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back to article Texas teen jailed for four months over sarcastic Facebook comment

Concern is growing for a Texas teenager who has spent the last four months in jail after being arrested for making seemingly threatening comments on Facebook. Justin Carter, 19, is currently being held under suicide watch in Comal County Jail near San Antonio, Texas, after being arrested in February following a Facebook argument …

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Another for the WTF file

Lets hope he makes himself a millionaire by taking them to court after it is all over.

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Facepalm

Re: Another for the WTF file

I agree!

Sure its a bad taste joke, but still a joke IS a joke.....

A night in a jail cell would have been enough to make him realise it was a bad thing to do...

But 5 months?

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Anonymous Coward

Deserves it

I'd have given him twice as long, the Police are damned if the act and damned it they don't.

This isn't about free speech or being a prat, make a statement like that and expect some kind of sanction.

Just ask those parents whose children have died at the hands of idiots like this, just a joke, didn't mean anything by it... Well tough luck sit back and reflect on it.

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Anonymous Coward

Do a search

On Wikipedia for recent school shootings in the US.

Since 2000 over 60

Over 150 children killed

Not including injured.

Not a joke is it!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Deserves it

America is waking up so expect to be downvoted by protectors of the free, defenders of the right to spy and by a nation that has had it's fingers stuck in the pies of war and responsible for so many deaths in the name of peace.

Oh, just a thought, is the US still funding the Egyptian Army, I think it is.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Do a search

> Over 150 children killed

So fucking what?

Do you want me to unpack statistics about birth defects in Vietnam due to Agent Orange? Pretty sure I can make jokes about that on the Interwebs with no ill consequence.

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Re: Do a search

No, it just makes the "joke" all that more poignant.

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Thumb Down

Re: Do a search

On the National Institutes of Health website: 2000 - 2008 total number of children under 16 killed by bicycles in the U.S. is 940.

Not including injured.

Anything can be a joke in context and anything can be dangerous. Especially emotional over reactions...

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/core/lw/2.0/html/tileshop_pmc/tileshop_pmc_inline.html?title=Click%20on%20image%20to%20zoom&p=PMC3&id=2663877_11_HelmkampTable1.jpg

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WTF?

Re: Deserves it

Just ask those parents whose children have died at the hands of idiots like this

I'd be an interesting exercise to track down the parents whose children have died as the result of a Facebook post. Fucking moron!

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Re: Do a search

In the good old US of A you're either rich or totally fucked. You don't get to choose.

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Holmes

Re: Deserves it

Yes, because America is *so* much safer now this dangerous terrorist is behind bars...!

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Re: Do a search

You guys..... Your brains woukd explode if you ever read sickipedia.

It doesn't matter how sick and twisted a comment is - if it's obviously intended as a joke, you guys are sick suggesting he deserves to be punished in this way.

He eve wrote j/k for the common-sense-impaired brigade... sigh...

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Get rich or die tryin' as one talentless rapper once said

The american dream... become fat and sue the company that made the food for emotonal distress and damage, have an accident and sue everyone who may have been at fault for emotonal distress and damage, or get arrested and sue the police - for false arrest causing emotonal distress and damage...

...and never have to work again for the rest of your life.

Shame for the kid... but if the police had done nothing and he had of done something, the police would be sued by ever victims family for emotonal distress and damage to the tune of 100s of millions per victim... I guess it's just cheaper to arrest the kid... if it all goes pear shaped, you only get sued once

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Childcatcher

Re: Another for the WTF file

"Sure its a bad taste joke, but still a joke IS a joke....."

Not in America. I mean "Think of the children."

Obviously that doesn't mean doing anything to really protect children, like IDK limiting magazine capacities or serious background checks.

Teen photographs their dangly bits and texts them to friends.

Making, owning and distributing child pornography. No defense and entry on the SOR.

Welcome to American "justice."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do a search

Do a search

Those no joke shootings were done with free guns not free speech.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do a search

At least now we can take solice that there's one less rude LOL player behind bars. It's about time these people calling me a faggot for clicking the wrong skill were punished, I say put the lot of them behind bars... Wait he's behind bars for a comment outside of LOL? Oh... Set the guy free then for god sakes.

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Alert

Re: Deserves it

Can humans rule an other human, and who has the right to do so, and when?

Is the punishment in balance with the act? Should the punishment be softer or harder than the original act?

To, me just the case that those ideas is in someones heads, as a joke or not is worrying. Not for the joker sake, but for the pictures and ideas he puts in other's peoples heads by communicating them.

