because he’s a known gamer. The real causes of so much violence and bloodshed in the country – i.e. corporatocratic corruption, firearm entitlement, the economic gap and just the fact that the US is almost entirely founded on arms dealing and warfare (not to mention the ridiculously antiquated and outdated execution and abortion laws) – are ignored in place of easy targets like Marilyn Manson, Grand Theft Auto and Harry Potter. And the public keeps falling for it hook line and sinker.

A community sentence, severe fine or forced public humiliation and apology would have been more than enough of a punishment. He ultimately hasn’t harmed anyone, which is a damn site more than you can say for the NRA.

Voltaire

On September 13, 2013 at 2:45 pm

He never directly threatened anyone. Therefore the first amendment protects justin. This case is rediculous…

thedog

On September 13, 2013 at 3:31 pm

He’s right were he belongs. He needs to learn to grow up and not be such a douchebag bag. That his mouth will bring him lots of grief if he cant control it. And no, freedom of speech does not cover this. No one has the right to spew death threats whether any one person is depicted or a group. If he had gone up to a cop and said the same thing, he would have been arrested on the spot. Any verbal threat with the intent to harm others is enough to throw your asp in jail. He has been determined to be a possible threat to others and should be dealt with in like manner. If nothing else, maybe he’ll learn some important life lessons and super glue his mouth shut.

babs

On September 13, 2013 at 4:39 pm

anyone with small children should be apprehensive to this- but this young man did not perpetrate any crime whatsoever except for making an online comment/ he was ‘singled out’ by some lady in canada who did not like his post and was literally thrown into jail for months!- (someone had anonymously had posted his bail/ we have george zimmerman running around with a loaded weapon but that’s okay/ something’s very wrong here in trying to ostracize someone or use him as a pawn in a gun debate- / this kid ain’t it/ there’s another similar case of Josh Pillault- same problem/ they are targeting the wrong people here

rickshaw

On September 13, 2013 at 8:45 pm

This so dumb of the cops the law and everyone who thinks because someone says something on the net that.s its believable. I read so much so called lawlessness crap on Facebook they could fill up U.S. jails in a week! Facebook Sucks! How people believe it helps them is beyond me. Facebook never deletes your info It stores it for its future hidden agenda. Facebook profile people are nuts no sorry I meant peanuts.

Aedelric

On September 14, 2013 at 12:46 am

I see a handful of people in his topic do not realise freedom of speech does not actually cover threats. Any form of hate speech is not acceptable in the majority of civilised country.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_free_speech_exceptions

F..k him, he deserves to be in jail so he can learn a life lesson.

lol

On September 14, 2013 at 3:24 am

lol he should have got the death penalty just for playing League of Legends.

Anonymous

On September 14, 2013 at 7:36 am

When I read the comments here I was shocked. Anyone in their right mind reading his comment should clearly tell that it was completely sarcastic – not to mention that HE HIMSELF added “LOL JK” at the end, and then it was simply taken out of context and given a meaning that it never had in the first place in order to make it look like a terrorist threat and have the poor kid arrested!

He may have chosen a bad topic to joke about, but it clearly reads like “yeah im so messed up that i think i’ll do this”, which is in a completely sarcastic tone indicating that he in fact would NEVER do something like that!

And the other p.o.s. prison inmates truly are “f-ed in the head” and are complete cowards for attacking a defenseless kid who was never supposed to end up in jail with them to begin with! Inmates generally attack truly terrible criminals, someone who has actually done something truly terrible, but unfortunately such high profile criminals usually get put under protective watch and do not get the punishment they deserve.

America should learn a lesson from all the tragedies that have occured and instead of arresting kids who make stupid SARCASTIC jokes like these, maybe finally change its gun laws? Is it not obvious that any perpetrator planning such an attack would NEVER say it out loud, not in person nor on any social media site? While they’re going around arresting innocent kids, the next attack might be being planned by someone who doesn’t say a word, and they’ll never see it coming until it is too late. I certainly hope that it’s not the case, but it’s possible. And until America passes stiffer gun laws, that possibility remains.

You may agree/disagree but that’s the reality of what it is.

PS. The kid has a very good-hearted lawyer who “indends to fight the charges and may even file a civil rights case against the government”, and who is willing to do it for free (read the article http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/07/24/cart-j24.html). I wish him luck in his upcoming trial and hope that his lawyer will win the legal battle. 10 years in prison for a sarcastic joke is ridiculous in itself. Free speech implies that one cannot be arrested for what they think/say, unless it is an actual threat, which (and I cannot stress this enough) this is NOT!

Valkien

On September 14, 2013 at 9:22 pm

To me his comments sound like hyperbole to me, especially considering the circumstances in which they were given. Look I’m not saying that this kid wasn’t an idiot, but are we really going to waste all this money to teach some kid from Texas a lesson in watching what you say? I’m pretty sure he’s learned it by now. I mean what evidence have the police there found that his comment was a legitimate threat? You can be angry at him for making these statements, but that does not make them criminal.

Catullus

On September 15, 2013 at 5:29 am

From Wikipedia: Threat limitation on free speech:

>>
Threats of violence that are directed at a person or group of persons that has the intent of placing the target at risk of bodily harm or death are generally unprotected.[36] However, there are several exceptions. For example, the Supreme Court has held that “threats may not be punished if a reasonable person would understand them as obvious hyperbole”, he writes.[37][38] Additionally, threats of “social ostracism” and of “politically motivated boycotts” are constitutionally protected.[39] However, sometimes even political speech can be a threat, and thus becomes unprotected.[40]
>>

I read Carter’s statements as “obvious hyperbole.” The fact that people find his statements grossly offensive is irrelevant to his first amendment rights.

pooleboy87

On September 15, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Haha, nice one, Aedelric. From that super reliable wikipedia source you quoted:

“Threats of violence that are directed at a person or group of persons that has the intent of placing the target at risk of bodily harm or death are generally unprotected.[36] However, there are several exceptions. For example, the Supreme Court has held that “threats may not be punished if a reasonable person would understand them as obvious hyperbole’”.

Maybe check out your own sources before you accuse others of ignorance. This, as with most questions of first amendment protection in this type of instance, is an issue of context. Do you consider “Kindergartners” as a specific person or group that he was making a direct threat against? Or, was it a hyperbolic response with no other ultimate intent or purpose as an actual threat?

Do you think he was legitimately threatening to eat the heart of a 5 year old, or was he simply making an outlandish statement to show just how “f–ked up in the head” he was?

Wow

On September 15, 2013 at 4:07 pm

You people here that want him jailed are pathetic. He didn’t walk up to a public school and tell everyone he was going to murder them. He said that in a conversation with his League buddies on his facebook wall. He was clearly hyperbolic and immediately said “jk” afterwards.

But no lets make him go to jail for 8 years – teach him a lesson. Sure even in his short time in jail before bail was posted he had to be moved repeatedly due to violence from other inmates. Sure he’s only 19. Sure his brief stint in jail already threw him into depression. But ing kid had it coming for mocking a LoL player.

If this kid deserves to go to jail we all do. I can say without a doubt there’s nobody who has never said something which could be taken out of context as a threat. Christ you even see popular characters in the media do this kind of sarcastic joke. Have you people gone mad?

thedog

On September 15, 2013 at 5:02 pm

The police obviously took him seriously enough, as the courts so far have as well. As you pointed out, he’s f-ed up in the head. The real question is just how far will he take his stupidity? It’s idiots like this that do the Columbine shooting. Do you really want to find out just how far he’ll take this, or something later. His threat goes beyond the first amendment. Ask any lawyer in your town. Nope. Say what you want but this little moron will get what he deserves.

Sean

On September 15, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Good on them for locking his ass up. Hopefully he gets charged to the fullest extent of the law. Too many people making comments or even threats on schools, or just innocent people for that matter. Make an example of the kid so possibly some people will start being held accountable for their actions and comments, internet or not

Karl

On September 16, 2013 at 1:14 am

People like Sean appear to be deliberately missing the point of this story. I’ve seen nobody try to condone Carter’s stupid and insensitive behaviour or claim that he shouldn’t be punished. The question is whether or not the punishment being delivered is proportionate to the crime, and for that matter if the ‘fullest extent of the law’ for cases such as his is in itself disproportionate compared to other crimes. The answer to both is clearly no and yes, respectively.

