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 …

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Unhappy

Re: There ought to be some kind of rule

If only the founders of the power in question had thought to put some sort of clause allowing you to protect yourself from it.

They did. We rescinded it. Out of fear, of course...

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Sil

Poor guy

Poor guy, absolutely ridiculous. I guess he should be happy not beeing waterboarded in Guantanamo Bay for posing such a high terrorist threat.

I hope that in the future he'll learn his lesson and become a shady banker. He'll be able to steal billions of dollars and never set foot in jail.

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Facepalm

You have to consider the source

An online petition set up by his family calling for a review of the case has reached over 90,000 signatures, but so far the Texas judiciary shows no sign of reconsidering its actions.

Waaall, whaddy'all expect? This here's Texiz, and in Texiz, we don' cotton to no pussyfootin' aroun' when we're heah talkin' 'bout 'em 'ere terrirists! No sir! An' Sheeet!, we don' walk aroun' here talkin' in no letters 'n symbols either. We ain't got no tahm fer dat dere L-O-L sheeet! Damfool kid should learn to talk English, lahk ever-buddy else!

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Anonymous Coward

What the hell

What happened to you, too many hamburgers, lack of vitamins or something.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What the hell

Seems to happen whenever white people colonise a hot country and go out in the sun too much.

S Africa, Australia, Texas - all due to people not wearing a hat.

Cold seems to have the opposite effect - see Canada.

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FAIL

Re: What the hell

It was a Canadian who started this whole Shitstorm in the first place.

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In case people have not noticed, about half the people in this state of Texas are complete morons. He said LOL (and yes, its a sick joke... but it happens in gaming).

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Ridiculous

How does this joke / threat differ from the plot of a Tarrantino movie?

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WTF?

Re: Ridiculous

It doesn't. They are both fantasies

Next question?

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Stupid prosecutors, stupider cops

The state (of Texas) has a high bar to reach to successfully prosecute this guy.

The First Amendment will only NOT apply if one of two situations apply: the first is the ghastly "Fire in a Crowded Theater" one, where the speech risks damage or injury, while the second is the "fighting words" doctrine. In this case, the facts-as-reported don't seem to provide enough specificity to qualify (which kindergarten? Who exactly is threatened?)

As the comment was made in a game/entertainment context, it becomes much harder to make the case that a "reasonable person" _could_ have interpreted the speech as an immediate threat.

My guess is that the kid pissed off the prosecutor and cops and they over-reacted, and now they dare not backtrack because they will be liable for being asshats. Their best hope is to pressure the kid to reach a plea agreement that admits guilt of some crime (maliciously loitering with intent to jaywalk, or something), which then releases the cops from wrongful arrest liability ('cos he admitted he was a criminal).

So for the kid, his best hope is for the judge to have actually read the First Amendment and toss the complaint as impermissible restraint of speech, while for the cops and state the best outcome results from them pressuring him so hard that he pleads guilty to _something_.

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Re: Stupid prosecutors, stupider cops

> the judge to have actually read the First Amendment

I thought the constitution didn't apply if it was terrorism?

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Re: the judge

The judge is the moron who set the enormously high bail.

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Justice American Style

Do you want fries with that?

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PJI
Happy

Re: Justice American Style

Freedom fries or French fries?

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Texas?

No surprise here.

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FAIL

Ya gotta love the US justice system

...ahh no, actually you don't.

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I feel sorry for the family - only!

The sick minded crazy is where he belongs, and anyone else who can imagine even descending into such barbaric thoughts belongs there as well.

These so called war games should all be banned, they serve no real purpose except to excite deviants into trying to reproduce their sickness into real life.

If you cannot entertain yourself without sitting in front of computer killing things, perhaps you should try the exciting game of holding your breath for twenty minutes.

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WTF?

Re: I feel sorry for the family - only!

Are you for real?

If the authorities had any wit, they'd be letting him out and putting you in.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I feel sorry for the family - only!

"perhaps you should try the exciting game of holding your breath for twenty minutes."

You do realise the irony of what you just said, yes?

So you're saying the every person that plays games though kill themselves? Wow, that's quite a lot of people you're threateneing to kill there! Quick, NSA, arrest this terrorist!

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Re: putting you in

No, that would only make the problem worse. You need to send him to re-eduction camp for an attitude adjustment.

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Trollface

Re: I feel sorry for the family - only!

Don't you mean: "perhaps you should try the exciting game of holding your breath for twenty minutes lol j/k"?

Or are you really Jack Thompson? Because you obviously are one ----->

(This is why we need the icons back on the left.)

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@HKmk23

You're saying that playing games that depict violence should be banned... because of what exactly?

You're saying that threatening someone's (imaginary) life should result in a prison sentence?

So... let me get this straight... you've advising a 'real' person to commit suicide by holding their breath, and don't feel like you don't belong in prison yourself?

Are you for fucking real?

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No wonder American comedians died with Bill Hicks. None of these yanks can take a fucking joke, jesus.

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Anonymous Coward

From BBC news today: A British man who threatened to kill 200 people in the US in posts he made under a false name on Facebook, has been jailed for more than two years.

