Teenager Jailed For Months Over A Facebook Joke

Was the joke in poor taste? Absolutely. Should he have been jailed for months over it? Don’t our cops have better things to do with their time?

Jack Carter says his son Justin and a friend got into an argument with someone on Facebook about the game and the teenager wrote a comment he now regrets.

“Someone had said something to the effect of ‘Oh you’re insane, you’re crazy, you’re messed up in the head,’ 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,’ and the next two lines were lol and jk.,” said Carter.

“LOL” stands for “laughing out loud,” and “jk” means “just kidding,” but police didn’t think it was funny. Neither did a woman from Canada who saw the posting.

Justin’s dad says the woman did a Google search and found his son’s old address was near an elementary school and she called police.

Justin Carter was arrested the next month and has been jailed since March 27. He’s charged with making a terroristic threat and is facing eight years in prison, according to his dad.

The kid celebrated his 19th birthday in jail, where he sits charged with making a terrorist. He’s facing, unbelievably, eight years in jail if convicted.

According to the cops, Carter’s post was a crime because of their overreaction to the Newtown shooting:

Authorities noted that recent school shootings like the one in Newtown, Connecticut have caused them to evaluate all potential threats seriously. Newtown was still fresh in their minds at the time of Carter’s arrest.

“In light of recent situations, statements such as the one Justin made are taken seriously,” said an Austin police detective in a statement.

“Justin was the kind of kid who didn’t read the newspaper,” the Daily Caller quotes the father Jack Carter as saying. “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.”

Or maybe the kid thought he lived in a free country where you can make sarcastic and even tactless comments online without having to worry about jail time. Guess he’s been disabused of that notion.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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