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

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Yuuki:
This basically means terrorism won as far as America is concerned. The point of terrorism is to spread mass fear, paranoia and panic, right? Well, it's done. It worked.

Regardless of whether the kid goes free or not, his life is fucked. Completely and absolutely ruined.
He's got enough negative press to the point that nobody will be willing to employ him when he grows up, the criminal accusation is going to stay...he might even be kicked out of school on grounds of the school not wanting him around.

Not to mention the psychological damage done to him by being locked up with and beaten up by real criminals.

That Hyena Bloke:
I have no love for the LoL community, and this guy's comment was the height of poor taste. That said, it was clearly sarcasm and should have warranted nothing more than a slap on the wrist, something minor to remind him that the authorities do take this stuff seriously. At this point I'd say reduce his sentence to "time served" and be done with it.

I'd say he deserved police questioning at best. If this kid got punished in any way shape or form for posting stupid comments on the internet, what kind of precedent would that set? You could lock anybody up for saying something offensive, it's a clear violation of the right to free speech. Basically law enforcement in this instance has let mass hysteria dictate how they do their job, anyone could see that this kid, hiding behind a keyboard and large amounts of GIFT, posed no one any threat. If they didn't, the investigation of his place of residence should have cleared him.

Nihilm:

Well with a response like that, I am sure your next, get your bum ready, cause it is jail time

Why?Stating that this guy was a retarded schmuck is not a threat to his person, and therefore it is not аn indictable offense.

I really like it when people don't know anything about the criminal codex.

The way i see it, Should he have been punished for what he said? Yes, i feel that too many people hide behind the internet, thinking they can say whatever they want without consequence. However, 8 years in jail or more? That is total overkill.

Too many people don't really realize the consequences of their actions on the internet (both in the sense of this person, as well as costing possible future employment). Most people don't seem to understand that when you put something on the internet (particularly on Facebook or whatever) It's going to be there for a very long time, or forever. In this case the consequences were much more literal, and too overzealous, however I feel that comments such as the one he made should be punished in some manner. (just not for 8 years unless they find that he was actually going to act on it *ie: finding guns under his bed and a layout of the school or whatever*, 8 years is simply far too extreme for the situation.

fi6eka:

Nihilm:

Well with a response like that, I am sure your next, get your bum ready, cause it is jail time

Why?Stating that this guy was a retarded schmuck is not a threat to his person, and therefore it is not аn indictable offense.

You are clearly racist towards retarded schmucks, so I think we have a hate-crime here and as we all now freedom of speech nor context matters so /sarcasm

What I actually meant was not that specific line, but your attitude in general, you just scream the kind of person who would make a personal threat if pushed far enough on the internet.

Srsly, think a little before you take a over-reacted stance just because someone was a jerk do you on the internet frequently or recently and your funneling that anger.

CriticalMiss:
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!

I wanted to believe this was Canada, but no it happened in Texas. Just the woman that reported it was Canadian, so they are at least in part to blame... (j/k)

This sickens me, but um isn't this happening in a red state and aren't the conservatives all about "MOAR freedumbs! and less guberment!" This is a nightmare manifestation of their values, so glad I didn't bite their bait...

Thank god we were all saved from the evil terrorist, and the ability of just about anyone to purchase firearms was not decreased or inconvenienced in any way!

Edit: Signed the petition.

Nihilm:

-quote-

I'm not rascist!!!I'm a bigoted wanker, there is a difference.
I curse,I yell, I have tolled people to go fuck their mothers, but I have never allowed myself to threaten people with death - It could cost me my job, and is a sign of poor upbringing.

Yes, to a person like you, it's just some kid making a stupid comment, but just because it's on the internet, doesn't mean it's anonymous and harmless.Yes, 8 years are allot, but it doesn't mean he should get off scott free either.

Some people here have stated that the law wants to "set an example" by punishing this kid. What example? What is that example supposed to mean? Sarcasm is now outlawed? Even that route to justify the actions of the law enforcers is completely wrong.

If this sort of thing happened in Europe, the guy would have been on the news for having caused a fuss, be fined for falsely putting the police on alert, everyone would laugh at him and continue on their merry ways.

