Petition to Free Jailed League of Legends Player Reaches 100,000 Sigs

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Petition to Free Jailed League of Legends Player Reaches 100,000 Sigs

Justin Carter

A petition calling for the release of Justin Carter, the League of Legends player who's spent almost five months in jail for making a sarcastic comment on Facebook, has broken 100,000 signatures.

On February 14, 2013, Justin Carter was arrested for making "terroristic threats" after a Canadian woman reported a message he'd posted on Facebook to authorities. "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," he wrote in response to another League of Legends player who had called him crazy and "messed up in the head." He followed with "lol" and "jk" but the authorities took it seriously anyway, jailing him and setting his bail at $250,000. After several weeks in prison, the court determined that the county in which he was being held didn't have jurisdiction, but instead of being freed he was transferred to a different county, where the judge doubled his bail.

According to his lawyer, Carter has been assaulted multiple times by other inmates and is thus now being held in solitary confinement; he's also fallen into a depression and is now under suicide watch. He rejected a plea bargain offer of eight years in prison, and so on April 10 was indicted on charges of making terroristic threats "with the intent to cause impairment or interruption of communications, public transportation, public water, gas or public supply or other public service" and to "place the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of serious bodily injury."

Unable to afford his bail, Carter's mother Jennifer launched a petition at Change.org, calling on Comal County District Attorney Jennifer Tharp to release her son and to "change the laws on what constitutes a terroristic threat and create a criteria for investigating these crimes."

"Justin Carter was arrested on February 14, 2013 for a statement that he made on Facebook," the petition says. "He was not questioned by the police until March 13th, 2013. His home was not searched until a week after his questioning. The only item seized from his home was his personal computer. No weapons of any kind were seized. If he had posed a real terroristic threat, shouldn't the police have questioned and searched his home sooner than a month after an arrest?"

"My son Justin is a good kid who made a stupid joke. That doesn't make him a terrorist, it makes him a kid who made a mistake," his mother said in a separate statement. "No doubt it was a very poor choice in words, but my son shouldn't have to face eight years in prison for an errant comment on Facebook."

The petition is attracting support from all across the U.S. and today broke 100,000 signatures, well on the way to its target of 150,000 signatures. Nonetheless, the Comal County District Attorney's office said it could not comment on the matter.

"Because of the nature of the case, we are aware that there is a significant amount of public interest in the case," it said in a statement to MSNBC. "However, ethical rules prohibit a prosecutor from making any statements to be disseminated by public means that could prejudice a pending criminal proceeding. Therefore, because this is a pending case, there is very little information we can provide at this time."

Carter's next hearing is scheduled for July 16. A website detailing the Justin Carter case is up at freejustincarter.org, while the petition calling for his release can be found at change.org.

Source: MSNBC

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This is a very complicated case for me. He without a doubt, did something incredibly stupid but... does he really deserve eight years in jail for it? Hell after that school shooting in Newtown or whatever that school was called, some kid from a neighboring school said he could do better on facebook and was arrested. He got away with a slap on a wrist from the judge and was expelled from his school. That should be this guys punishment. Give him some community service or something because this kid will be most likely murdered in prison.

What he did is not right and he deserves to be punished, but eight years in jail is to extreme.

So they took his threat seriously enough to throw him in jail for months but not so seriously as to actually search his home for a weapon for over a month after locking him up (and finding nothing)? Behold the wonders of the US justice system! They're probably hoping that in the event that they can't give him a death sentence they'll be able to get away with releasing him with an insincere apology. Hell, they've probably done more to make him in to a violent person than videogames ever could have done!

We treat people like this and yet we're "shocked" they go on rampages?

I dont think he needed an 8 year sentence, but he did need something for that completely dumbass comment. you cant just say jk or lol after something like that in the recent events of newtown and the boston bombing and think thats alright.

Count me as one of those 100k. Unless there is something that nobody is being told at all, him being locked up and put away for possibly 8 years is disgustingly idiotic.

