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

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What he wrote was certainly in bad taste, but we can propably agree kids are dumb and say the most stupid things all-the-time (you could hear worse quotes frothing from the mouths of kids on any average middle-school yard). The moment we start locking them up for being dumb and saying insensitive things, we better get cracking cause there's plenty more where Justin came from.

And yeah as was already said before, maybe, just maybe search his house/computer for some written evil masterplans and/or weapons before going APE SH*T on him.

Perhaps we should all start making terrorist threats on the internet in protest. I'm not even kidding here, as this is ridiculous. What he did was wrong...but not wrong enough to deserve any prison time at all.....perhaps mandatory consoling or something like that, and/or community service at the most.

The only criminal act here was sending that kid to jail. More then likely he has been sexually assaulted there, or at least physically assaulted....and the people who put him there are directly responsible for that. His solitary knee jerk remark.....is not enough to warrant the punishment he got. If this was something he did repeatedly after being warned...then maybe a fine or something.....but even then I wouldn't say jail is appropriate for a kid making such remarks. That is seriously insane.

fletch_talon:

Its not paranoia if its justified.
There are messed up individuals out there who would say things like this, and then act on it. Without context (and it certainly seems this comment was seen out of context) this woman could not know if the comment was evidence of an actual threat or simply a joke. In the face of this doubt she took the safer of 2 options. She could do nothing and one day potentially find herself feeling responsible for deaths she could have helped prevent. Or she could tell the police so they could establish if such a threat existed. She took the path which if there was a threat would have saved many lives. If there was no threat, then in theory (and no doubt to best her knowledge) the consequences would have been the inconveniencing of someone who did something stupid. It is not the whistle blower's fault that there are people trying to make an example of this boy.

And it isn't justified if it's paranoid. See?

The woman can phone the police department if she wants. Then the blood is off her hands. The police should have looked at the context and realised that it was a dumb joke. That's it, there really needs to be no further discussion.

What you suggest goes far beyond reasonable powers of arrest. The police don't have a duty to rigorously investigate every claim, just because somebody is feeling a bit paranoid because of media storms or whatever. They certainly do not need to arrest people over it.

If I see a man in a trenchcoat walk past my house, and think he's a murderer, the police would be absolutely right in politely telling me to get a life.

The police have plenty of discretion. They could have phoned up the parents and told them to keep an eye on their child. At the most they can contact the school. Arresting the poor bastard goes far beyond what any reasonable police department should do.

Edit: And no, it's not the whistle blower's fault. You're right. Her hands are clean of this mess. I can fully understand that an adult woman, who wouldn't have grown up around the internet, might get scared seeing a teenager post shit on facebook. The police are most definitely at fault for throwing the kitchen sink at this boy.

Honestly this whole thing is painful. This is actually causing me physical pain to read this. This is just a sickening waste of resources that could be used to put away REAL criminals, not some dumb kid who made a dumb sarcastic comment to some other dumb person who got all offended.

He was arrested for a Facebook comment, -as serious evidence as that can be taken, apparently- then not questioned until a MONTH later!? Then his house was investigated, and nothing turned up besides his computer? Seriously, just keeping him in prison this long is punishment enough for someone who made an actual comment in support of the KKK or something.

He made a stupid decision, and he's long since paid for it. You better believe he won't be doing it again, so why give him 8 years for it!?

I guess Facebook is where liberty goes to die.

Utter horseshit. Signed and signed.

I hope the woman who reported him realizes that she has probably personally and permanently ruined a young man's life.

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.

What you just wrote here is supremely fucked up. He gets to be punished, his life ruined, because of someone else's reaction to something he said? No, no, of course intent doesn't matter. It made ME feel uncomfortable. Fuck him, and fuck his life, I didn't like that thing he said.

Also, yes it is the internet, so he was perfectly allowed to say what he said. You are allowed to be crude, sexist, racist, ANY-ist on the internet. Even *gasp* dark, cruel, or offensive jokes!

He deserved NO jail time (and the abuse that brought), or even a slap on the wrist. His parents should probably have been contacted, so they could possibly have a talk with him about his sense of humor or the way he acts publicly, or whatever. But we are WELL beyond the pale, here. This is just the next in a long line of outrages and government overreach.