Everyone involved in his arrest and imprisonment should lose their jobs, it's absolutely disgusting what they have done to him and they should be ashamed of themselves for letting it get so far.

The fact that the mother is apologizing for what he said makes it even worse, is it really a society we want to live in that we have to live in fear that something we say might earn us jail time?

Zachary Amaranth:

chikusho:
'Murica, Land of the Free my ass.

This is is rapidly turning into something reminiscent of the Salem witch trials.

There is no longer such a thing as "innocent until proven guilty".

You're misleading yourself if you think this is somehow new.

And... so... what makes you think I believe this is something new?

McKinsey:

Unless we've all been magically transported back to the Medieval ages, I'm pretty sure you can say whatever you want and whenever you want. Putting people in jail because of "dumbass comments" is not an indication of a healthy society.

When's the last time you shouted "fire" in a crowded theater or made a joke about a bomb at an airport?

"Whatever and whenever" never existed. Let's not pretend otherwise.

Shouting fire in a crowded theater might get you a fine for inciting panic. Making a bomb joke at an airport might get you apprehended, questioned and searched due to (misguided) suspicion. Silly as it may be, in both of these instances there's at least a direct correlation between the joke and the location.
But apparently making a facebook joke is enough to put someone in prison for 8 years.
You are misleading yourself if you think your examples are proportional to this situation.

War on terror is over guys. Terrorists won, gg no re.

There aren't enough words to describe how dumb this entire situation is.

I like how a lot of people in the comments think that what he said on facebook was stupid. *rolls eyes* It was sarcasm, people. It wasn't stupid, bad or insensitive to the people of Newtown and Boston. This kid is in jail for literally not a single, solitary reason other than the U.S. Authorities's own stupidity.

But apparently making a facebook joke is enough to put someone in prison for 8 years.

If he had gone on a rampage, you'd be here, screaming why the authorities didn't take him seriously.

Yes, he should have been arrested, searched and questioned. No, this is not an overreaction - lol/jk aren't universally known.

He shouldn't be in prison, because the search turned up empty, but the search should have been done.

So saying that you're going to shoot up a school means that you intend to disrupt the public water supply? I'm failing to see the logic of half the things he is accused of.

Sarge034:
I find myself not caring. There are some things you JUST DON'T SAY. People think that because it is the internet they can say what they want. He said what he said, someone felt threatened, and now he has to pay for it.

Fuck that. In the context of comedy, people say all manner of crazy shit. No one should be arrested for it. If I want to make a joke about a school shooting, I'll do it. And if someone is offended by it, fair enough. But that's not the same as a 'threat'. For something to be a threat, *someone has to be threatened*! Not 'feel threatened' - he didn't make a threat against this woman, or against anyone specific, he made a flippant remark.

What the fuck is the world coming to? This is some serious Orwellian bullshit.

zefichan:

But apparently making a facebook joke is enough to put someone in prison for 8 years.

If he had gone on a rampage, you'd be here, screaming why the authorities didn't take him seriously.

Yes, he should have been arrested, searched and questioned. No, this is not an overreaction - lol/jk aren't universally known.

He shouldn't be in prison, because the search turned up empty, but the search should have been done.

Fine. I'm going to shoot Obama. Come and search me.

Its not hard to see how there are so many American prisoners.

This is utterly insane. I mean I understand the case of the Troll who posted under a fake name that he was going to kill his father, take his guns and kill 200 kids but this guy was clearly making a sarcastic remark and even added that he was joking after.
I have a lot of respect both for him for not taking a plea bargain that would have effectively legitimized this bullshit and for his mother for making sure this wasn't brushed under the carpet.

A joke is a fucking joke for goodness sake and this attempt to criminalize an innocent man needs to be stamped on hard. Seriously people need to get angry and show the authorities they can't pull this shit and get away with it

Any serious system of justice distinguishes between what you said you're gonna do and what your actual intent was.

If they find no signs or involvement in "terrorist" plans, there is no reasons to hold him captive. Innocent until proven guilty, it's a frekking human right.