In the end, those ideas and mindset becomes something normal to someone, and will act upon it, and yet for some others they will not react when they see it happen.

On the other hand it's worrying that if you say something stupid out of your stupidity ( as we all do ) what can it lead to. It's not at all a pretty world we live in.

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Re: Do a search

So because of Agent Orange, school shootings are justified?

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Megaphone

@Kevin

"Lets hope he makes himself a millionaire by taking them to court after it is all over."

Right, waited quite a while before responding because in my opinion there is no clear right and wrong here.

I tend to agree with you, however what I hope for even more is that his stay in jail (and the psychological impact this must have) hasn't turned him into the kind of twisted guy they were afraid he'd be in the first place.

Because although I think that some "jokes" shouldn't be made and deserve some form of punishment you also need to make sure not to overdo it. That is the other side of the medal.

I sincerely hope not but if this guy is going to "get back at society" in 5 or 6 years or so, then who is to blame here? That's going to become quite a bizarre argument. One which could have been avoided in the first place; right now.

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Meh

Re: Do a search

I'm sure there is an over reaction here, that a little investigation might have put an end to in short order, however...

In the current climate, posting anything about any shooting up a school is going to get you the exact same treatment that you would have received for telling an airport official you were carrying a bomb in October 2001.

You *can* make jokes about Agent Orange as it happens, because (rightly or wrongly) the Vietnam War was a long time ago. Sandy Hook wasn't.

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Devil

Why concentrate on just school shootings?

Why not look up the statistics for all murder? Thousands of them, so we can't make jokes about murder any more. There goes "Goodfellas". What about accidental deaths of children falling from heights? Loads of them, so we'll need to ban that evil death-revelling tract "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland", which contains a joke on the subject. Carroll's long dead, but we could still jail Scorsese. After all, if the police just stood by and did nothing and then Scorsese did become a Mafia boss and have dozens of people killed, the victims would sue the police. They can't win!

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Re: Deserves it

"Just ask those parents whose children have died at the hands of idiots like this"

The people who shoot up schools don't post their intentions on social media beforehand. In fact, terrorists as an obvious rule don't do that. Kinda limits their chances of success. So is that really what he was doing?

Or was he just venting some kind of frustration in a way I agree is totally inappropriate, but this is very much about "free speech." Where is the police work that has brought evidence to light that he is what they call a CREDIBLE threat? Does he own or have access to the necessary weapons? Is he involved with people who are considered a threat to school safety?

The police have, after four months, not produced any such evidence. All they have is a few posts on Facebook.

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Re: Deserves it

No ones dies at the hands of idiots cos theyre just that -- idiots. Not psychopaths -- idiots.

Now youve gone and made yourself look a fool...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do a search

t.est: "So because of Agent Orange, school shootings are justified?"

No and nobody even remotely suggested that this was the case. You might want to work on your reading comprehension.

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FAIL

Re: Deserves it

"Just ask those parents whose children have died at the hands of idiots like this"

Yes, indeed. Just ask the parents of those who have died in prison as a result of being arrested by an idiot for something clearly innocuous.

It's worth remembering that the US still has more people in prison than any other country. 1% of the US population are prisoners, and amongst non-white ethnic groups, the number is much higher, for example 10% of the black population of the US is in prison. They have the highest per-capita prison population in the world, followed by Russia, and the highest total prison population, followed by China (who have a significantly larger population as a whole). By any measurable term, they are the exact opposite of the 'land of the free'.

The sort of idiocy exemplified in this story and by some of the (anonymous) commenters here is hardly surprising, cast in this light.

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Re: Get rich or die tryin' as one talentless rapper once said

Shame for the kid... but if the police had done nothing and he had of done something, the police would be sued by ever victims family for emotonal distress and damage to the tune of 100s of millions per victim

Two points:

1) It is not possible to sue the police as a victim of crime.

2) The police are there to arrest people after a crime has been committed, not 'in case they do something naughty'.

You really, truly, are an idiot if you believe what you just wrote.

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Facepalm

Re: Do a search

So because of Agent Orange, school shootings are justified?

Your brain is broken. Return it for a refund.

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Re: Do a search

"You *can* make jokes about Agent Orange as it happens, because (rightly or wrongly) the Vietnam War was a long time ago. "

No, actually, you can make jokes about Agent Orange because it only killed, maimed, and impoverished Asians. If it had harmed Americans, 40-50 years wouldn't be nearly enough time to forgive and forget.