Caiphus:

And it isn't justified if it's paranoid. See?

The woman can phone the police department if she wants. Then the blood is off her hands. The police should have looked at the context and realised that it was a dumb joke. That's it, there really needs to be no further discussion.

What you suggest goes far beyond reasonable powers of arrest. The police don't have a duty to rigorously investigate every claim, just because somebody is feeling a bit paranoid because of media storms or whatever. They certainly do not need to arrest people over it.

If I see a man in a trenchcoat walk past my house, and think he's a murderer, the police would be absolutely right in politely telling me to get a life.

The police have plenty of discretion. They could have phoned up the parents and told them to keep an eye on their child. At the most they can contact the school. Arresting the poor bastard goes far beyond what any reasonable police department should do.

How do you think the police find out the context behind this comment?
Would it involve... investigating it maybe?
Rigorous investigation is your choice of words not mine. If the police were able to find out the situation in which the comment was made without investigating it I'd be very shocked (a psychic police force? But then even that would be a psychic investigation). First of all they'd require access to the facebook accounts to see exactly what was said and what it was in response to. When told that it related to a League of Legends game, assuming no reference was made to it on facebook, they would potentially need to access LoL's chat logs or at least confirm that said match had occurred.
An arrest can reasonably made simply to question the boy in order to investigate the situation, and in the meantime ensure that the threat that was allegedly made could not be put into action.

Also...

If I see a man in a trenchcoat walk past my house, and think he's a murderer, the police would be absolutely right in politely telling me to get a life.

You're almost as bad at making analogies as the guy who was raving about kidney bombs and blood bullets, you should probably stop. If, however, said man (regardless of clothing) walked by mumbling about how he was going to shoot that bitch in the head when he gets home, you'd have grounds to call the police.

It might turn out he was talking about putting his dog down because she had rabies, but you don't know that.

The fact that a child making a threat on Facebook is taken seriously is an admittance by the US government that our culture is not only fucked up, but also objectively flawed for actually making weapons available to children. Otherwise children wouldn't be seen as threats at all, regardless of what ever dumbass thing they say online.

fletch_talon:

How do you think the police find out the context behind this comment?
Would it involve... investigating it maybe?
Rigorous investigation is your choice of words not mine. If the police were able to find out the situation in which the comment was made without investigating it I'd be very shocked (a psychic police force? But then even that would be a psychic investigation). First of all they'd require access to the facebook accounts to see exactly what was said and what it was in response to. When told that it related to a League of Legends game, assuming no reference was made to it on facebook, they would potentially need to access LoL's chat logs or at least confirm that said match had occurred.
An arrest can reasonably made simply to question the boy in order to investigate the situation, and in the meantime ensure that the threat that was allegedly made could not be put into action.

Also...

If I see a man in a trenchcoat walk past my house, and think he's a murderer, the police would be absolutely right in politely telling me to get a life.

You're almost as bad at making analogies as the guy who was raving about kidney bombs and blood bullets, you should probably stop. If, however, said man (regardless of clothing) walked by mumbling about how he was going to shoot that bitch in the head when he gets home, you'd have grounds to call the police.

It might turn out he was talking about putting his dog down because she had rabies, but you don't know that.

Rigorous investigation being what actually happened. According to the article, they searched his house, took his computer, questioned him, and then put him in prison for 5 months with bail set at $250,000. Which, realistically, means no bail.
I would expect them to look at the comment on facebook, yes. So fine, if that counts as investigation, then they do that. That's a pretty far cry from what actually happened though, isn't it?

My first analogy was not meant to compare to this situation. My analogy was meant to demonstrate that the police shouldn't investigate all complaints.

A better analogy is a group of young men talking loudly outside my house. One of them loudly says "I'll smash the cow when I get home." Before putting his hands up and saying "Just joking, of course".

So I phone the police. Now in this case, it's slightly more difficult, because the police need to search for the guy. On facebook, the kid's details are right there. But if they go to his house, and see no signs of abuse, or even find out that he's actually single then... Well then what? They just arrest him anyway because fuck it?