So we're jailing kids now for saying sarcastic comments on the internet?

Damn, the terrorists really did win in the end.

Why is he in solitary confinement for getting beaten in jail? Shouldn't those who beat him be in solitary?

Just signed it myself. This kid got shit end of the stick didn't he.

Terror threats are something to be vigilant about but when they're followed by "lol jk" then people need to take a step back and realise the stupidity of the situation. The kid is hardly a terrorist.

B-But we need to enforce the i-internet...y-you need to be held responsible for what you say...

His post s-scared me and hurt my feelings...his rights end where my feelings begin!

Good to see 'Murrika's finest overstepping their bounds and abusing emergency terrorist laws once again due to perceived public paranoia.

I have no idea how this got beyond the first law enforcer reading the message in-context. It should have ended in a laugh, an apology and funny story for everyone at the water cooler the next day. Instead, a kids life looks like it's going to be ruined because the police are either deluded morons or stubborn bastards trying to keep up appearances.

This is complicated for me as well. He posted a statement on Facebook saying that he's crazy and go shooting people at a school. And then a woman read it and took it way too seriously and actually found out where he lives and reported him. He deserves to be punished for doing something incredibly stupid, but eight years in jail is not the kind of punishment he deserves.

Sounds like that they already ruined his life. If he'll eventually snap because of this and actually commit a crime they'll blame videogames instead of this retarded "justice" system. Making a Facebook comment shouldn't get a guy arrested.

Signed for sympathy.

emeraldrafael:
I dont think he needed an 8 year sentence, but he did need something for that completely dumbass comment. you cant just say jk or lol after something like that in the recent events of newtown and the boston bombing and think thats alright.

Yes, it's called parents. They slap you on the wrist when you're being an idiot instead of a batshit government overreach.

Him being sentenced to -anything- is absolutely neurotic.

Sigh I don't understand how people can say he should be punished in any way shape or form.
Some people have a really dark sense of humor/personality, you either roll with it and realize that it's in jest or you just don't associate yourself with that kind of person. Society is really fucked if we suddenly start just chucking people in jail for inane comments.
This guy pretty much sums up my stance on the issue, really hope the poor guys gets out of this bs.

Elfgore:
This is a very complicated case for me. He without a doubt, did something incredibly stupid but... does he really deserve eight years in jail for it? Hell after that school shooting in Newtown or whatever that school was called, some kid from a neighboring school said he could do better on facebook and was arrested. He got away with a slap on a wrist from the judge and was expelled from his school. That should be this guys punishment. Give him some community service or something because this kid will be most likely murdered in prison.

What he did is not right and he deserves to be punished, but eight years in jail is to extreme.

They might even try on... I don't know, putting him in front of an actual judge instead of throwing him in jail. I thought that was how "justice" worked, but it seems that in the US you can run across the street, call a guy "terrorist" and they'll give him a "couple" of years. (This... is a joke btw :D)

If I'm not mistaken, he was taken in, and had a hearing only after three months or so. Thought they called it "land of freedom", but I guess that ends when some paranoid dumbass stalks you over the internet and calls the cops. "an unidentified woman looked up Carter's personal information, found an old address located near an elementary school and called the cops". If it was me, I would've researched that woman first.

emeraldrafael:
you cant just say jk or lol after something like that in the recent events of newtown and the boston bombing and think thats alright.

Yeah, he should have used the /sarcasm tag instead. (It would have gotten the point across better at least)

Seriously, 8 years? And not only after he was jailed in a county with no jurisdiction on him (doesn't that mean they have to release you?), but after a search that turned up nothing? I'll agree he needs a punishment but then again: he was held for a month before the police did anything with him then held 4 more months during which the other inmates assaulted him enough times that he was put in solitary confinement for his own protection. It's no surprise that he's on the suicide watch to boot. I'd say that if you've been able to break someone down enough that they think suicide is a good option you've punished them enough.

I'm surprised that they haven't found a lawyer willing to take this pro bono. This is pretty much cruel and unusual punishment.