JawaEsteban

On September 16, 2013 at 1:34 am

Speak for yourself, Karl, but pooleboy87 is treading awfully close to condoning said behavior, and he’s not alone.

Personally, I think the kid should be locked up primarily because he appears to be so utterly lacking in any sort of common sense that he fails the stupidity test necessary to be roaming around among the general public. This kid made his comments less than two months after the Newtown shooting. That is mind-bendingly stupid, like around the level of putting a loaded gun in your carry-on luggage at the airport. These things just aren’t done by rational people.

Aedelric

On September 16, 2013 at 1:35 am

Unless you know him personally then you have no reason not to take him seriously poodleboy87, no one has a reason to take what he said as hyperbole. Also admitting he was i“f–ked up in the head” only made his case worse.

Perhaps it is not just him that requires jail time to learn a life lesson on how the things you say affect other people. You can b–ch all you like but at the end of the day if he was not a complete d–k then he would not be in jail and if he was a decent human being then people would care, barely anyone does because he deserves what he got.

And no, he is not protected by free speech, which is why he is in jail you idiot.

Karl

On September 16, 2013 at 3:12 am

@JawaEstaban – I’ll accept that pooleboy87 is being too supportive of him, so perhaps saying ‘nobody’ is condoning it was too big a blanket term. I stand by the rest of what I said, however. I don’t believe the crime comes anywhere close to justifying the punishment. I think people are letting their emotions towards Sandy Hook and other school massacres cloud their judgement on this, not least the jail who placed a ridiculously extortionate bail bond on his head that supersedes that of many violent offenders. Carter’s only real crime in all this is being too stupid to tie his shoelaces properly without supervision. He doesn’t pose any kind of threat to anyone and he’s in danger of being used to scapegoat the whole culture of videogaming in the same way as so many other trends and fashions have been in the past.

There’s a difference between condoning what he said, which was unconscionable in my view, and being so violently hate-filled towards him and his actions that you wish to see him receive a penalty that simply doesn’t fit the offence. Many people on here are unfortunately falling into the latter category and it’s coming across as overly emotional and reactionary – also backed up by the sad amount of petty name-calling being banded around (most notably by Aedrelic) which just dilutes the discussion even further.

thedog

On September 16, 2013 at 6:38 am

Karl…. can you say for a fact that he isn’t a danger to anyone, that he is just stupid? Are you willing to risk lives on your all knowing judgement. From what I’ve read, he has a bit of a habit of being an idiot. Sorry but threating to kill someone is a crime. He wont get life for this but yeah he needs to stay locked up. Most are aware of the school shooting but I don’t believe they are letting that influence their decision to keep this idiot locked up. At best he needs a major psych evaluation. Actually he’s probably better off in there. Someone might actually feel the need to take the law into their own hands if he was out. Wouldn’t be the first time.

MPSewell

On September 16, 2013 at 7:19 am

Actual law enforcement officer here: his arrest is insane. This entire prosecution is absurd beyond all belief. The $500,000 bond is literally 5 times that of a man that I have in jail on first degree murder (drug related). In fact, I could rattle off crimes like Aggravated assault ($15,000 bond), multiple drug dealing offenses near an elementary school ($10,000 bond), Assault on a law enforcement officer + driving while suspended + possession + paraphernalia + resisting + eluding + false identity to deceive + reckless endangerment ($50,000) and you start to get the idea of how disproportionate and ridiculous this entire affair is.

This is the single most bats**t crazy thing I have ever encountered in my time doing this work. Were I the superior of anyone involved in this insanity I would berate them until my lungs gave out. This is OBSCENE.

The next time some 12 year old on CoD says he’ll f*** your mother should we arrest him for threats of rape? Or maybe arrest her because he threatened that she’ll have underage sex with him? It’s about as ass-backwards as this arrest and prosecution. This makes me physically ill, and the only thing worse is the people defending it.

SweetPea

On September 16, 2013 at 7:42 am

@thedog

Do you REALLY believe he meant what he said, that he would rip out a kids heart and eat it? I mean, really?
It’s so obviously sarcastic, I can’t even believe how anyone took that seriously. In any case, I’m sure he’s learned the lesson, what’s the point in putting him in jail for years?

People should learn their priorities. A single drunk driver is far more dangerous than this stupid kid. But hey, it’s easier to screw up this kid’s life and demand an insanely high amount of money, than to stop real criminals.

pooleboy87

On September 16, 2013 at 8:21 am

@Jawa: So simply asserting that he’s got first amendment coverage of a hyperbolic “threat” is akin to condoning what he said? Please, learn some comprehension skills. If you think that this is a binary situation in which the only two options are “lock him up for 8 years” or “applaud him for a stupid comment” then you’re an even bigger idiot than he is. In no way was my comment “condoning” him. The kid is an idiot, and deserves the same punishment that most other people get when they make an incredibly stupid and immature statement at that age…from their parents. Unless, of course, it can be proven that it was in any way a legitimate threat by showing that the kid is clearly sociopathic, or showing that he had legitimate plans to carry out his threat.

@Aedelric: At this point, I don’t know if you simply don’t know what’s going on and are simply trying to make yourself appear as if you get it, or if you’re just some moron who watches too much CSI: Miami…but you should really stop talking.
1) No…you DON’T just have to take it seriously. It’s called burden of proof. It has to be proven that the person is making a serious and legitimate threat. It either needs to be shown that he’s legitimately crazy, or that he made a serious attempt to plan to carry out this “threat”.
2) A comment on Facebook isn’t an “admission” of anything, genius. It’s a Facebook comment…there’s no guarantee of veracity. I can say I’m a 6’5″ NFL QB on Facebook…doesn’t make it true, and doesn’t count as an admission. He could be speaking in, you guessed it, hyperbole! I know, it’s a super-duper tough concept for you to understand…but maybe you’ll get it one of these days.
3) An arrest doesn’t equate to guilt, there, genius. Unfortunately, occasionally people get put in jail wrongfully. Until he’s actually found “Guilty” and has exhausted his legal options, saying he’s not covered under the first amendment is blatantly stupid.
Seriously, man. Just stop talking.

@thedog: I don’t know that you’re not guilty, either. Should we lock you up? You just said “Someone might actually feel the need to take the law into their own hands if he was out”…sounds like a threat to me. I think you should turn yourself in immediately…can’t worry about context, can we?

folklore

On September 16, 2013 at 8:24 am

Just throwing this out there. Carter didn’t even have a gun, in his house, nor was one registered to him. The police found a lot of mountain dew cans and other junk food, but that was really it.

Voice of Raisin

On September 16, 2013 at 8:31 am

Not only should Carter NOT go to prison, but he should sue Texas Police for wasting his time and taxpayer’s money on something so ridiculous. Then he should donate his winnings to a charity for victims of gun crime or school shootings (I’m assuming they exist). This whole thing, and the comments section here, has just become an exercise in self-indulgence and selective indignation from insecure people with selfish aims. It actually sickens me how people on here are exploiting this story as a means to show how offended and therefore superior they are to the unsophisticated masses who either couldn’t care less what some moron says in an obviously dishonest comment or think he’s been victimised out of society’s need for a constant villain to avoid looking inward at its deeper-rooted problems. The way pooleboy87, Karl and a handful of other have been attacked for using empiricism over rhetoric and histrionics is evidence that this isn’t anything resembling a balanced or reasoned debate. It’s a Group-Think pissing contest between the smug PC liberals and the more impartial libertarians. None of which offers any kind of solutions, but then that’s obviously not the goal here. It’s just to let others know what the ‘correct’ opinion is and to throw mud at them if they don’t comply. And all the while, the victims of shootings are just about the last thing on any of your minds.

I’m ashamed.

thedog

On September 16, 2013 at 8:44 am

@SweetPea Like I said, do you know for a fact he didn’t?.. NO you don’t.