I guess you shouldn't threaten to kill kids on the internet... WHO KNEW? I have to say that I have very little sympathy for this guy but the punishment is way too severe. I sympathize with his parents who have to try and fix the mistakes of their son and the system. Petition signed.

Glad to see this news, internet petitions of the past have always resulted in change...

Caiphus:

fletch_talon:

How do you think the police find out the context behind this comment?
Would it involve... investigating it maybe?
Rigorous investigation is your choice of words not mine. If the police were able to find out the situation in which the comment was made without investigating it I'd be very shocked (a psychic police force? But then even that would be a psychic investigation). First of all they'd require access to the facebook accounts to see exactly what was said and what it was in response to. When told that it related to a League of Legends game, assuming no reference was made to it on facebook, they would potentially need to access LoL's chat logs or at least confirm that said match had occurred.
An arrest can reasonably made simply to question the boy in order to investigate the situation, and in the meantime ensure that the threat that was allegedly made could not be put into action.

Also...

If I see a man in a trenchcoat walk past my house, and think he's a murderer, the police would be absolutely right in politely telling me to get a life.

You're almost as bad at making analogies as the guy who was raving about kidney bombs and blood bullets, you should probably stop. If, however, said man (regardless of clothing) walked by mumbling about how he was going to shoot that bitch in the head when he gets home, you'd have grounds to call the police.

It might turn out he was talking about putting his dog down because she had rabies, but you don't know that.

Rigorous investigation being what actually happened. According to the article, they searched his house, took his computer, questioned him, and then put him in prison for 5 months with bail set at $250,000. Which, realistically, means no bail.
I would expect them to look at the comment on facebook, yes. So fine, if that counts as investigation, then they do that. That's a pretty far cry from what actually happened though, isn't it?

I've already said previously (though admittedly not directly to you) that I don't agree with the course that this situation has taken. I certainly don't think jail time is necessary let alone the 8 years mentioned.
The only reason I quoted you in the first place was because I disagreed with your belief that people shouldn't report these kinds of things and that the woman was in the wrong for having done so.

I signed the petition. If i wasn't moving this month and had the money to, i would donate as well. I'm actually mad that i can't. This is just flat out wrong. I really don't care what the kid said, none of this should have progressed.

One thing that really gets me is how quick everyone here is to absolve the woman who started this witch hunt. She went out of her way to track this kid down which i'm sure required some degree of effort on her part. And you people actually think she could feel the slightest bit guilty about ruining this kids life. Ruining this persons life was the point. Why else would she do it. Every single person here understands that his comments were not to be taken seriously, i'm sure she was just as aware of it. Why assume that she is savvy enough to track people down online, but too stupid to get online sarcasm on facebook? Sorry, that person doesn't exist.

Also she is Canadian where they do not have protected speech. They have a nanny state government who has a habit of locking people up for not being PC enough. She expected by reporting him that this is what would happen because that is what happens where she lives. So yes, i do hold her responsible(as well as our retarded lack of justice system) and have every reason to believe that she wanted to ruin some poor kids life. How can so many of you be this naive to believe otherwise?

fletch_talon:

I've already said previously (though admittedly not directly to you) that I don't agree with the course that this situation has taken. I certainly don't think jail time is necessary let alone the 8 years mentioned.
The only reason I quoted you in the first place was because I disagreed with your belief that people shouldn't report these kinds of things and that the woman was in the wrong for having done so.

Well then, we can chalk it up to a misunderstanding. I should have made myself clearer. The woman isn't at fault. She can report it to the police, and they do whatever they want with it. I think she's paranoid, still. But a lot of middle-aged (assuming her age) women are, especially when school shootings have happened recently. And possibly with good reason. When I said that paranoia is wrong, I meant the police. The police can't be paranoid, or you end up with shit like this.

My objection has always been: not only did the police cock up by investigating as far as they did, but by still continuing with the prosecution. I mean, offering the kid a guilty plea bargain of 8 years? When they didn't find weapons?

"Yeah boy, say you're guilty to plotting terrorist attacks and we'll let you off easy. 8 years, no questions asked".