So much for freedom of speech if you can be arrested for sarcasm... Way to go US...

I heard the guy's house was searched and they found nothing so they released him. But I guess that source was wrong.

Captcha: tesla coil.

I'm going to place a giant tesla coil in front of the prison he's being held. lol jk.

But seriously, captcha should be arrested.

How outrageously idiotic. The comment is bad, but it's hardly in the 99th percentile of dumb things that get said on the internet. Even if it was, an eight year sentence would be obscene and wrong in every sense of the word. I have a kid brother his age. The authorities are ruining the life of the kid, and hurting the family for no good reason.

Whoever ordered the investigation should be told to lay off the hair trigger, and whoever continued it should be reprimanded and demoted.

I've never heard of this before, but damn that makes me angry. So angry I just might shoot up my local primary school!

Wait, what are all those police cars doing outside?

night_chrono:
Why is he in solitary confinement for getting beaten in jail? Shouldn't those who beat him be in solitary?

He's likely there for his own protection.

He should have been arrested.
He should have been investigated.
But he should not be imprisoned when said investigation turned up nothing.

I think the same about the whole "yelling bomb at an airport thing".
Arrest them, investigate and then big arse fines to help cover the costs incurred having to investigate some dickhead's idea of a joke.

If I get a bomb threat on the phones at work, or someone claims they've got a gun, it doesn't matter how unlikely it is, or if they say "just kidding" afterwards, I have to treat it as serious as its in the best interest of everyone that I do so.

So whilst I agree with everyone who says he's being punished excessively, I disagree with those who think law enforcement should never have got involved.

Krinkle Ymouse:
So much for freedom of speech if you can be arrested for sarcasm... Way to go US...

While I agree that the prison time is wildly excessive, he should've had the common sense not to say something that stupid on Facebook where you really have no idea who's likely to read it.

"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" doesn't sound like someone being sarcastic so much as someone trying to be shocking.

You don't have freedom of speech on Facebook, you have what they allow you to say. Even so, I think 100 hours of community service picking up trash or something would have made a lot more sense.

My country really makes me sick sometimes. I mean...all the time.

fletch_talon:
He should have been arrested.
He should have been investigated.
But he should not be imprisoned when said investigation turned up nothing.

I think the same about the whole "yelling bomb at an airport thing".
Arrest them, investigate and then big arse fines to help cover the costs incurred having to investigate some dickhead's idea of a joke.

If I get a bomb threat on the phones at work, or someone claims they've got a gun, it doesn't matter how unlikely it is, or if they say "just kidding" afterwards, I have to treat it as serious as its in the best interest of everyone that I do so.

So whilst I agree with everyone who says he's being punished excessively, I disagree with those who think law enforcement should never have got involved.

You really have to learn the differentiation between someone enacting a "joke" and someone making a comment. Someone yelling bomb at an airport or calling in a threat are direct actions that are very different from a facebook comment. If he had posted something like that on a specific schools facebook page or something sure, but in a reply to another player no way.

You have to use a sense of judgement in situations, for example as you brought up work, say a worker is just having a crummy day and says off offhandedly "wow I'd really love to just jump out that window". Do you jump up and pin them to the ground and call the authorities for an attempted suicide? No, you use your better judgement and realize that it's dark humor.

Phrozenflame500:
So we're jailing kids now for saying sarcastic comments on the internet?

Damn, the terrorists really did win in the end.

Exactly. This is why, when everyone was busy celebrating about us killing Bin Laden, I was just pensive. Yeah, "we won". Meanwhile, let's look at the state of our country today compared to 12 years ago when the manhunt started. Is there ANYTHING that's improved in that time? Anything that's at least... not worse? When a man's stated goal is the decimate the economy of a country, did he really lose when said country bankrupts itself both morally and financially just to kill him?

fletch_talon:
He should have been arrested.
He should have been investigated.
But he should not be imprisoned when said investigation turned up nothing.