Already signed his petition some time ago.

Nihilm:
Because laws are perfect and everyone should always follow all of them no questions asked, i mean we should just stop having court trials, since laws are mostly clear enough. If anyone threatens me online(game/forum etc), I should track them down and let them arrest him. All of this clearly won't lead to a world were no one speaks about anything even slight controversial in fear of being locked up, truly a precedent we want to exist. /sarcasm

I never said, or implied, that the laws were perfect. I simply stated that this person broke the law and therefor should be held accountable for his actions. He will get the chance to defend himself in a court of law like everyone else and after the trial he and/or his family can work to get the law changed. If someone threatens me online you better damn well believe I'm going to report it. On x-box live all I can do is send a report to Microsoft because players have anonymity, on forums I have to report them to the mods, and on social networks that have personal information I can inform the police. And no, this will not "lead to a world where no one speaks about anything even slight controversial in fear of being locked up", but it might lead to a world where very few people threaten others with bodily harm on the internet... and is that such a bad thing?

ZforZissou:
What threat? Which school did he threaten? "A school," is not specific enough for a threat. "LOL, JK" is actually an excuse, because it shows sarcasm/that he was joking. It's an important distinction because there is no longer much grey area in regards to intent, especially on the internet, where tone is hard to decipher. "LOL, JK" should be equated to a sarcastic tone if speaking in person.

Really? "A school" is not specific enough for a threat? REALLY? Try going up to a cop and telling them you are gonna murder "a bunch" "of people", even throw in a "LOL, JK", and see if s/he gives a shit how non-descriptive your threat is. So if "LOL, JK" are the magic words right now, what will be the new magic words when someone uses them and then actually followes through?

Even if I did agree with you that there should be a trial for this kid, we should agree that he does not deserve months in jail, being constantly abused. He has suffered a bunch of abuse and was apparently on suicide watch. This is, if not a violation of the first amendment (which I believe it is), a violation of the sixth amendment, and maybe the eighth.

I don't really know how much time he deserves. No, he does not deserve to be abused, but there are three things you really, REALLY don't want to be if you go to jail; a cop, a pedophile, or some one who hurts kids. (Rapist is a close fourth, but not quite equal.) You will get the shit kicked out of you and, if you are unlucky enough, killed.

How does this violate the 6th amendment? He was offered a plea bargain and he rejected so now it will go to trial.

How does this violate the 8th amendment? $250,000 is actually pretty low for federal cases of this scope. Just search, "bail price for terroristic charges". I see at least two cases at 1 million and one at $500,000.

DragonStorm247:
This is actually one of the main I flaws I see with the First Amendment. From a more rational perspective, the threat alone should be protected, as the threat itself practically does no harm. The consequence of the threat, however, would be evaluated as potential evidence for intent to cause harm. Hell, yo could even argue that threats are good, at least they're kind enough to tip you off.

You should say, "We heard you threatening to X, we are using that as grounds for a warrant to investigate such X."

You should not say, "We heard you saying X, you're not allowed to say that so we're hauling you in because of it."

People seem to forget that your 1st amendment ends where mine begins. You might feel you have the right to say whatever you want, but I have the right to not fear for my wellbeing. If threatening some one was legal all law enforcement would become reactionary. Think about it.

>Cop< "So he said he was going to murder you and burn down your house?"

>Scared soon to be victim< "Yes."

>Cop< "I'm sorry, but I can't do anything. Give us a call before he gets into your house so we can catch him red handed... You get it? Red handed? Because he'll be drenched in your blo... Ow yea, sorry."

Now, I get that you are saying a threat should start an investigation, but if the threat is legal how are you going to prove intent? Is it because the suspect owns a gun? What if the suspect legally owns the gun? No wrongdoing and you still need intent. This is completely circumvented by the fact that the threat IS in and of itself proof of intent.

nvzboy:
Some people here have stated that the law wants to "set an example" by punishing this kid. What example? What is that example supposed to mean? Sarcasm is now outlawed? Even that route to justify the actions of the law enforcers is completely wrong.

