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Teenage League of Legends Player Jailed For Months For Facebook Joke 743

Posted by Soulskill
from the a-very-unwise-joke dept.
Kohath writes "Eighteen-year-old Justin Carter of Austin, Texas was arguing with a friend on Facebook about League of Legends back in February. After being called 'insane,' he responded with 'Oh yeah, I'm real messed up in the head, I'm going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts.' Below that, he wrote 'lol' and 'jk.' He was arrested March 27, 2013 and has been in jail since that time. A hearing to review his case is scheduled for July 1, 2013. His parents have launched a change.org petition to convince the authorities to release their son."
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Teenage League of Legends Player Jailed For Months For Facebook Joke

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  • Uhhh what? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Friday June 28, 2013 @12:22PM (#44133467)

    A Change.org petition? Do people still think those have any relevance to the people they petition? Has a Change.org petition ever had any meaningful effect?

  • Alec Baldwin (Score:5, Interesting)

    by transporter_ii (986545) on Friday June 28, 2013 @12:37PM (#44133757) Homepage

    Contrast that to Alec Baldwin, who was making a direct threat: Alec Baldwin Melts Down On Twitter, Threatens To 'F*ck Up' Reporter

    http://gawker.com/alec-baldwin-melts-down-on-twitter-threatens-to-fuck-604856776 [gawker.com]

    I wonder if the rich still have their rights?

  • Re:Teenager? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Microlith (54737) on Friday June 28, 2013 @12:43PM (#44133847)

    a fully functional member of society, who should be a little more responsible with words.

    Yes, he should know when not to say the bad things! You might not know what they are, so be careful and keep your mouth shut!

    Especially when those words are are direct threat to health and lives of others.

    Except it wasn't a direct threat.

    In any case, "j/k" and "lol" does not excuse a sociopath

    He's a sociopath, huh? How'd you figure that one out?

    nor does it guarantee that a mentally ill person will not actually act upon the threat.

    And now he's mentally ill?

    Aside from that, we don't know all the circumstances of the case (except for what one side with vested interest tells us).

    Hasn't stopped you from casting judgement.

    Perhaps such threat does really exist.

    Therefore no amount of abusive, oppressive investigation and imprisonment is too much!

  • Re:his crime? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Andrio (2580551) on Friday June 28, 2013 @12:50PM (#44133981)
    "Authorities charged him with making a terrorist threat. If convicted, he will face eight years in prison."

    Greetings, humans. I am a traveler from another world, trying to study your civilization. You humans are a strange race. In all my travels I've never seen a single race capable of such altruism and beauty as humans. And yet, conversely, I've also never seen a race capable of such evil and ugliness. One wonders your future: will both sides even out, resulting in mediocrity? Or will one side triumph out over the other, either blessing--or cursing--the entire galaxy and all life as a whole?

    Such a peculiar species.

    Another mystery, which has been solved just now, was the bizarre and disproportionate punishments and reactions to certain speech, such as this pre-adult being arrested for an obviously ficticious statement of no malicious intent. But I understand now! If something gets labeled "terrorism", then regular laws and common sense do not apply! Authority figures are allowed to do anything they want, arrest anyone they want, or attack anyone they want. All that is needed is the "terrorist" label.

    I don't see the sense in this personally. In fact, it seems awfully silly. But then again, it's your civilization--you should be free to explore your own destiny. I'm just here to observe. (This statement won't be interpreted as terrorism will it?).
  • Re:Alec Baldwin (Score:3, Interesting)

    by operagost (62405) on Friday June 28, 2013 @12:56PM (#44134075) Homepage Journal
    Dunno. The elite are confusing me this week. They applaud the shutdown of Paula Deen, a financial and emotional supporter of Obama, because she may have said the "N-word" 20 years ago; but this is like the third time Baldwin has made a bigoted statement and he's still working. I guess it's because the President isn't in any of the groups he's attacked (yet).
  • Re:Alec Baldwin (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rubycodez (864176) on Friday June 28, 2013 @01:04PM (#44134239)

    what's really funny is that Obama, by his own words in autobiography, used racist words and held racist beliefs couple decades ago, moreover went to a church that taught hate and racism from the pulpit. so should Obama lose his job?

  • Re:Ah Crap.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday June 28, 2013 @01:19PM (#44134473) Homepage Journal

    I had an incident with a black SUV with large, armed men a few years ago. All I did wrong was park in front of the wrong house. Scared the hell out of me, afterwards it just pissed me off that my 4th amendment rights were violated when they searched me and my car with no warrant. They didn't bother asking, they just pointed their tasers at me. Coats read SPD, FBI, and the guy in the ski mask (in July!) had a coat that read DEA. And I'm an old white guy, imagine if I was 20 and black.

    Really lessened my respect for cops. No, fuck calling them cops, here's a handle from my youth - PIGS.