@pooleboy87 Have I broken the law? Have I threatened to kill anyone verbally or otherwise? Has but-head broken the law? Has he threatened to kill people? Does he deserve to be punished?
ANSWERS: 1. no 2. no 3.yes 4. yes and 5. yes.
I wonder how many people would have said “let the Columbine killer go if they had caught him before hand. Oh he’s just a kid who’s been picked on. Do you really think he would go in and just start killing people in a school. How many people would be alive today if they had locked him up earlier. Maybe he wouldn’t eat the hearts. He may just not like the taste. Does it matter. Did he break the law. YES!! Will he get life. No. Is he a menace? YES.
@folklore Anyone who advertises wont be keeping weapons at their own home. Kind of makes sense don’t you think. Just saying.

thedog

On September 16, 2013 at 8:46 am

@Voice of Raisin You should be ashamed. We’re ashamed of you too. I bet your going to grow up to be a Democrat. One of the Liberal Party.

folklore

On September 16, 2013 at 9:26 am

@the dog.
I’d hope so, but stranger things have happened, such as a person robbing a store and dropping off their application with resume for a job there. While i have no sympathy for him, i just wanted to point out that he didn’t even have a license or any real criminal background. Now this does not prevent him from going out and buying one if he wanted, and was serious about getting that rap sheet built.

Aedelric

On September 16, 2013 at 10:05 am

@poodleboy87

For a person who is obsessed that “freedom of speech” applies to everything, you seem determined to silence others when they do not agree with you. To quote your very own words “Just stop talking”.

Offence intended, you are a f—ing hypocrite, no one should bother listening to you.

thedog

On September 16, 2013 at 10:46 am

@folklore What you need to understand is the Columbine killer didn’t have any of those things either, although from what I read, this kid is more of a trouble maker, the C killer was fairly quiet. What was the C. killer. Simply put, he was a messed up kid, screwed up in the head. Sound familiar. I’m sure that’s a lot of kids but most don’t threaten to kill other kids and say “watch the blood of innocents rain down”. The kids seriously demented. I personally cant think of anyone I know that would say such a thing even kidding, and I know some weird demented people.
I honestly hope for his sake as well as everyone else’s that he was kidding. Even so, he needs to learn that there are penalties and consequences for the things you do and say. But he still needs mental help and lots of it. I hope the best for him but until he learns his lessons, he will be a problem, if not a danger to all he’s around. That’s just my opinion though.

thedog

On September 16, 2013 at 11:07 am

@Pooleboy87 Your comments are just downright funny. You talk about Aedelric watching to much csi; Miami than say what you’ve said. Lets break it down for you. Number one, did he or did he not break the law. Answer is yes. A threat of death or bodily harm is not tolerated in any state. Secondly, “burden of proof”. Well you see, that’s not required for an arrest. Just probable cause is needed. Burden of proof is only there for his trial, not before.
Obviously the courts agree with the police or he would have been release long ago. Even the supreme courts could have overturned the judges ruling for bail and the like. They have the right to overturn any bail amount that seems excessive, and they haven’t. Wonder why.
Oh, yes, love this one. Talking about facebook. You really should do more research before opening your mouth, ( or you keyboard in this case). There have been lots of people put in jail over things put on facebook. Jobs lost, all sorts of things. In fact, there was a high profile case where a man admitted on facebook to killing someone with his car. Guess what………… Come on it’s not that hard. Well everyone else guessed it. He’s in jail now awaiting his trial. Good thing they believed him.

SweetPea

On September 16, 2013 at 2:45 pm

@thedog
I’d just like to add something. Do you know how many threats are made on the internet every single day?
Just go play some multiplayer games. Or just go to the comments section on youtube videos. Immature retards threaten people all the time. Should we go find them and arrest all of them? No, because it’s pointless, and you need to learn what to take seriously and what not to. I’ve been threatened too. And what did I do? Nothing, I ignored the , and guess what, me and my family are still alive.

That being said, I could understand the police knocking at his door, even searching for weapons. But to sentence him to years in prison? No way. This kid needs to learn the lesson (which I guess he already has), not rot in a prison.

pooleboy87

On September 16, 2013 at 4:14 pm

@Aedelric: There you go…run and hide. I have absolutely no problems with people that have differing opinions. What I have a problem with is a–holes, like yourself, that bring factually incorrect information into a discussion while trying to shut up those that disagree with you. Believe that he is a menace that deserves to go to jail all you want. Fine. Suggest that the threat was serious. I disagree, but that’s your prerogative. But you came in and made a suggestion (that no form of a threat receives first amendment protection) that was factually inaccurate…as pointed out by the very source that you cited. Then, you proceeded to add even MORE inane drivel. Oh, and just as an aside…even if this wasn’t a hyperbolic threat, and he did go to jail…it’s not hate speech, unless somebody has named kindergartners a Protected Group while I wasn’t looking. Nice try, though, champ.

@thedog: Hey, look! Yet another butthead intent on spreading false information in the effort to make himself appear to know what’s going on. 1) No clue where you got your information…not only did both shooters in the Columbine tragedy have possession of their weapons (and bomb-making supplies) beforehand…they kept video diaries of them! Heck, they even posted some about them on their website! But hey, never let the truth get in the way of a good ol’ false equivalency, eh? This situation is every bit the same, right?

Also, while you’re talking out of your a– you might check this one out. I didn’t say everything posted on Facebook was consequence free, did I? I said that a post on Facebook is not evidence of truth. A Facebook post in which a kid says “I’m crazy” does not mean he’s actually crazy…which Aedelric implied. Good try, though. But keep pretending that police regularly use Facebook as their sole means of evidence. Oh, and FYI…you JOB doesn’t have first amendment protection…so I don’t know why you included people getting fired in your comment.

And he’s not guilty of breaking the law until he’s been found “Guilty”, moron…no duh “burden of proof” is in reference to his trial…that’s what we’re talking about here.

At this point…you’re pretty clearly just a buffoon that has a presupposed opinion of the case, and will just continue to make crap up in support of said opinion. Have a good one.

thedog

On September 16, 2013 at 4:56 pm

@Pooltoy69 You truly are an idiot. Your not here for a rational discussion, as you misquoted everyone, and just go on a childish tantrum.
First off, when I said what I said, I was talking about having a criminal record or a record of being a trouble maker. Moron. He doesn’t have any of the above.
As for facebook moron, It does show he’s guilt. Maybe not about murder, but for a crime yes, and all your moron ranting wont make that go away.
Fact of the matter is he was a mentally unstable kid just like you and Carter. Fact, he snapped and people ignored the signs, and people died.
Fact, your just a moron kid trying to justify another moron kid. Fact, he’s in jail, the judge feels he deserves to be there and there he will stay no matter how much you cry about it. Get over it.
Seems like the law agrees with me jacka,ss. Why don’t you form a petition. Maybe you can spring him on your goodwill.
@SweetPea Does that make it right? Do they usually threaten to shoot up schools. With all the idiots doing it, how can they not take him seriously? Fact of the matter, he broke the law. A lot of people break the law by speeding, but if you get caught, you pay the price. Whether he was serious or not, the courts will decide, but at the very least, he will pay for the crime he did commit. Right now it’s a very serious crime as he will find out. I agree he is probably just an idiot, but he’s an idiot that will be made an example of. And thx. Your comments have been valid and respectful. Fact of the matter, I have a brother who is a lawyer for the government , so I do have good source to ask questions.

Bob

On September 16, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Everyone here who says he deserves to be in jail need to seriously rethink themselves. Let’s put it straight: his comment was clearly a SARCASTIC joke one can expect from (m)any kid(s) like him (albeit he included a little too much graphic detail (MADE-UP detail of course)). What he said, in a nutshell, is “yeah i’m so messed up i think i’ll do this”, which anyone in their right mind should perceive as a sarcastic joke indicating that he in fact would NEVER do it (not to mention that he himself included “LOL JK” in the comment but it was cut out to make it look like a terrorist threat and have him arrested)! Is that not clear enough to anyone reading the comment !?

And if there’s anyone who truly are “f-ed in the head” then it’s the prisoners he had the displeasure to be locked up with. They are merely a bunch of cowards, attacking a defenceless kid who hasn’t committed any crime and who never belonged with them in the first place, while the truly terrible criminals who deserve such treatment always get locked away into full protection from other prisoners! I’m glad that he’s ok and out of jail (many thanks to his anonymous donor), and that he has a very good-hearted lawyer who “intends to fight the charges and may even file a civil rights case against the government” and is even willing to do it for free (read the article http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/07/24/cart-j24.html), because he obviously believes that what he’s doing is important. I wish Justin and his lawyer luck in court Sept 30 and hope they win the struggle.