If this sort of thing happened in Europe, the guy would have been on the news for having caused a fuss, be fined for falsely putting the police on alert, everyone would laugh at him and continue on their merry ways.

I wish that were true, but you obviously aren't aware of the Paul Chambers case

I think this is a genuinely worrying development at the moment. No one should *ever* be arrested purely on the basis of spoken words - not even direct threats. That is not a clear and present danger, people!

Why shouldn't his comment be considered freedom of speech in writing? I can not see that this is enough ground to base a case on, let alone five months of jail time. It feels more like a case of emotion - of irrational fear, contempt or misplaced revenge - and political agenda. But hey, my horse is pretty high so maybe I am not the one to judge.

EDIT: Actually, let's hope that this backfires spectacularly in a way that gives back US citizens some of the freedom they have given away.

I don't think he made a mistake at all, nor do I think what he said was particularly bad, just poor taste and for that some spunk jockey in another country puts him in jail over a poor tasted joke is despicable. Comal County is in Texas, Texas in America, the most important American amendment, freedom of speech strictly says that he can say whatever he likes without fear of prosecution, him being in jail for the crime of joking to a friend - even in poor taste, is a clear violation of the declaration of independence and on those grounds he should be freed.

Sarge034:
snip

i don't know about you, but if i was a terrorist(which im not. please don't call the cops) i wouldn't go on the Facebook telling the world how im going to go and shoot down a bunch of kids in a school and eat their hearts. this is plain stupid. its the same as telling the gun salesman you are there to buy guns to kill people. and while terrorists are fucked up in the head they aren't THAT stupid.

OT: the kid did a very stupid thing. a very stupid thing. but 8 years? 8 fucking years???? this is stupid. downright stupid and extreme. i dont think the comment should get any kind of detention IMO. the person was joking that is obvious to everyone (at least to us) and about the woman who reported this. yeah i think she is too stupid to understand sarcasm, im wondering how the woman did read the comments though. she is of the sort who goes on random timelines and read peoples comments?

This is ridiculous. I don't even consider what he said to be that much of a stupid mistake! It was a joke for crying out loud. Stand-up comics get away with worse and their shows are watched by millions!

I have to leave this page, it's making me want to commit atrocities myself. However...

Sarge034:

I never said, or implied, that the laws were perfect. I simply stated that this person broke the law and therefor should be held accountable for his actions.

What? Surely that's the whole question, isn't it? What law did he break? Surely if he is acquitted, as he ought to be, then he *didn't* break any law. So what's your point? 'I have to take responsibility for other people's stupidity and never make any joke that an idiot might take seriously and report me for'? Seriously, what kind of society do you want to live in?

If someone threatens me online you better damn well believe I'm going to report it.

He Didn't Threaten Anybody! He made a vaguely worded joke that made no specific threat to any particular person or people. There was zero reason for considering this to be a threat, and no individual could possibly have felt in danger as a result of it.

How often have you heard something like 'Oh my god, my kids are driving me crazy, I'm going to murder them one of these days'? That's a way more specific 'threat' and it's still not something you'd ever choose to investigate someone for. People 'threaten' one another all the time in jest, it's a standard part of human banter. Since when did it become something worthy of jail time?

Really? "A school" is not specific enough for a threat? REALLY? Try going up to a cop and telling them you are gonna murder "a bunch" "of people", even throw in a "LOL, JK", and see if s/he gives a shit how non-descriptive your threat is.

Oh come on. Writing a comment on Facebook is not equivalent to 'going up to a cop', and besides that, people say all kinds of shit to police all the time.

I don't really know how much time he deserves. No, he does not deserve to be abused, but there are three things you really, REALLY don't want to be if you go to jail; a cop, a pedophile, or some one who hurts kids.

Or someone who makes a joke on Facebook?

How does this violate the 6th amendment? He was offered a plea bargain and he rejected so now it will go to trial.

An *Eight Year* plea bargain! Are you saying he should have accepted that?

People seem to forget that your 1st amendment ends where mine begins. You might feel you have the right to say whatever you want, but I have the right to not fear for my wellbeing.