  • which city? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by orgelspieler (865795) <w0lfie&mac,com> on Friday June 28, 2013 @01:19PM (#44134481) Journal

    So is this kid from Houston or Austin? I've read it both ways. One of my wife's co-workers had a problem with the pizza delivery guy. Her husband made some choice comments to the little jack-ass. Later that night the cops came a-knockin'. Threw the guy in jail. The little bastard pressed charges of making a terrorist threat. This was in Houston. So no big surprise with this story. The only shocking thing is that we didn't hear about it three months ago.

    HPD and friends have a history of shitty things like this. Just last Christmas an off-duty sheriff shot and killed a shoplifter in a Walmart parking lot. He claimed they were trying to run him over. I got pulled over for going 35 in a 35, because it was "almost time" for it to be a school zone. They arrested hundreds at a parking lot for trespassing even though some of them were actually eating at Sonic or shopping at Kmart.

  • by Theovon (109752) on Friday June 28, 2013 @01:31PM (#44134647)

    I agree with others that since there's neither a direct threat nor any intent to harm anyone (quite obvously, I might add), this kid should not be in jail. However, his parents (not the government or the police) should take away his computer for being so stupid. People these days just don't think about the consequences of their actions. This reminds me of that MIT student who went to the airport with a "fake bomb" strapped to her chest. It wasn't a fake bomb, but she damn well should have known better than to think that TSA grunts were going to know the difference.

    See, if you're trying to make a political statement, then it's sometimes necessary to do something like this. Like if you're trying to expose flaws in the TSA scanning systems or demonstrate principles of free speech. But that is NOT what these kids were trying to do at all. They were just being stupid and would have been better off doing something different. All they accomplished was to make things difficult for themselves. What I mean is, if you're going to tick off the authorities, do it for a REASON, with a meaningful and productive goal in mind, with your ass covered (i.e. your plan documented with your attorney) in the (likely) event that you get arrested. When the authorities inevitably screw up, they look stupid. Ticking off the authorities "by accident" like this just makes YOU look stupid.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 28, 2013 @01:34PM (#44134679)

    This is way too Orwellian and although terrorism is bad, mm'kay, we better find a way to determine the real threats versus the non-real threats. Not too just protect people and their potential futures (which this kid now has none). But, also to not overburden the system with a bunch of gamers saying $h!t.

    I not only hope that they dismiss the case, but, purge his record entirely. He won't even be able to get a public trust clearance with this.

  • Re:So much for... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Charles Duffy (2856687) on Friday June 28, 2013 @01:55PM (#44134999)

    Sure there are stats showing how many lives have been saved from seatbelts and helmet laws, I don't have any cause to disbelieve them.

    Actually, there is good reason to disbelieve that bicycle helmet laws (as distinct from motorcycle helmet laws) have a beneficial effect: Simply put, the desired effect doesn't show up on country-level statistics after these laws have been implemented.

    One of the more plausible explanations for this related to its interaction with the safety-in-numbers effect: The more cyclists are on the roads, the more motorists are watching for them. Requiring helmets reduces the number of cyclists on the road on a scale reaching towards 50%, both directly from inconvenience and vanity, and less directly by making cycling seem so unsafe that it needs to be regulated... but by making cycling seem unsafe, it thus becomes actually unsafe: Every time the cyclist population doubles, the per-person accident rate drops by about 1/3rd.

    So -- cut the cyclist population in half with a helmet law, and you reduce the safety-in-numbers effect enough to entirely lose what little you gained. And that's presuming that people are actually wearing appropriately sized and fitted helmets correctly -- there's no shortage of studies showing that the percentage of people doing so in areas where helmet usage is mandatory is in effect is low enough that the beneficial side of the law is of little help as well.

    There are other reasons to be skeptical of bicycle helmets -- motorists are measurably more careless when driving near a cyclist with a visible helmet, and the risk compensation effect (in which a helmeted cyclist behaves more recklessly on the belief that they're safer) is clearly a factor as well. Me? I wear a helmet when I ride anywhere with traffic (it's where my mirror and headlight are mounted)... but I'm vehemently opposed to any attempts to make the practice mandatory.

    [And another addendum, to be fair -- there's some new work on helmets that effectively dampen rotational inertia; if those actually make it to market, something which has been effectively suppressed in the US by manufacturers having no incentive to exceed CSPC regulations, I might want to review parts of my position -- they've been shown to be quite effective at preventing concussions, which widely available bicycle helmets don't do].

    Oh -- and about seatbelts: There's no question that they make folks who are belted in safer. However, it's also well-established that they make people who aren't belted in -- such as pedestrians -- less safe: Drivers behave more recklessly when they feel secure, and seat belts and anti-lock brakes provide such security.

  • Re:So much for... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sperbels (1008585) on Friday June 28, 2013 @02:48PM (#44135707)

    Although I believe he's not guilty of any crime other than being idiotic, it is not up to the police to judge whether he's guilty. It's up to the justice system. He will have his day in court, like any other person charged with a crime.

    Will he? You do realize, that in this country, it's entirely legal to indefinitely imprison a terrorist in secrecy? The definition of terrorist being anyone they deem to be a terrorist. And they are saying the kid made a terrorist threat. They can legally disappear this kid for making an obvious joke online with some friends. Does that give you some idea how out of control the US government is?

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