America needs to learn from all the tragedies that have occurred make some serious changes to its attitude. Instead of arresting innocent kids who don’t know any better than to make sarcastic jokes on social media sites, here’s a thought: perhaps changing its gun laws would help a lot more? Do americans not realize that anyone planning a vicious attack would never say it aloud, and that they wouldn’t see it coming until it is too late? While kids are getting arrested, the next attack might be being planned by someone who doesn’t say a word about it – hopefully not the case, but it is possible. And until America changes its gun laws, the possibility remains.

You may agree/disagree but that’s the reality of what it is.

The bottom line is, 10 years in prison for saying something on facebook is absurd and ridiculous in itself. The most the kid deserves is being reprimanded for choosing a bad topic to joke about, but even that is not necessary now since he himself regrets it and because it was 100% sarcastic and supposed to mean that he would never do any such thing. I cannot stress this enough, but there is a HUGE difference between actually doing something and merely saying it (especially if it’s not meant to be serious) Glad his parents got him back (for now at least) and are happy to see him.

Bob

On September 16, 2013 at 5:08 pm

(Please remove the comment i just submitted, along with this one. I didn’t realize that the original comment was already posted so i tried again, thinking that i needed to use a diff. name and email)

JawaEsteban

On September 16, 2013 at 9:21 pm

@pooleboy87 Fair enough. Your opinion is that Mr. Carter’s comments were hyperbole, which is entirely possible. In my line of work, I routinely deal with teens doing and saying incredibly stupid things, usually coming down to motor vehicles, alcohol, and pranks (or some combination thereof), but the possibilities are essentially limitless. This case, however, given the time frame in which it occurred, shows an almost incomprehensible level of idiocy on the part of Mr. Carter, far beyond what I would normally consider to be a quote unquote ‘stupid teenage mistake’. In short, he’s far enough off the reservation that my opinion is he may very well have mental health issues.

Now, short of actually having access to a psychological evaluation performed on Mr. Carter by a licensed mental health professional, neither one of us can conclusively prove our own opinion or disprove that of the other. So, given that Mr. Carter’s mental state and intent is an unknown, do you really think it’s in the best interest of public safety to leave this matter in the hands of his parents, especially since their known belief is that he’s done nothing wrong?

If your opinion is that individual freedom trumps public safety to the extent that we should wait until an individual commits a crime and is then deemed mentally unstable by the courts before locking said individual up, I’ll respect it. I disagree, but I’ll respect it. My opinion is that people who display warning signs of being mentally unstable need to be taken off the street and put on involuntary psych hold until a doctor clears them to be out in public, and I believe Mr. Carter to be not playing with a full deck.

That being said, if he has had a psych panel performed since being incarcerated, and it came back clean, then he should be out on bail. And that bail should be a helluva lot lower than what it currently is. Anything else is up to the judge.

derp

On September 16, 2013 at 9:35 pm

I like how the one comment that was univeraslly ignored was the one by an actual officer

Valkien

On September 16, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Shhh don’t distract them derp, this is getting good.

JawaEsteban

On September 16, 2013 at 10:21 pm

@derp
He/she isn’t being ignored per se, and he/she also isn’t the only officer commenting. I’m simply assuming that MPSewell works for an agency much smaller than mine, otherwise he/she would probably understand the political pressures that resulted in Travis CSO and the DA taking the actions they did.

Look at it this way. Let’s say Mr. Carter’s comments were referred to Travis CSO, and they laughed it off, keeping in mind that this happened less than two months after the Newtown shooting. Then, let’s say a week later Mr. Carter goes out and actually shoots up a kindergarten. What do you think would happen to every single individual at that agency who had knowledge of Mr. Carter’s comments and didn’t act on them?

After the public lynching on CNN, if they were lucky, a firing, and it would stop there. That’s why the bond was so high. I’m not going to argue that the bond isn’t excessive, because it is. However, the DA had essentially no choice in the matter. They’d have better luck letting a pedophile on murder one with a solid case walk under the circumstances.

Ron Whitaker

On September 17, 2013 at 5:33 am

I’m going to chime in here to say that I don’t think that anyone is contending that the police shouldn’t have checked this kid out. They absolutely should have. However, once they found that was was no credible evidence of a threat (at least, none we’ve seen so far), to continue with jailing the kid on a bail that extremely excessive is just….odd.

I’ve said on several occasions that I don’t understand the behavior of the police in this case. *IF* we’ve seen all the evidence there is, I can’t see how Carter can be convicted. However, it’s not unusual for the prosecution to hold something back until discovery. If that’s happening, we won’t have seen it yet. There could certainly be damning evidence out there against Mr. Carter – the case hasn’t even begun to be tried yet.

We’ve read all the court documents that have been provided to us so far. Many things are in the works surrounding this case, and we’ll be watching with great interest as it progresses.

@JawaEsteban – Reiterating the above, and wondering how you would like to have criteria set for “people who display warning signs of being mentally unstable” – A system already exists (in most places) for involuntary commitment. The barriers to it are sometimes high, but that’s because depriving someone of their liberty simply because another person “thinks” they might be dangerous is in itself a dangerous concept. This is doubly true when we’re talking about mental health, as psych panels are not an exact science. They are merely someone’s educated guess. They’re often correct, but I’ve seen them be horrifically wrong more than once.

Should we look at the inordinately high incidence of people being re-incarcerated after release for the same crimes and conclude that we just shouldn’t release those folks since they’re just going to commit the same crime again? I understand your concern, and applaud your desire to try and guarantee public safety, but if there’s ever been a slippery slope argument, this is it.

Phil Hornshaw

On September 17, 2013 at 6:12 am

I know I’m a little late to the party on this, but I wanted to address comments mentioning the Columbine massacre and its two perpetrators, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.

That case itself is an interesting one, and I don’t think it’s directly comparable to what’s seen here. Harris and Klebold were clearly troubled and DID write down a few things that might be construed as threats. How they might have acted on today’s Internet is anyone’s guess. However, the pair didn’t just come out of nowhere — in fact, police had interrogated them both previously because of things like detonating home-made bombs. They also had a huge number of weapons; of course, police found none in Justin Carter’s home when it was searched.

The point is, though at first the cases might seem similar, the facts of the case mean that so far, Justin Carter has nothing at all in common with Columbine except for the involvement (mention) of a school. Most of what was reported and what is “known” about the Columbine killers — the “trench coat mafia” stuff, the idea that they were “goths” or “loners,” their game-playing habits contributing to their behavior — was flat-out wrong or misreported in the chaos following the event.

If you’re interested at all in that case, I urge you to read COLUMBINE, which was written by one of the Colorado reporters who followed the case from the very start and published everything he discovered — which was A LOT — 10 years later in the form of a book. It’s really excellent.

http://www.amazon.com/Columbine-Dave-Cullen/dp/0446546925/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379423462&sr=8-1&keywords=columbine

pooleboy87

On September 17, 2013 at 12:31 pm

@thedog: I don’t know why the presumption of innocence is a difficult concept for you to master, but Justin Carter being arrested does not equate to him automatically being guilty of anything at this moment. I can’t tell if you’ve never heard the phrase “presumed innocent until found guilty in the court of law” or are choosing to ignore it…either way, it doesn’t make your insistent repetition of the word “Fact” when asserting that he’s guilty an actual fact. Nor is your insistence of his mental stability a fact…unless, of course, you are in charge of his psychological evaluation or were privvy to the results of it. But I far more suspect that you’re an idiot who’s full of bluster and have determined the “facts” of the case all by yourself after first forming your own opinion.

Also, I didn’t “misquote” jack diddly. You never specified that you were simply referring to a criminal background. The “misquote” that I made of you was: “@folklore: What you need to understand is the Columbine killer didn’t have any of those things either” (Just an aside…there were two at Columbine). I apologize if I misappropriated that to when folklore said: “Just throwing this out there. Carter didn’t even have a gun, in his house, nor was one registered to him.” But don’t get all high and mighty and act like I’m purposefully misrepresenting what you’ve said. You’re spewing so much foolishness, that it’s hard to wade through.

@JawaEsteban: I’m sorry, but that’s excessively reductive. I’m perfectly happy that the police initially chose to take the threat seriously and investigate it. My current opinion of the case is based on the only facts that I have available to me, though. Given the context of the quote, given that he apparently had no weapons registered to him, and that the police found no detailed plans of an attack on kindergartners…I do believe that should’ve been the extent of the situation. Again, maybe there are facts that we haven’t been given. That’s entirely possible and if it turns out that a psych evaluation says that he’s mentally unstable or it turns out that there was a storage unit full of surgical tools and weaponry then my opinion will be entirely changed, because the context will have changed.