Perhaps British Humour died with Les Dawson?

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FAIL

I don't think he was trying to be funny; posting the comment on a page dedicated to a young woman who died in a car crash, specifically threatened a person. Plus, he didn't LOL or j/k

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EFF?

surely they should be involved in this case?

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America... Land of the "free"

nuff said.

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His family says that the young man has been assaulted in jail multiple times

It's bad enough that he's been jailed for a boneheaded facebook comment, and now this?

Is this the American penal system at work? Is he being assaulted by the inmates or the wardens?

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Unhappy

Re: His family says that the young man has been assaulted in jail multiple times

Certainly assaulted by the other inmates but the guards turn a blind eye.

Here in the U.S. the guards are the most primitive form of law officer, those judged to be too mean, unstable, stupid or all three to put on the streets. In most states and counties the guards receive about two days of training and are put to work, fresh off the streets. They are incredibly vindictive and are generally the bullies from school who couldn't hack it once their prey had moved on to do useful things for society. They make and enforce their own rules inside as once you're in you've lost quite a few of the legal protections you receive on the outside.

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It's Texas

Don't everyone go getting their panties in a knot over this. This is what they do. The rest of America wants Texas to secede from the Union so the can finally get that border fence they've been crying about. Sadly, it won't be where they want it.

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The land of the free

to toe the line.

Or you could start up the 'Church of Sarcasm' in Texas - that would confuse the fuck out of them.

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Re: 'Church of Sarcasm'

Oh yeah! That sounds like a really good idea!

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I live in Northern Ireland.

During the Troubles, a man is driving down a country road late at night when he is pulled over by two men wearing balaclavas and carrying AKs. One of the men stands back while the other approaches the driver.

"What religion are you?" asks the terrorist.

Thinking fast, the driver says, "Actually, I'm Jewish."

The terrorist calls to his comrade, "Achmed! At last!"

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To those people who seem to think that the school shooting statistics have anything whatsoever to do with how this boy should be punished: Look up the stats for the number of people killed in the Troubles and the number of Jews killed by Muslim terrorists, then call the police. I need to be jailed for having written the above. Obviously.

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Angel

Re: I live in Northern Ireland.

Thinking fast, the driver says, "Actually, I'm Jewish."

Is that Protestant Jewish or Catholic Jewish?

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This post has been deleted by its author

A good punishment would be a ban on use of any internet connected device for 2 months.

Then will we get the every-moment-of-my-life posted on Facebook types to think before they type, it may de clog the system of some bullshit too, only slightly mind

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but how would the NSA watch them then?

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Online game FFS

It's apparently OK to take part in simulation games that are about creating mayhem and death. But adding in a sick joke along the lines of "I'm going to do the worst thing you can possibly imagine" isn't.

He's a kid. 18 is a kid, even if Texas does think you become an adult at 17.

His "threat" being presumably the worst thing he could imagine.

The idea, in that context, that he actually wanted to do that thing is 180 degrees wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

I see.

Make a horrifically threatening comment and then... lol and all should be good.

What utter rubbish.

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In an educated country, the "LOL" shouldn't be needed - no-one would even think to take it seriously.

You can draw your own conclusions what I'm suggesting about you, AC.

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Texans must have a sense of humour. After all theyve voted those wankers the Bush clan in numerous times.

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texas

Texans must have a sense of humour. After all theyve voted those wankers the Bush clan in numerous times.

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Re: texas

Yeah, I hear Texans are so stupid, sometimes they submit the same comment twice.

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Silver badge

Sounds like a kid that should have known better being stupid.

Freedom of speech is a good thing but there are some responsibilities that have to be observed when using it. The most important one being not talking complete ****.

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Anonymous Coward

I cannot see this as an example of causing harm. In exceedingly bad taste, yes, insensitive, yes. Harmful like yelling "fire" in a full theatre, hardly. I cannot see this statement invoke anything then anger in circles outside the group he was communicating with, but AFAIK it's not illegal to talk stupid crap between friends.

Second layer of stupidity is the reaction - is there a mandate that law enforcement has to match the stupidity of the act itself? If it was really, really necessary to formally act on this, a caution would have more than sufficed.

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Anonymous Coward

It'll be interesting to see if he gets the Death Penalty from this ('cause lol, Texas).

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Anonymous Coward

So, we're now arresting people for being idiots..

.. which means we will soon no longer have any room in prison for the *real* criminals out there.

OK, I have a limited sample size here (president Bush and current law enforcement involved in this farce), but it appears sanity is genetically removed from Texans.

OK, such remark was in bad taste (and *seriously* so), but I really would like to see any evidence, even preliminary that demonstrated that this guy was even remotely a threat.

I honestly don't get this whole black and white approach. Why not give this guy at most a caution? Do Texan cops have a stupidity or arrest target to meet?

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Trollface

Going to celebrate by shooting up my primary school. LOL j/k

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Anonymous Coward

@Moosh

Downvoted because even in context, it is tasteless.

But don't worry, I won't call the authorities on you.

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Guns don't kill people, jokes kill people

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