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  #1  
Old 01 July 2013, 02:06 AM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
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Default Texas teen charged with making terroristic threat after online joke

An Austin man wants to warn other parents and teenagers that statements made on social media websites can land them in jail.

http://www.khou.com/news/texas-news/...212931111.html

Please at least read the first half of the article with the comments and context. It was a bit too much to quote under snopes.com rules
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  #2  
Old 01 July 2013, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
“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.

-snip-

“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,” said Jack Carter.
This wasn't a ten year old playing a video game he shouldn't have access too, this was an 18 year old man making a very specific threat. He might not have been the type of "kid" who didn't read the paper or watch the news on TV, but he clearly had internet access, and even if you dodge the main news sites it's pretty damn hard to miss talking about current events in an online community - even a gaming one. I don't buy for one minute this "kid" didn't know about the most recent school tragedy, let alone the concept of "school violence" in general. He didn't make a general statement of violence (I'm fairly sure most people have said "I'm going to kill that guy who cut me off in traffic!" or such), but rather a very detailed threat. Slapping "It's just a joke!" on the end (or the abbreviation equivalent) doesn't make that threat go away.

A few years back I recall someone in another game (World of Warcraft? I want to say it was a MMO) getting in serious legal trouble after making a joke about blowing up an airport (I want to say O'Hare maybe?) and then crying "I was just joking!".
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  #3  
Old 01 July 2013, 05:31 AM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
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At one time I thought there was a difference between just making a threating statement and making a treating statement while taking actions that would make the stamen creditable. The first would at most get you a talking to by the police and other would get you arrested.
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Old 01 July 2013, 05:39 AM
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Little Pink Pill Little Pink Pill is offline
 
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I thought a threat had to be more specific, too. "He lives near a school" isn't the same thing as him referring to an actual school.
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  #5  
Old 01 July 2013, 06:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
I thought a threat had to be more specific, too. "He lives near a school" isn't the same thing as him referring to an actual school.
It's actually hard to find people who DON'T live near a school.
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  #6  
Old 01 July 2013, 08:25 AM
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Too late to edit: I found the case of of the Warcraft player who made the threat about an airport, but that had included both a city, a place, and a specific time.
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  #7  
Old 01 July 2013, 09:24 AM
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@Kallah, are you maybe thinking of the Twitter Joke Trial? This was a UK case in which a man, frustrated by bad weather closures, tweeted
Quote:
Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!
it took several appeals before a judge ruled something along the lines of, no-one rational would interpret that as a credible threat.
I feel much the same about the message in the OP, it is a sarcastic comment, the meaning of which is clearly that just because he is a gamer does NOT mean he is a weirdo who is going to shoot up a school. No threat is made and he clarifies that in the next line.

Last edited by Moku; 01 July 2013 at 09:28 AM. Reason: Oops, no you weren't thinking of the Twitter Joke, but it is relevant to how we deal with bad jokes on social media
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Old 01 July 2013, 09:33 AM
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On the evidence available in the OP the jailing is an over-reaction given the context but the apoligism from the father is also wrong, 18 is not a child and the young man needs to take responsibility for threats made publically. A strong caution might be appropriate -or a fine.


Dropbear
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  #9  
Old 01 July 2013, 10:38 AM
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I wonder if there isn't some information missing. There doesn't seem to be any info coming from the law enforcement side in the article. I'd be a bit surprised that he's been in jail since March if all they have is what's quoted in the article.

ETA: This appears to be the law in question: http://www.bakers-legal-pages.com/pc/2207.htm
If so, then I don't see how it applies to the OP situation without more than what's in the article.

Last edited by erwins; 01 July 2013 at 10:43 AM.
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  #10  
Old 01 July 2013, 02:49 PM
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The comment was so obviously sarcastic that I don't see why he was arrested, if that was truly all it was.

If he said it spontaneously, that would be one thing; it was a clear response to someone saying he is "messed up in the head."
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  #11  
Old 01 July 2013, 04:11 PM
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It is worth noting that the article doesn't have the direct quote for some reason, but only the father's paraphrasing of it. I wouldn't be surprised if he was skewing things a bit to make the quote look a little more favorable for his son.