But, at this point, that’s not the case. I also don’t think that it was a tone-deaf comment. I think the timing was entirely purposeful…which is where I think they get the “satire” argument. I think that Carter participates in a pass-time which is know for extremely caustic communication. I think somebody sarcastically accused him of being crazy. I think he (just as sarcastically) said basically said “yeah…i’m even more crazy than the psychopath that committed a heinous act in Newtown”. I think it was immature, insensitive, and gross. But I also don’t think immaturity, insensitivity, and grossness are jail-able offenses.

No offense…but it sort of bothers me to see you suggest that we should jail first, then prove that the person should be jailed later. It’s why I feel that this situation has been a pretty extreme miscarriage of justice. First, what’s the purpose of public safety if we can no longer express ourselves freely? Would we really be more safe if we could potentially be jailed with an exceedingly high bail with the basis of our arrest being a facebook comment that wasn’t given it’s full context? Would I then have to worry if I jokingly said something such as “I’m going to murder you” to a sibling after, say, they posted an embarrassing picture, that I was potentially on the hook for conspiracy to commit murder? Where is the end? Additionally…would we really even be that much more safe? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think the Newtown shootings that you referenced would’ve been stopped by somebody taking a facebook threat as seriously as possible. It’s hard to predict crazy and not all (or even most) crazy makes itself known on the internet.

You are right…currently, neither of us actually have any knowledge of the results of Carter’s psychological evaluation. However, I think there’s a pretty large difference between not knowing and assuming that he’s not insane and not knowing and assuming that he IS insane. I also think there’s a pretty big difference between suggesting that Travis CSO should investigate the issue vs. saying that Travis CSO should lock the kid up just to make sure that he won’t hurt anybody a week later.

I’m sorry…but jailing a kid out of fear of the political blowback if something did happen is NOT right or (in my opinion) even legal. If the DA and members of the various Sherriff’s departments are using that as a basis of their arrest and jailing then, to me, that borders on false imprisonment.

pooleboy87

On September 17, 2013 at 12:58 pm

@thedog: Also, let me address one other thing you got unequivocally wrong, adding to what Phil said.

“What you need to understand is the Columbine killer didn’t have any of those things either, although from what I read, this kid is more of a trouble maker, the C killer was fairly quiet.”
“First off, when I said what I said, I was talking about having a criminal record or a record of being a trouble maker.”

So…we’ve now established that you are saying that the Columbine killerS didn’t have criminal records or records of being “trouble makers” and that Justin Carter is “more of trouble makers”. Which is so beyond factually inaccurate that it’s laughable. In 1998 they were arrested, charged, and convicted of breaking into a van and stealing computers. A search warrant was also prepared (though never filed) after the police investigated their website, where they posted about explosives that they were making. They were so “quiet” that a parent of another kid at the school reported one of them nearly two dozen times due to threats of murder and violence. They made a movie IN THE SCHOOL in which they portrayed extensive violence and swearing. They wrote, fairly extensively, about violence both in school and at home.

The comparison between the case of those two and the case of Carter are so night and day, that it’s ridiculous of you to bring it up. If there was as much evidence that Justin Carter was a violent person with the ability/interest in making weapons, I’d be right behind you in assuming the threat was credible and wanting him locked up. But there isn’t. In fact…other than his comment, I’ve seen no such evidence provided.

thedog

On September 17, 2013 at 1:00 pm

@Pooltoy Gee, why is it so hard for you to admit he committed a crime. First thing you need to do is pull your head out of your as,s. Wipe the sh,it from your eyes and get off the drugs. I didn’t say he was guilty of murder you dumb f…….. I said he committed a crime, which he did. Will he get convicted of more than he’s done now, don’t know. But as I said he’s in jail for a reason. The law agrees with me, not you, but you can go tell them how stupid they are and maybe because your such a honest and knowledgeable person ( you must know more than the DA and lawyers combined. Gosh your smart.). He will pay for the crime he committed and it’s up to the courts to decide how much further to take it. He has been found as a possible danger to society, again, all you crying doesn’t change that, but go ahead anyway. It’s fun to watch you make excuses.
Like I said, you’re a moronic child trying to defend the actions of another moronic child. Hate to tell you this but his stupidity got him right where he now and he may or may not pay a heavy price for his stupidity. The way you talk, I expect to see you there shortly. You sound just as retarded as he does. I’ll be looking for you in the headlines. See you soon.

pooleboy87

On September 17, 2013 at 1:20 pm

@thedog…holy crap. You are so stupid, that it is utterly hysterical.

thedog

On September 17, 2013 at 2:45 pm

@Pottytoy Hey weenie boy, smile for your mugshot. Going to be good. Maybe Carter will make you his b.itch.
I’m done talking to a total toy. I’ll be back after Carter gets done in court, just to rub it in your face. I really want to see how funny it is then. Cheers funny boy.

JawaEsteban

On September 17, 2013 at 3:59 pm

@Ron @pooleboy87

Those are excellent and very important questions to answer, and I fully understand the potential ‘slippery slope’ if such a system was implemented incorrectly. I certainly don’t have all the answers. The problem is that the current mental health system in this country is broken. Horribly broken. Standardization between states is almost non-existent, there’s essentially no mechanism for sharing data between physicians in different states on what mental problems a patient may have, and unfortunately the majority of states have the barriers to involuntary commitment (even if it’s only for treatment) set so high that we have to wait until an EDP actually assaults another person before they can be taken in.

Data is still coming in on the Navy Yard shooting, but at this point it looks pretty solid that the perpetrator had mental health issues that were known beforehand. Mr. Holmes, who perpetrated the Aurora theater shooting, is most certainly mentally disturbed. The list goes on and on. However, these are the high profile incidents that the public sees a few times a year. Tragic as they are, they do not show the wreckage that the broken mental health system causes every single day.

I have lost count of the reports I’ve written where an individual committed a crime and had friends/family who they had told beforehand that they were going to commit said crime, and friends/family did nothing. When taking a statement, I’ll usually ask “Why didn’t you call the police when ____ said he/she was going to _____?”, and the answer is, almost without exception, “Oh, we thought he/she was just joking”. I have seen way too many people hurt, way too many people horribly injured, and occasionally too many people dead at the hands of perpetrators who communicated their intentions to others beforehand to have any patience left for “just joking” as an excuse.

Same problem with mental health, and there’s usually a lot of overlap. One of our officers was forced to shoot an individual who was manic depressive and had decided he wanted to end it with ‘suicide by cop’. Said individual was in the middle of the street with a shotgun when the officer arrived, would not put it down, and finally raised and aimed it at the officer, at which point the officer shot him. This individual was known to be a severe manic depressive by his entire family. In fact, they had tried several times to have him committed for treatment. However, under our state’s laws, they couldn’t do it because the individual had not committed any crimes. He wasn’t eligible to be committed until he was bleeding out in the middle of the street.

Not an uncommon occurrence unfortunately, and variations of it happen across this country every single day. It has to stop, and I acknowledge that my feelings on this issue may be coloring my judgement regarding Mr. Carter. Personally, I have no patience for his particular brand of “just joking”. None. My read is that he’s borderline EDP, and until proven not to be, he doesn’t need to be out in public. Words have consequences. If Mr. Carter is willing to sound like a sociopath in a public forum, then I am willing to take him at his word until proven otherwise by competent medical authority.

Switching gears, I agree that the Travis DA keeping Mr. Carter locked up under a clearly excessive bail due to political pressure is wrong. It’s also the reality of the justice system, and government in general, when a sitting President decides to make a particular crime a personal pet issue on a national scale. The justice system is only generally impartial, it is still easily influenced by political pressure, especially at the Federal level. The higher you go, the worse it gets. Mr. Carter is lucky that this matter ended up at the county sheriff level. If it had been referred to the FBI for action, given that this happened right around the time President Obama’s special commission on gun violence was taking up almost the entire national news cycle, Mr. Carter likely would have been dragged out of his house by FBI HRT, and they would not have been nice about it.