I mean, rapists his age can get less than that. It's absurd.

But anyway, I've looked over my comments "Telling her where to get off" was probably harsh.

They should have calmed her down (which is sort of what I meant, but I have testosterone, so I need to act like a dick), looked at the comment, and either phoned the parents, school, or at a stretch visited him and figured out that he isn't a psychopath. Because, like I said, they'd have to do the same to a lot of people. I even think a formal caution would have been too much. But whatever. A caution isn't even in the same solar system as what they've done.

Caiphus:

If I see a man in a trenchcoat walk past my house, and think he's a murderer, the police would be absolutely right in politely telling me to get a life.

True, they would do that. Not sure why you would call murderers to come deal with people you only think might be murderers. But rest assured, as the guy in that trenchcoat, the cops will be making it a point to stop and harass me with or without your complaint. Truth is, they really are the fashion police. Wear the wrong clothes and they come after you. It has gotten so bad i have my lawyer on speed dial on my cell. Fortunately my local police seem to have gotten off my back and prefer to kill homeless men in broad daylight in front of witnesses at bus stops for the crime of dressing like they are homeless.

ZforZissou:
What you just wrote here is supremely fucked up. He gets to be punished, his life ruined, because of someone else's reaction to something he said? No, no, of course intent doesn't matter. It made ME feel uncomfortable. Fuck him, and fuck his life, I didn't like that thing he said.

It is not about whether or not I liked what he said. It comes down to the point that he made a threat against a school and someone felt threatened by it. "LOL, JK" isn't an excuse. HE made the threat and now HE gets to deal with the consequences of his actions. That's part of being an adult. The other part is not being stupid enough to make threats... He IS 18 by the way, so people can stop with this "dumb kid" defense.

Also, yes it is the internet, so he was perfectly allowed to say what he said. You are allowed to be crude, sexist, racist, ANY-ist on the internet. Even *gasp* dark, cruel, or offensive jokes!

Obviously not... The first amendment does not apply when, among other things, a threat of bodily harm is made. Also, this mentality is what is wrong with the internet.

He deserved NO jail time (and the abuse that brought), or even a slap on the wrist. His parents should probably have been contacted, so they could possibly have a talk with him about his sense of humor or the way he acts publicly, or whatever. But we are WELL beyond the pale, here. This is just the next in a long line of outrages and government overreach.

The law is the law. What if they let this guy off and the next guy makes a similar comment followed by "LOL, JK", they let him off and then he actually follows through? This is a "no-win" scenario. Either this guy gets a pass on equal prosecution or the next guy has legal ground to get his case dismissed.

Freedom of speech, right?

George Orwell is probably laughing at us beyond the grave.(Yes, I know that I might be taking this too far, but restriction of personal freedoms and the like seems to be becoming a recurring theme worldwide as of late)

In other news, the state of Texas has outlawed sarcasm as a means of counter-terrorism. Apparently this was the only way to ensure that a misunderstanding of this magnitude would not occur in future.

'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 know what, fuck the stupid little shit.It's high time idiocy becomes a punishable offense.

Sarge034:

The law is the law. What if they let this guy off and the next guy makes a similar comment followed by "LOL, JK", they let him off and then he actually follows through? This is a "no-win" scenario. Either this guy gets a pass on equal prosecution or the next guy has legal ground to get his case dismissed.

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

fi6eka:
You know what, fuck the stupid little shit.It's high time retardedness becomes a punishable offense.

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

Goofguy:
Talk about a culture of fear. I'm ashamed of the Canadian prude who went through all of that effort to throw this guy under the bus. So she thought she was doing the world a favour? Turns out, she ruined a kid's life.

Quit blaming the person who went out of their way to do what she thought was right.
Fuckin' hell.

If anyone ruined this kid's life it's the justice system. Not someone who gave enough of a shit to do something about a threat that may or may not have been legitimate

This guy doesn't deserve jail. The people who jailed him do.

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.

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.

