Photo of Justin Carter, arrested and jailed for a sarcastic Facebook comment
A 19-year old boy, Justin Carter, has been in jail in San Antonio, Texas, since March for a sarcastic threat he made on Facebook. He faces eight years in jail. He is charged with making terroristic threats – a felony.
His father said he is very afraid and depressed. His son, he said, has given up hope of getting out of prison.
After having an argument with a friend over an online video game, according to his father who spoke with CNN, his son wrote, “Someone had said something to the effect of ‘Oh you’re insane. You’re crazy. You’re messed up in the head,'” Jack Carter told CNN affiliate KVUE in Austin. “To which he replied ‘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 said his son followed the claim with “LOL” and “J/K” — indicating that the comment wasn’t serious.
A woman in Canada spotted it and notified authorities. It was only two months after Newtown. A judge issued an arrest warrant.
When the father was notified that a judge issued the warrant for his son’s arrest, he couldn’t believe it. He literally “broke down crying.”
“These people are serious. They really want my son to go away to jail for a sarcastic comment that he made,” Jack Carter told KVUE. “Justin was the kind of kid who didn’t read the newspaper. He didn’t watch television. He wasn’t aware of current events. These kids, they don’t realize what they’re doing. They don’t understand the implications. They don’t understand public space.”
The family can’t afford the bail of $500,000, which require $50,000 in cash. His lawyer said murderers he’s represented have bond set at $150,000.
No one will let him go – not the sheriffs, the judge, no one – because they don’t want to be responsible. They have not commented on the case. The prosecutor will only agree to accepting a plea deal for an eight year prison sentence from Carter.
Justin wasn’t questioned for a month according to his father and hasn’t had a trial. Justin has been assaulted in jail and is now in solitary confinement.
Until there is a statement from law enforcement, it is difficult to just but this case bears watching. If Justin was only making a very inappropriate comment, there is a serious constitutional issue here.
Social media comments are becoming the basis for arrests, convictions, and FBI interrogations. It is starting to feel like a police state.
Meanwhile Justin has supporters trying to get him out of jail. A Change.org petition titled “Release Justin Carter and Change the Investigative Criteria for Terroristic Threat Laws” had received nearly 35,000 digital signatures as of Tuesday afternoon. Sean Hannity of the Sean Hannity Show, is attempting to help the father get his son out of jail.
Full story at wptv.com