Wrong? Sure. It’s also the reality we live in, and it’s not changing any time soon. Keep that in mind next election. Who you vote into office matters, especially at the Federal level.

pooleboy87

On September 17, 2013 at 6:49 pm

@Jawa:

I certainly agree that mental health is largely something that’s not taken anywhere near as seriously as it can and should be in this country. But at the same time, I don’t think that means that threats should always be treated as credible and serious AFTER investigation. Again, I’m largely basing my particular opinion on this case based on the facts that I know. As far as I know, based on the situation, it seems that Carter made an exceedingly stupid an inappropriate statement that he had neither the means, nor the desire, to back up. I think it’s VERY important that we be able to prove that his intent in making the statement was more than simply making an inappropriate hyperbole to get his point across in an exceedingly dumb conversation.

My largest problem with what you’re saying is that you suggest that by locking people up for cases similar to Justin Carter or all the ones that you have to write reports about, you’re making the claim that we would ultimately be much more safe from the danger of insanity. That is something with which I disagree thoroughly. First, I think crazy will always find it’s way to do damage. It’s sad to say, but there are some people out there that just really really want to hurt others and are good at hiding it. But the larger point is that you’re cutting off one hand in order to protect the other.

How many people will SUFFER if we stop needing to thoroughly prove intent/ability behind something like this? How many people will be sent to jail, have their futures thrown into doubt, etc. because of a single comment on the internet? Do you feel a single comment on the internet can truly offer a fair and full assessment of an individual’s mental health? If Justin Carter deserves to have his life ruined in the name of “public safety”…how many others would share the same fate? We’re not talking about people that have a history of violence or that seem to have any actual, provable intent. We’re talking about folks that make a statement in a heated moment.

Unfortunately, I think we live in a society that’s become far too afraid since 9/11, or even since Columbine. I’m curiously if you really never made a statement or acted in a manner that was highly insensitive as a young individual. Did you ever make a highly insensitive statement? Would you like that posted on the internet (Yes, I understand that he posted it himself…still, I’m just saying)? Or even better…would you like the worst thing you’ve ever said to be used as the basis of your arrest? Because to me, that’s what’s going on here.

We live in a world of confused morals. It’s important to send a kid to prison because he made a supremely vague “threat”, but it’s tyranny to try to limit what guns are out there for public availability? This kid deserves to rot in jail, to be used as an example, but the people that orchestrated some of the largest, life-altering, thefts in the history of the nation are still out there. We watch as people drink, drive, and murder…then are out in less time than this young man has been sitting in jail waiting for his trial.

Unfortunately…it seems to me that you’re allowing personal bias to serve the entirety of your understanding of this situation. You say that far too often you see situations that could’ve been prevented if only somebody had stepped up, had understood that something wasn’t a joke. I wonder if you’ve taken some time to consider the possibility that those situations are only a fraction of the number of times that similar statements are made? That’s the problem, to me. What if, for every single incident that an arrest like this would stop…50 more arrests were made against people that never would have done anything?

Finally…I think your defense that this is the “reality that we live in” is, flat out, BS. Yes, we may live in that reality…that doesn’t mean that we should accept it, or that we should support it. Doing so simply perpetuates it. To me…we’ve been witnessing an assault on our rights over the last decade. “But it’s the reality that we live in” only allows them to be encroached that much further. Maybe voicing concerns and discussing problems with having those that hand out justice be elected by popular vote (and thus, ultimately, slaves to popular opinion) won’t get us anywhere. But saying “that’s just how it is” definitely won’t. If it does turn out that we know the most important facts of the case, and that the TCSO and courts are making an “example” of this kid…I will make sure to let them know what I think next time I line up in a Travis County election booth, and I want them to know WHY they no longer have my support…so that the next individual that is elected does know. I also hope that others give their elected officials the same courtesy.

If Justin Carter was serious in his threat, I sincerely hope he’s held in a place that prevents him from harming others. But if the Sherriff’s office and the DA can’t find any more evidence of that than what we’ve already got…then, to me, Justin Carter belongs nowhere near a jailhouse. Being sent to prison, having your life taken away from you in that manner, is a very serious f-cking deal. It’s not a joke, and it’s not something that should happen to somebody because they made the mistake of allowing the worst of themselves to be seen online. Determining that is a hard job, but it’s one that the elected officials volunteered for when they ran for election.

pooleboy87

On September 17, 2013 at 6:59 pm

@Jawa: Also, just a side note. As I said (and as you admitted) dealing with the worst of what can happen with a “Justin Carter” who is serious undoubtedly makes it extremely hard to remove that from your opinion. I’ve never had to deal with that, so that undoubtedly colors my thought process when it comes to this case, as I don’t have to see or think about what could’ve been prevented up close.

So I definitely understand and respect your reasoning for thinking how you do. It’s got to be tough to see things that you feel should never have happened. Both sides have consequences for their arguments…I think that’s ultimately where we disagree. It’s not that Justin Carter did something wrong. It’s the danger posed by how we handle it.

pooleboy87

On September 17, 2013 at 7:18 pm

@Jawa: Sorry, I’m being pedantic, but I just wanted to leave you with one more thought. Since I was a young kid, so terribly much has changed that it’s utterly depressing. We now live in world where a water balloon fight can be met with police force. Eating your Poptart into the shape of a gun can get you suspended. Letting fear of danger allow the arrest and imprisonment of kids will forever change what it means to be a kid. Forget potato-cannons and tennis-ball bombs. If we keep down this road, your kids will better sit in a room and limit their interests and imaginations and they damn sure better be quiet, or else they might be seen as threatening and violent offenders worthy of severe punishment.

That thoroughly depresses me. This, to me, is just one more step down the road of taking fear too far.

Ron Whitaker

On September 18, 2013 at 5:37 am

@JawaEsteban: You make some good points, and I don’t disagree that our mental health system is kind of a mess. Standardizing systems for mental health across the country would be a huge step in the right direction. Heck, standardizing systems for all health care across the country would be a major step as well.

The unfortunate reality is that bad people and unbalanced people do horrifically bad things. Sometimes the authorities find out ahead of time, and are able to prevent it. Sometimes they don’t. Are they plenty of things we could change to make them better? Yep.

You’re also entirely correct to say that most people don’t realize just how bad it is. Spend a week with a friend who’s a police officer, and you’ll start to get an idea. It’s a mess, and there’s no sign it’s going to improve anytime soon.

Reasonable Man

On September 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Yeah this is an absolute no brainer. It probably was a funny thing to say. If you don’t get it then you are more likely a dangerous mental patient than he is. If you don’t believe me ask a psychologist. Jokes are the sanest thing out there, and jokes about things that people worry about are a therapeutic necessity, especially in a place as unfathomably violent place such as America.

I will fight to the death for my right to make sick jokes. Don’t test me. You may have lost your sanity but i’m rather keen to maintain my own.

Phil

On September 19, 2013 at 10:34 am

Wow, so many clueless people here who doesn’t know a thing about the case. Can’t blame them as the article is misleading and doesn’t tell the whole story, search justin carter on change.org and read the whole thing before commenting please.

Justin’s comment was a joke, he doesn’t deserve to be in jail. Also check out EFF, they’re fighting for our freedom too.

Phil Hornshaw

On September 19, 2013 at 10:36 am

@Phil

I’m sorry, what’s misleading about this story? This is an update to our ongoing coverage, and not the full rundown of the case. We’ve (liberally) linked back to our other, extremely complete stories of the Justin Carter case, and even so, I’m not sure what you’re finding to be “misleading” about this coverage.

Ron Whitaker

On September 19, 2013 at 10:37 am

@Phil – I’d be interested to see what you think is misleading about this article, since it’s pretty much all taken from court documents and conversations with attorneys involved in the case.

Brian Lewis

On September 19, 2013 at 11:43 am

All of you people calling for him to serve more time should be ashamed of your selves, you sicken me..

Phil

On September 20, 2013 at 1:56 am

@Phil and @Ron : What is misleading is essentially the picture of FaceBook and nowhere in the article does it say that Justin Carter wrote “LOL JK” after his comments which is clearly sarcasm. Looks like the article is picturing him being evil instead and it’s probably why so many people commented that he got what he deserved.

Ron Whitaker

On September 20, 2013 at 6:54 am

@Phil – It’s funny that you took that from the article. The screenshot used is the one used in context, as Phil wrote, “In the screenshot of the Facebook post, Carter allegedly wrote,” right beside that screenshot. The whole point was to show the screenshot that was used in the case.

Furthermore, you pointed readers to the Change.org page that Mr. Carter’s mother started as the place to get the real story. If you visit that page, I’m sure you’ll be surprised to find that she linked to this article as a factual source of what’s going on the case right now.