Sarge034:

It is not about whether or not I liked what he said. It comes down to the point that he made a threat against a school and someone felt threatened by it. "LOL, JK" isn't an excuse. HE made the threat and now HE gets to deal with the consequences of his actions. That's part of being an adult. The other part is not being stupid enough to make threats... He IS 18 by the way, so people can stop with this "dumb kid" defense.

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.

The law is the law. What if they let this guy off and the next guy makes a similar comment followed by "LOL, JK", they let him off and then he actually follows through? This is a "no-win" scenario. Either this guy gets a pass on equal prosecution or the next guy has legal ground to get his case dismissed.

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.

Signed this a few weeks ago.

Honestly, this isn't really the epitome of stupidity. If that's your reason, there are a lot of people far worse out there (the Republicans who defined pregnancy as before conception, anyone?). It wasn't even really a "joke", just pure sarcasm: a perfectly legitimate flavor of speech. He even explicitly stated as such in the original comment; that's more than most do.

Sarge034:

Obviously not... The first amendment does not apply when, among other things, a threat of bodily harm is made. Also, this mentality is what is wrong with the internet.

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."

Folks: The terrorists always win.

Terrorists do rude things to get people to change their attitudes and declare war on the people around them, rather than the ones that did the scaring. Freedoms are lost hour by hour because no one is thinking about finding the folks that deliver bombs and lead slugs to the innocent.

They're thinking about the idiot with a keyboard saying outrageous things in a bid to get attention. Saying "loljk" after shouting "FIRE!" in a crowded theater won't get you out of charges of creating a panic.

But it also won't get you sent to prison for somewhere between eight years and the rest of one's natural life for "terroristic" activities, even if the net result is similar. Kid's an idiot, not a terrorist. Turn him loose, tell him to grab a steaming mug of STFU, and keep an eye on him for the next six months. After that, bring him in again for a psych eval. A hundred hours of commserv, and send him on his way. Don't waste a pile of money prosectuing him. Not worth your time or taxpayer money.

If Homeland Security can't be bothered, why are they? Oh, yeah. Prosecutors make careers out of this kind of case. A solid conviction can pave the way to a state or federal-level bench.

"Terroristic." Wow... That's such a new word that even my spell-checker is taking issue with it. What is our lexicon coming to?

This is absolutely ridiculous. The US are treating this kid like he's the next Osama Bin Laden and for what? Because he made a dumb comment on Facebook.

Teenagers say stupid things all the time. I had a friend who claimed he was responsible for the 7/7 bombings (for clarification he was at school the entire time). I had another who said he was responsible for V-Tech (also in school, and British). This is a horrible miscarriage of justice that this boy is being locked up, subject to beatings and other abuse, and held without charge or bail, because of a stupid comment he made. The US is wasting valuable taxpayer money that could have otherwise gone toward investigating or stopping actual threats.

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.

The kid is perfectly free to say whatever he likes. Comments like yours, on the other hand, are part of the problem. You're effectively saying that we should take away the right to freedom of speech just because we suffer tragedy. At best he deserved a 'too soon' from the friend he made the comment to. That's it.

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.

A3sir:
Glad to see this news, internet petitions of the past have always resulted in change...

But they sometimes do and you get nothing for not trying.

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.

The first time I truly realized the mob ruled anywhere was after Columbine. I was and am a big geek, and this was the 90's. Geeks still thought Trenchcoats were cool. This is important become the Columbine killers called themselves the Trenchcoat Mafia, a piece of info the media made sure we heard over and over again.

My friend Mike went to school the next day in his trenchcoat, as it was cold and grey and that's what he had to wear. We were outside ready to play some frisbee when one of the prinicpals came out. He told Mike to either take off the coat or get a detention. For really no reason than people thought he could be apart of the Trench Coat Mafia.

At this time, I should tell you that I went to High School in White Plains, New York. A brief trip to google displays that there is a 1,811 mile (2914 km) distance in between the two cities. People were just that paranoid and it allowed ignorance and knee jerk reactions take over. Mike decided to take a stand, he got a suspension.