Who in this case could have feared for their wellbeing? And no, actually, if your fear is irrational, I don't have responsibility for that. If no offence or threat was intended, then you can take your offence or your fear and fuck off.

I mean, this is fucking America we're talking about. A country where the right to own lethal weapons is practically a religion to some people. And they're worrying about some guy saying some crappy joke on Facebook? Jesus wept.

If threatening some one was legal all law enforcement would become reactionary. Think about it.

>Cop< "So he said he was going to murder you and burn down your house?"

>Scared soon to be victim< "Yes."

>Cop< "I'm sorry, but I can't do anything. Give us a call before he gets into your house so we can catch him red handed... You get it? Red handed? Because he'll be drenched in your blo... Ow yea, sorry."

That *is* how it works! If you feel threatened, the police can't do anything unless they have real evidence of an intent to cause harm. The most they can do usually is a restraining order.

Now, I get that you are saying a threat should start an investigation, but if the threat is legal how are you going to prove intent? Is it because the suspect owns a gun? What if the suspect legally owns the gun? No wrongdoing and you still need intent. This is completely circumvented by the fact that the threat IS in and of itself proof of intent.

I don't know where you got any of that, but I'm pretty sure it's bullshit through and through. A threat is certainly not proof of anything unless it's a credible threat, which means it has to be backed up by some kind of action.

Considering the woman, that reported his post:

I'm certain she did what she thought was 'good'. But there's a saying here in Germany: "Das Gegenteil von 'gut' ist nicht 'böse', sondern 'gut gemeint'" which translates into "The opposite of 'good' is not 'evil', but 'well-intended'"

Surely, lumping a young man into a small room full of criminals for eight years is the best way to turn him into a respectable and normal member of society, right?
Because that's how humans work, right?

There's another ugly part of the story that the Escapist didn't mention:

One of Carter's interlocutors felt differently. A Canadian national took a screenshot of Carter's post and sent it to the Canadian Crime Stoppers Association, a nonprofit which collects anonymous tips regarding possible criminal activity and passes them along to the police. According to the organization's official site, Crime Stoppers pays out rewards of up to $2,000 to anyone whose tip leads to an arrest.

http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/07/09/texas-19-year-old-in-prison-for-sarcastic-facebook-post/

So the lady who sent the tip may have expected to be paid for it. Maybe she even systematically searched facebook to find something to report. People can do some weird things if they are in financial trouble.

But mistakes happen, and justice systems are never completely just. A society should be judged on how it treats its criminals. This case would have been relatively trivial if Carter had been treated reasonable.

Flatfrog:

I wish that were true, but you obviously aren't aware of the Paul Chambers case

I think this is a genuinely worrying development at the moment. No one should *ever* be arrested purely on the basis of spoken words - not even direct threats. That is not a clear and present danger, people!

While I entirely agree with what you're saying, just have to point out that, as unjust as what happened to Chambers was, this farce is in an entire different league. Chamber's entire initial arrest, trial and conviction took about as long as Carter's already been rotting in prison. Plus, Chambers didn't get jail time, "just" a fine. Plus now his conviction is overturned, there's hopefully precedent to stop shit like that happening again.

Bostur:
snip

Well that just gives this a nice subtle seasoning of sleaze to go with the paranoia and injustice. Wonderful.

Bostur:
There's another ugly part of the story that the Escapist didn't mention:

One of Carter's interlocutors felt differently. A Canadian national took a screenshot of Carter's post and sent it to the Canadian Crime Stoppers Association, a nonprofit which collects anonymous tips regarding possible criminal activity and passes them along to the police. According to the organization's official site, Crime Stoppers pays out rewards of up to $2,000 to anyone whose tip leads to an arrest.

http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/07/09/texas-19-year-old-in-prison-for-sarcastic-facebook-post/

So the lady who sent the tip may have expected to be paid for it. Maybe she even systematically searched facebook to find something to report. People can do some weird things if they are in financial trouble.

But mistakes happen, and justice systems are never completely just. A society should be judged on how it treats its criminals. This case would have been relatively trivial if Carter had been treated reasonable.