We’ve been pretty clear that we don’t approve of the actions taken by the state in this case, but we also aren’t ready to pass judgment on either side yet, as we (and you) don’t have all the facts yet. Once the trial starts, and we see ALL the evidence, then we’ll be able to see how things really stand.

MBR

On September 21, 2013 at 4:42 pm

I guess they’ve never heard of Poe’s Law in Texas. What a cluster-f**k. I would think the police and justice system have better things to do with their time than make themselves look like asses.

ThePresence

On September 26, 2013 at 4:44 am

I find it incredibly ironic that Americans, who are from a country where freedom of speech in renowned as one of its greatest benefits, is saying that this kid needs to learn to keep his mouth shut. Apparently its a valuable life lesson. Why so paranoid, Sheeple?

Jack

On September 27, 2013 at 3:17 pm

This sickens me, these laws are completely twisted…

Mark Vis.

On September 28, 2013 at 5:12 pm

anyone that agrees this kid should be left out of jail, is my hero. anyone that doesn’t, is a hypocrite.

Aedelric

On September 14, 2013 at 12:46 am

I see a handful of people in his topic do not realise freedom of speech does not actually cover threats. Any form of hate speech is not acceptable in the majority of civilised country.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_free_speech_exceptions

F..k him, he deserves to be in jail so he can learn a life lesson.

—————-

This guy for example says freedom of speech exempts threats, but it also exempts “obscenity” and “incitement”. so i’m reading between the lines and he says: him, he deserves to be in jail.
hence i will say: well that is pretty obscene of you to say, bro.. why are you inciting people on this page?

clearly, there is not a single human being on this earth. that follows each step of the law. why? because we’re not all a bunch of ing lawyers. any exception of the law should be treated as such. dot dot dot: give him a “warning” if you so please. the only thing a person knows or atleast we “think” we know is that we have the right to say whatever the we want. which should be true, because words aren’t chemical weapons. and if you claim words cut deeper than knives, well that’s cause you’re emo.

okay also something i’d like people to think about is the fact that… the internet is technically a place in space, besides earth. we connect to it from earth, many servers run on earth, but in the end all the connections take place in space.

so if you’re arresting someone for saying an obscenity on facebook, you’re technically arresting someone for saying an obscenity in space. so that means you claim to have the right to arrest people in space… so the US owns space? .. ok … i’ll have to mention this to Putin to see if he agrees.

okay, now over that. I see a lot of people here also agree on the fact that it’s not appropriate to arrest people over stupid things, but that you should just ban guns like a decent country. now that several states are also legalizing marijuana this situation is only going to get worse. i completely agree with this. the US is imploding. good job america. :) keep fighting terrorism like you do, you’ll kick it far. not like you’re most likely to be the first most industrialized country with a civil war breakout. good luck holding all the rebels down without chemical weapons.

Mark Vis

On September 28, 2013 at 5:24 pm

also.. people claiming this kid has mental issues……

nobody on earth is perfect. i’m pretty sure half the army, police force, half your government… is run by a bunch of mediocres with mental issues.

humans have issues.

compare what this kid did, to someone puking on a plane.

the plane goes up and you get that chemical reaction in your stomach and you by chance “ed up” cause you just had a bagel with cheese and orange juice 5 minutes before going on board.

as you casually reach for your bag you start throwing up and as the bag fills up and you’re too busy puking to be able to ask for another the pain becomes unbearable and you just can’t do anything else “but” puke… the puke starts coming out of the bag hitting the chairs rolling down the ile to anyone else sitting nearby as the stench hits everyone and more and more people start puking……..

are we seriously going to arrest whoever puked first? freedom of puking.. think about it -_-”

Oliver Chalk

On October 3, 2013 at 9:56 pm

You should contact big gamers such as PewDiePie (first that came to mind) and ask them to creat a video. One video will save your son and if he doesn’t make a video because he’s to lazy tell the world that with photo proof and you’ll get even more publicity.

Hope your son get’s out of jail.

NoJoke

On October 15, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Remember boys and girls, if you ever make any mass threats of murder at any given time, simply add ‘lol’ and ‘j/k’ after it and over half the world will worship you. Especially do this if your threat involved small children. This will make adults think your adorable and will make you milk and cookies. Of course while your ass is in jail for such an obtuse and sickening threat, your mommy will write sad stuff and cry in all forms of mass media so more people will continue to release anyone and everyone of all responsibility for their actions, regardless of whom may have suffered had those actions been carried out.

NO ONE reading about and responding to this incident knows whether or not that bastard was going to follow through on his threat. Anyone who would be twisted enough to joke about killing little kids needs to be supervised 24/7. Perhaps thats why he posted it on facebook. I mean, he had to of known that facebook would be seen by 50% of the world. I will not believe that he did not know that both threatening an entire kindergarten of kids with mass murder and that if he posted it on facebook, everyone and their brother would see it. Seriously, if he didn’t have a clue about either of those, perhaps its for his own well-being that someone watches over him 24/7. At least his Mom realizes this is a wake up call. Doesn’t she?

Jareth

On November 5, 2013 at 5:53 am

Conveniently, the image of the conversation doesn’t even show the extra posts that state “LOL” and “JK”.

Honestly? This kid made a dumb move, yes… but Jail?… Jail time for a stupid moment after a tragic incident? That is not justice, that is an abuse of power. Justin Carter should NOT go to jail.. he has already been punished spending MONTHS in jail and dealing with abuse. Let’s think about this for a moment. You make a sarcastic comment, one that happens to be in poor taste and also at the wrong time (and you clearly ensure that it is a sarcastic comment through traditional online means). The next thing you know, you get jailed and spend your birthday in jail (might I add being arrested on Valentines day?) while waiting to see if eight years of your life will be spent with other criminals who have literally committed so much worse things and gotten roughly around the same amount of years. All of this because you made a stab at sarcasm.

Justin Carter is 19… 19 year old American boys are usually a bag of walking hormones, I’m sure every single person has done at least one stupid thing in their lives, whether it’s a sarcastic comment or a prank or even bullied someone, everyone has done something stupid before… and not to mention he is human… humans make mistakes and this was one of them. Should he really be punished for eight whole years for this? no I do not think he should. He has more than done his time paying for a bunch of sarcasm.

thedog

On November 5, 2013 at 9:15 am

God, I am amazed at how many sympathizers for this idiot there are. Want a reason to listen to his stupidity and take it seriously? I’ll give you one.
Years ago I knew a girl who was dating this guy. The girl was a good friend of mines sister. She broke up with the guy. He begged and pleaded for her to get back together with him. He had made some off hand comments that he couldn’t live without her and he would do something desperate to get her back.
She finally agreed to meet him at his truck in the high school parking lot because he said he just wanted to talk to her. To say goodbye. What ended up happening is horrible. He shot her in the head, then killed himself. Yeah, he couldn’t live without her. Warning signs were there in hindsight. They were high school seniors. This happened in a small community.
Will he actually do what he said. We don’t know. Should we be worried? By all means yes. Is there a chance he might do what he said. Most definitely. My friend will never see his sister again because no one believed guy would do it. For all you people that say let him free. He’s just a stupid kid. So was this idiot that killed this girl. Think on that for awhile, and don’t just say “that’s tragic, but it won’t happen here. This is different”, because you don’t know that for a fact. Tell me with100% certainty he wont carry his threats out.

NoFaithInHumanity

On November 12, 2013 at 2:35 am

So let me get this:

1) 19 Year Old Kid
2) Dumb Sarcastic Comment
3) Dumb Sarcastic Comment On Facebook
4) Did I mention he’s just a kid?

So in other words, if a 6 year old kid says ‘I wish -insert name- died cause he took my candy!!!!’ to someone, I guess it must be they will grow up to be a serial killer.

You’re all hilarious. Human life is something we all must cherish. And here we are, with people rooting for a 19-year old kid who was just plainly being stupid to die and have his life ruined. The kid is growing up and growing up means doing and saying dumb things. Sorry but I’ve heard MUCH WORSE from people than what he posted on facebook. I’ve heard people say they should go bomb the twin towers or that they should rob people’s graves as jokes. Yeah, they tasteless and bad jokes, but I am %100 sure 90% of the people would go to jail if Justin’s case was a valid case.