I didn't agree with Mike at that point. I thought it was a small thing. He could have taken off the coat in respect. Now... I still don't agree with his actions. He came off a little childish, even if he was right. He could have tried to reason better instead of sounding condescending. But in reality, Logic is only a valid defense when the false security blanket we call 'civilization' is working correctly. You know, when people can be reasoned out of petty biases, closed mindedness, and when all have the general drive to make humanity better for all.

so, you know... it's never a valid defense.

We are scared little animals in nice clothes. We harness electricity and make marvels to look at the past and gloat about how enlightened we all are. But with the metaphysical lights go out, we're just as cowardly and afraid as the cavemen shivering at the sky when it throws loud light flashes at them.

The truth is there is really no defense to anything in the world. We can check and recheck planes, and something like San Francisco sadly happens. We can have countless million of legal gun owners in the US, and from Columbine to Sandy Hook, you have 29 mass shootings in the US alone. Although every fucking death is tragic, with millions of gun owners in the US... we are damn lucky it isn't worse. Every major social event that happens in the US for at least the next two decades or next attack (which ever comes first), the first thing that 80% of the attendees and 100% of the organizers will think of is the Boston Marathon.

The sky is flashing. And it's flashing. And it's Flashing. And we just want it to stop. We will hit and bang and offer any sacrifice to the Sky Gods to make sure we can live in our cave, safe in our heads and terrified it will never be enough... so we are more than ready to offer more to the Sky Gods.

Until we can ever come to grips that we are no longer safe, and it's up to us for our own safety and realizing hell, that won't even be enough... Expect more. I hate to quote Men in Black, but it's so true, and that's why you'll see more NSAs and more Justin Carters as sacrifices.

Kay:
A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

Kamille Bidan:

Teenagers say stupid things all the time. I had a friend who claimed he was responsible for the 7/7 bombings (for clarification he was at school the entire time). I had another who said he was responsible for V-Tech (also in school, and British). This is a horrible miscarriage of justice that this boy is being locked up, subject to beatings and other abuse, and held without charge or bail, because of a stupid comment he made. The US is wasting valuable taxpayer money that could have otherwise gone toward investigating or stopping actual threats.

Just for the record, he's been charged, bail has been set, and he's even rejected a plea bargain. Ironically, the 8 years people keep citing comes from the plea that he rejected.

Comments like yours, on the other hand, are part of the problem.

I agree. Trying to say this is an issue solely because of Newtown misses the point that tossing "JK" or "LOL" on after something doesn't make it less threatening. It downplays the nature of a threatening statement in a public venue.

Freedom of speech doe not equal freedom from consequences of what you say. With that in mind, this is way out of line. At most, his folks should have been called and they should have been the ones to sort it, as that should have been the worst consequence.

Zachary Amaranth:

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.

Please remind me of the last time shouting "Fire!" or "Bomb!" on the Internet led to someone being crushed under the heels of a panicked mob. Now that we can't actually hurt anyone in this new public space of the future, maybe we should leave that "crowded theatre" thinking behind?

Zachary Amaranth:

Comments like yours, on the other hand, are part of the problem.

I agree. Trying to say this is an issue solely because of Newtown misses the point that tossing "JK" or "LOL" on after something doesn't make it less threatening. It downplays the nature of a threatening statement in a public venue.

Well, we all know what a sarcastic confession is (if not, there's a TV Tropes page on it, full of real life examples).

But if this is to be treated as an exception to the First Amendment then law enforcement has a duty to treat this as they would a threat to the President. The President, as you can imagine, gets threatened all the time. What the FBI/CIA do is actually investigate the person to see if he/she poses a viable threat. They did that here, found that this kid had absolutely no means to commit mass murder, nor the opportunity. Yet he's still being thrown in jail and faces sentencing of up to ten years, to say nothing of the abuse he's suffered while in jail.

McKinsey:

Zachary Amaranth:

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.

Please remind me of the last time shouting "Fire!" or "Bomb!" on the Internet led to someone being crushed under the heels of a panicked mob. Now that we can't actually hurt anyone in this new public space of the future, maybe we should leave that "crowded theatre" thinking behind?

Could not have said it better. The two situations aren't remotely alike. If they were, we might have to start taking these kids on Xbox Live seriously when they claim to have fucked our mothers.

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