That is just disgusting. I hope they crucify her on the witness stand, and then I hope the family takes her to court for damages.

Sarge034:

People seem to forget that your 1st amendment ends where mine begins. You might feel you have the right to say whatever you want, but I have the right to not fear for my wellbeing. If threatening some one was legal all law enforcement would become reactionary. Think about it.

>Cop< "So he said he was going to murder you and burn down your house?"

>Scared soon to be victim< "Yes."

>Cop< "I'm sorry, but I can't do anything. Give us a call before he gets into your house so we can catch him red handed... You get it? Red handed? Because he'll be drenched in your blo... Ow yea, sorry."

Now, I get that you are saying a threat should start an investigation, but if the threat is legal how are you going to prove intent? Is it because the suspect owns a gun? What if the suspect legally owns the gun? No wrongdoing and you still need intent. This is completely circumvented by the fact that the threat IS in and of itself proof of intent.

Does paranoia not mean anything to you? Murderers don't walk free just because they argue self-defence and claim the person they killed threatened to kill them first.

As for your example, that is exactly how it works. Law Enforcement cannot do anything about a threat unless they have reason to believe that the person giving the threat has the means or otherwise intends to carry it out. If I threatened to kill you, police (probably not the ones who arrested this boy) would probably say it was my word against yours. Now, if I actively tried to kill you or otherwise acted in a way that implied I was going to carry out my threat, then the police would be free to act, because they have reason to believe my threat is credible.

In this case, Law enforcement had absolutely no reason to believe this boy's 'threat' was credible. They let themselves be guided by mass hysteria over recent events, which is a sign of poor law enforcement, Never let the threat of terrorism allow you to lose your head.

Kid cracks a sarcastic joke online & some stupid bitch who can't tell the difference between a threat & a joke gets him arrested WTF.

Now he's been locked up for 5 months where hardened criminals have been beating the shit out of him so he's being kept in solitary confinement which is a form of psychological torture in itself because as we now know making one sarcastic poor taste comment is totally justification to destroy the life of an innocent teenager its disgusting.

He should be released from jail now & paid compensation for being wrongly imprisoned & for the physical & psychological trauma he's been put through & their should be an investigation into all party involved in this case & those responsible for this travesty of justice punished.

Edit.
Petition signed

This is what happens when the goverment has to resort to fucking terror tactics, its sickening.

For all your goverment talks about horrible terrorism, it doesn't seem to stop them from doing it.

Signed this too.
I said worse things when I was this kid's age. Hell, I planned those things pretty thourghly will sitting in Art class in High School.
No, kid should go to jail for saying dumb shit on the Internet without a real investigation occurring prior to arrest. What happened to "Innocent until PROVEN guilty?"

There was a guy jailed for Facebook comments over here in England a couple of years ago. He continually left abusive messages on a tribute page for a dead girl and harassed her family over a long period of time. I don't think his punishment was as severe as this.

Keep calling it a 'stupid mistake' if you like, but what the hell kind of country do you live in where sarcasm is now either terrorism or a stupid mistake? Aw kid you fucked up you said something you clearly didn't mean.
I knew it was sarcasm from the first two words. "Oh yeah." Nobody starts a threat like that, that's just ridiculous. What he said was hardly kid-friendly stuff, but it's a far cry from being a legitimate threat, and if you want to look at it properly, he chose his subject deliberately to further his opponent's insult that he was insane, given the mental problems school-shooters have often been diagnosed with. This wasn't a threat, it wasn't even dark humour, it was somebody deliberately playing up the trope most associated with the mentally unstable in the US specifically to point out how ludicrous the original insult was.

Maybe this is why American comedy is so bad - anything that isn't slapstick is terrorism. That dry humour...you're tampering with our water supply.

Did he do something stupid? Yes.
Does he deserve EIGHT years of jail for it, where he's getting beaten and has fallen into severe depression? No, are you mentally challenged? No, even my mentally challenged little brother knows that that is idiotic. In what kind of hellhole would people think this is a justified punishment? Texas? Oh...

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