This isn’t coming from someone who knows about the law a lot nor someone who joins a lot of these debates. But after reading these comments, I only have one thing in mind as an average citizen: Where is your humanity?

Were you guys ever 19? Haven’t you heard your friend say and do stupid things? It was CLEAR he was a kid who said something stupid. If you guys are rooting for his arrest, he’d probably commit suicide. Is that what you guys want? You end a life that didn’t deserve to end?

Sure you can argue: ‘But you’d never know if he really would do all that stuff.”
At the same time, anyone can argue: “But he didn’t and you don’t know that he will.”

In the end, you’ll want his life at the cost of CHANCE.

You know what a 19 year old kid who does something stupid deserves? To be grounded and without computers or internet for a week or something.

You guys are the ADULTS of this generation. And the children who will take after you look at you in shame as you send someone that is NOT PROVEN GUILTY into misery.

You guys all sound so dumb arguing about what this kid deserves or doesn’t deserve when in reality, you’re all missing one key point:

Why are you here against this kid’s dumb comment instead of debating about something more serious, like the people who are ACTUALLY killing people?

I’m a young 20ish year old student. I would never want to live my life and end up as something who would want to put a 19 year old in jail when they haven’t done anything. I respect the adults around me in my life because they respect me the same. I make mistakes. I say dumb things. I go to parties. I live my life with risks and I face the consequences and learn from experience. And when I do something wrong, I get a slap on the wrist because they know I’m just growing up and living my life before I settle down and teach the children of the next generation.

What you guys are all missing is the same ironic reason that I am ashamed of…

You’re all missing logic and humanity.

A real murderer deserves jail. A real robber deserves jail. And they will most likely be able to handle jail because they’re usually adults who have lost their ways in life or are just plain bad people.

Now here you take someone who is still paving their road in life. He’s got a good family, he goes to school, he’s a good kid, and he gets mad and rages at online games just like every teenager. If you complain about this kid, you guys should go spy on the Call Of Duty players. The things they say is A THOUSAND more times worse. The only difference is he was reported for it and the cops were dumb enough to arrest him without evidence or proof.

So let’s get back to it: You take a kid who is learning, you want him to be in jail knowing he’s been beaten several times and has contemplated suicide, you fully cannot prove he is guilty nor would have done those things, and in the end, you support the end of his life.

I think the guys who thinks he deserves jail should end up behind bars. After all, you support the death of a child. It’s no different from murdering.

I’m ashamed of the adults of this generation. It’s like you’re closed in a box and in a world of your own. You think life is all giggles and when someone says a bad thing, it’s the end of the world. Here’s an update to life:

What Justin said is said almost everyday by the current teens of this generation. And will also be said by years to come, perhaps even in your age, teens have said similar things as jokes. Justin isn’t special. Maybe you haven’t said something stupid like he has but billions have.

If you want to prove your point right, then please send every 19 year old to prison, or even your own kid to prison. I don’t think you guys even realize the things young adults joke about in school. Do we ever do it? No, because we end up growing up and we mature into people who won’t be making jokes anymore.

All these posts about laws and politics just make me think when anyone would actually forget about the law and look at reality and humanity for once. The law is merely what we do to prevent immoral acts from happening. But at the same time, some of us are so bound to every word by the law that it became our morality, and never stopped to think that laws change.

To those people who argue about how he deserved jail for his words, I am %100 certain that if you were 19 years old and were younger, you’d think: ‘That’s stupid. What are these people thinking?’

Grow up. Go catch some real murderers. Stop being hooked on a 19 year old kid, acting all righteous when in reality, you’re just making the next generation facepalm.

-Sincerely, from a young adult who hears comments like Justin’s daily and doesn’t care because HE WOULDN’T HAVE DONE A DAMN THING ABOUT A DAMN JOKE.

Idiots.

Lindsey Lewis

On November 28, 2013 at 5:10 pm

You people saying he should be in jail to learn a life lesson are horrible excuses for human beings. One should not be forced to spend time in prison, get beaten on a daily basis, and possibly raped just to “teach a lesson”. Since when did we arrest and convict people a) before any crime was committed and b) when there is no probable cause that a crime would be committed? This is typical Texas and typical insanity on the parts of ignorant people. Free speech is free speech. If the KKK can rally on public property and spew their evil without consequences, then there is no reason to put this INNOCENT PERSON in prison for a decade, DESTROYING HIS ENTIRE LIFE IN THE PROCESS. That’s not a lesson learned, even. It makes him unemployable and unable to contribute to society EVER for the REST OF HIS LIFE, even after he gets out. That’s not justice, that’s a POLICE STATE!

Roy Batty

On November 28, 2013 at 7:58 pm

@Lindsey Lewis

“You must learn to govern your passions; they will be your undoing.” – Spock “Star Trek II”

Free speech is not free speech – that is the problem. For example yelling “there is a bomb under my seat” for fun on a flight to Miami would result in a rather eventful day. In other words this is not protected political speech. Which goes to show the sorry state the US education system is in. [ Well... I do concede that if you have a neo-anarchist world view then yes it is free speech]

What Mr. Carter did was just that to effetely yell “fire” in the preverbal crowded movie theater. Which by the way has nothing to do with Texas (this is illegal – EVERYWHERE). Where the prosecutor is being overzealous is charging him with terroristic threats.

Was it simply poor choice of words? Probably. Should he be thrown in jail – meh what for. All we would be doing is creating another unproductive ward of the state (paid for by taxpayers). I think he has leaned his lesson ALREADY both legally and socially.

Personally I think his punishment should be to watch every re-run of “I Love Lucy” but this might be against the Geneva Convention.

Aaron

On December 2, 2013 at 12:43 am

Anyone here who’s saying he deserves what he got, well, all I can say is I hope someone sees something stupid you say in an online argument and sends you to jail over it. The difference here between free speech and direct threats is extremely simple to understand. “a kindergarten” especially when combined with the satiric nature of the comment makes this a no brainer. UNLESS YOU SPECIFICALLY TARGET THE PERSONS, OR LOCATIONS YOU ARE THREATENING, THEN IT IS FREE SPEECH, NOT A THREAT.

Look at the difference, it’s the difference between hurting “people” and hurting “you.” If you can’t understand this difference then you have no place being on the internet, or being anywhere, really. The fact that there are a large number of comments in favor of this travesty of justice who also vote make me sad for the future of America.

thedog

On December 2, 2013 at 8:08 am

I’m through arguing with sympathetic idiots with no common sense. For the people stating wrong and illegal to put him jail for some simple free moronic speech. Funny, lawyers, judges (including supreme judges) seem to disagree. I guess all you self taught lawyers seem to be face down in the dirt. Have a bite while your down there. Let me spit in it first though to juice it up for you.
How many of you idiots have actually met an idiot like this? I have. He killed a friend of mines sister. Yeah, I’m sure he would have had a bunch of idiots saying the same sh-t, if he had been caught before the crime. Sad little pathetic bleeding hearts, or maybe you more like him thing you would like to admit.
Is he guilty? Of a crime yes, of the crime they’ve accused him of. Don’t know for a fact, but do you know for a fact he isn’t?
Grow up idiots. This isn’t Sesame Street, and Carter sure isn’t Big Bird.

pooleboy87

On December 2, 2013 at 8:46 am

Hmm, let’s count the number of fallacies in thedog’s latest far-right bs offering:

- Appeal to authority (“lawyers say he should go down, so it’s automatically correct)
- Appeal to emotion
- False comparison (this guy didn’t hurt anyone)

Well done for making it even easier to rubbish this case for the nonsense that it is – a complete overreaction to a banal act by a petulant but completely harmless moron. I get the impression you’d have drug users hanged if you could as well.

Go back to watching Glenn Beck.

Bob

On January 8, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Well said Jareth.

@NoJoke, you don’t even deserve an answer.

Anyone who took his comment seriously and thinks that he should be in jail must’ve had their own heart (and brain!) eaten away at a young age lol. Yes that means you NoJoke!

By law anyone is innocent until proven guilty, NOT the other way around! So many morons here keep saying “do you know for a fact it was a joke?” when the real question is “do you know for a fact its not?”

Bobby Bob Joe

On June 11, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Some people are talking about him learning a life lesson. He already did. What do you think he’s gonna say something like this again after seeing that some idiot friend of his will get butt hurt enough to report him while knowing it was a joke? Sure, a sick joke, but a joke nonetheless. Jeez, give the guy a break.