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Re: Deserves it

"It's worth remembering that the US still has more people in prison than any other country."

Including China, which has four times as many people.

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Re: Do a search

AC is what we scientists call a "troll", don't feed him/her.

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Happy

Re: Get rich or die tryin' as one talentless rapper once said

@Loyal Commenter

Police liability varies by state. I was the victim of a home invasion and was seriously injured by stabbing. The town and the State (Tennessee) sent me two nice checks, without any prompting from me, for failure to ensure my safety. I had to agree not to sue to cash the checks, but police can be held liable for failure to perform their job in some places.

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Re: Do a search

Power companies and railroads in the US and Canada were spraying it into the 1970s to control weeds - after all it was perfectly safe, the government had proved that in Vietnam.

There are a bunch of lawsuits here about it

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FAIL

Re: Get rich or die tryin' as one talentless rapper once said

Two points:

1: I never said the victim - try learning to read.

2: They are there to prevent crime, do you know what prevention is?

You really, truly, are an idiot if you believe what you just wrote.

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Re: Get rich or die tryin' as one talentless rapper once said

When you have learnt to read, try reading what Don Jefe said... numpty

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Re: Another for the WTF file

Oh, this article is leaving out the juicy bits. The kid has to be confined to solitary for his own protection. When they pull him out and put him back in the general population he gets beaten to a pulp. And bail has been set at a number even the bail bonds companies can't afford.

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Re: if the police had done nothing and he had of done something

Yo, brainless! Of course the police are supposed to do something. They're supposed to log the call, go to the parents house, asses the situation, and apply some common sense. With contextual evidence that the kid wasn't serious they give him a good stern warning about not doing it again and go back to the station to log the report. Throwing him in jail with a $500,000 bond on the basis of nothing more than a single FB post is beyond the pale.

Oh and all those victim suits would get tossed as soon as the were filed. The police departments have no legal responsibility to protect you from harm.

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Re: Deserves it

"Just ask those parents whose children have died at the hands of idiots like this"

Yes, will no one think of the the families of the thousands of champions, minions and turrets that have been massacred by these heartless league of legends playing war criminals.

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Re: Deserves it

The point here is that his comments were in jest. I agree that the police were correct in taking action to investigate and evaluate the kid, but after that was done, he should be released. Arrest him and question and investigate, but after finding that he is not a threat let the kid go. A few days in lockup while being investigated should teach a lesson.

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Re: Do a search

So because his brain is broken, a return is justified?

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Re: Do a search

especially dont feed them after midnight, and for the love of all that is good, dont get them wet.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do a search

"So because his brain is broken, a return is justified?"

It depends if it was a manufacturing fault, but since it was likely dropped, I'm going to go with no.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Deserves it

1. I have a "handle" but the uk forum site hasn't processed it yet.

2. Does this not just represent yet another WASTE of taxpayer dollars?

3. Gotta say it: if he was a 'minority' would he be in jail? Didn't Trayvon and his friends post in social networks about a variety of criminal activity, including buying, selling and using drugs, as well as violence?

4. Sorry, but the sheriff in this Texas town is just some kind of M O R O N. The judge? Probably running for re-election...

5. 4 months in jail for this?

6. I bet he lives in a county with lots of Democrats, who incredibly have lost the ability to read and comprehend the US Constitution.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: if the police had done nothing and he had of done something

Well, if you can forgive the sweeping generalizations I make...

This is Texas, where no excess is too extreme. Texans tend to be preoccupied with size, consequently they tend towards simplistic analysis and overdoing things. (They didn't like the idea of Alaska becoming a state, because then Texas wouldn't be the largest state. They wanted Alaska split up.)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do a search

Free speech (especially given that it was obviously not a real threat) is more important than 150 lives.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do a search

I've done a search.

Number of children killed via stupid comments posted on face book.

Nope, not 150 zero.

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Totally on the kid's side here. El Reg didn't replicate his emphasis either. He was clearly speaking in that Internet dialect known as HURR DURR. You would need to be utterly ignorant of so many things to not realise that what he said was a joke. Another atrocious oppression from a fear-mongering government.

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Unhappy

This is Texas

The one state I would dearly love to see secede from my country.

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Re: This is Texas

Don't say anything bad about Texas. You'll get your comment deleted. There's a moderator here who doesn't like anti-Texas comments. Not sure who at El Reg has a vested interest in Texas, but somebody does.

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Trollface

Re: This is Texas

Then we shall mention the Alamo!

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