I think the same about the whole "yelling bomb at an airport thing".
Arrest them, investigate and then big arse fines to help cover the costs incurred having to investigate some dickhead's idea of a joke.

If I get a bomb threat on the phones at work, or someone claims they've got a gun, it doesn't matter how unlikely it is, or if they say "just kidding" afterwards, I have to treat it as serious as its in the best interest of everyone that I do so.

So whilst I agree with everyone who says he's being punished excessively, I disagree with those who think law enforcement should never have got involved.

But he didn't just say he was going to shoot up the school, he also said he is going to eat their still beating hearts as well, therefore your analogy is incorrect.

The correct analogy would be if someone called in a bomb threat and said the bombs are inside your kidneys or someone else said they had a gun which fires solid bullets of blood pumped from his very veins. I would hope that you do not report me and have me arrested as both a criminal and a blood mage.

Tygerml:

Krinkle Ymouse:
So much for freedom of speech if you can be arrested for sarcasm... Way to go US...

While I agree that the prison time is wildly excessive, he should've had the common sense not to say something that stupid on Facebook where you really have no idea who's likely to read it.

"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" doesn't sound like someone being sarcastic so much as someone trying to be shocking.

You don't have freedom of speech on Facebook, you have what they allow you to say. Even so, I think 100 hours of community service picking up trash or something would have made a lot more sense.

I would agree with you, had he only said "Oh yeah, I'm real messed up in the head, I'm going to go shoot up a school full of kids." But the key here is in the last part of his comment "...and eat out their still beating hearts. lol jk"

The entire comment immediately looks rather flippant and hyperbolic, and it's the sort of sarcasm that's hard to miss given the context, even on the internet. I make ALLOT of sarcastic comments all the time, many of which are WAY darker than this.
This is why I think it's stupid. If I can get away with sarcastic threats of setting old people on fire at work, which happens to be a petrol station, then this guy shouldn't have been arrested at all.

Tygerml:

Krinkle Ymouse:
So much for freedom of speech if you can be arrested for sarcasm... Way to go US...

While I agree that the prison time is wildly excessive, he should've had the common sense not to say something that stupid on Facebook where you really have no idea who's likely to read it.

"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" doesn't sound like someone being sarcastic so much as someone trying to be shocking.

You don't have freedom of speech on Facebook, you have what they allow you to say. Even so, I think 100 hours of community service picking up trash or something would have made a lot more sense.

True but Facebook have no legal jurisdiction, so while FB could justify banning him. Being imprisoned? Not so much.
ot: It's disgraceful, I mean come on I say shit worse than this all the time, and I'm not a threat to anyone

SirBryghtside:
I've never heard of this before, but damn that makes me angry. So angry I just might shoot up my local primary school!

Wait, what are all those police cars doing outside?

In today's society, I could report you and you may get into serious trouble. Does that not make you feel sick to your stomach?

(if you live in the US)

I think I understand where the law is coming from here. They are making an example out of this twat. If he got a reasonable sentence of 6 months in jail and a year probation, no one would talk about it. But by giving him such a harsh sentence it has us talking about what is and isn't acceptable.

Also by threating to shoot up a school and eat the still beating hearts of children is not something to acceptable joke about where anyone can see or hear. If you want to joke about it with your friends, don't got posting it on Facebook. I will not be signing the petition because I think we should punish idiots.

Signed as well. What a stupid and life destroying state of affairs.

Yes, he was a tit. But he did not deserve this, a fine, a bit of community service, not hard time in jail, what the fuck is wrong with the legal system.

It's Texas. Texas has very little interest in "justice" when there's an opportunity to make an example of someone.

Natdaprat:

SirBryghtside:
I've never heard of this before, but damn that makes me angry. So angry I just might shoot up my local primary school!

Wait, what are all those police cars doing outside?

In today's society, I could report you and you may get into serious trouble. Does that not make you feel sick to your stomach?

(if you live in the US)

UK, but that would probably mean they'd pull me across the pond for trial. Just have to make it clear that I was referring to an American school there.

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