I have no doubt that Justin was making a deliberate reference to school shootings, very likely inspired by Sandy Hook but possibly just by the concept in general.

If the father's paraphrase is representative of what Justin posted, I think the right response would be to bring him in, talk to him and do some quick investigation, just to be on the safe side. Charging him would be too much.

However, I would not be surprised if the actual quote from Justin's posting was worse than his father's paraphrasing, and that could definitely change things.
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  #12  
Old 01 July 2013, 07:16 PM
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Mickey Blue Mickey Blue is offline
 
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I tend to agree that assuming the description of his statements in the article are accurate this merited, at best, a quick followup.

If it was just 'shoot up a bunch of kids' it may have been worse, but the 'and eat their still beating hearts' pushes it well into 'clearly sarcasm' land.

Not a very classy comment to make of course, but regardless of tragedy I think we need to be able to apply logic to these kinds of things, otherwise we end up with 'zero tolerance' stuff.
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  #13  
Old 01 July 2013, 07:49 PM
St. Alia St. Alia is offline
 
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Trying to find more info on this is difficult. The mom organized the petition on change.org and she links a number of news items that have covered this. She admits that this link is more "political," but says it's the most accurate.
The article says that Justin posted:

Quote:
“I’m f---ed in the head alright. I think I’ma shoot up a kindergarten and watch the blood of the innocent rain down and eat the beating heart of one of them.” Then Justin wrote, "j/k” (which means “just kidding”).
That is a bit more specific than has been quoted in other places.
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  #14  
Old 04 July 2013, 02:52 AM
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I understand the parents being upset that their son was charged but I think I'd also be pretty upset that he said what he did j/k or not.
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  #15  
Old 04 July 2013, 05:33 AM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
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I was reading some of the comments today in one of the news articles. There was one I had to somewhat agree with. If the police took the time to monitor these online games poplar with teens, half the teens would be arrested for terrorist threats.

I do not agree with the half, but there sure is a lot of threating talk worse than what this person said on a few of the games.
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  #16  
Old 12 July 2013, 03:26 PM
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Justin Carter, the 19-year-old who was arrested and jailed in February after making a Facebook comment about a school shooting, is out of jail. An anonymous donor posted the $500,000 bond to allow Carter to go home. Carter plans to stay near New Braunfels, Texas, to await his trial on a felony terroristic threat charge.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechcons...medium=twitter
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  #17  
Old 12 July 2013, 03:59 PM
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"Freedom of speech" I guess.. Hope he does well at the trial.
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  #18  
Old 12 July 2013, 04:51 PM
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Unless there is more information than the defense lawyer and family are providing I think it's outrageous that this is even going to trial. That said, if he does go to trial and there is indeed "more to the story" the person who posted bail would still get it back wouldn't they? You don't forfeit bail money if the accused is subsequently convicted do you?
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  #19  
Old 12 July 2013, 05:01 PM
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Bail money is only forfeited if the accused fails to appear for trial. The outcome of the trial is irrelevant.
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  #20  
Old 16 July 2013, 12:48 AM
ULTRAGOTHA ULTRAGOTHA is offline
 
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Ken White comments on Popehat.


Quote:
Police and prosecutors maintain that Carter's "threat" should be taken seriously. They dispute his and his family's assertion that he followed his post with "lol" and "j/k." In evaluating the credibility of the police and prosecutors, consider this: in the affidavits seeking search and arrest warrants, they completely stripped Justin's "I think Ima shoot up a kindergarten" post of any context whatsoever, deliberately excising all mention of the online dispute, the connection to gaming, or his other posts. In short, in seeking a judge's authorization to arrest Carter and search his home, police and prosecutors made it appear to the judge that he had simply woken up one day and posted that on Facebook. That was breathtakingly deceitful.

The search of Justin Carter's home yielded no weapons and no evidence of dangerousness.

Contrast this with Officer Christopher Picciano who was not charged with a crime.

Quote:
The MPD officer who stands accused of threatening First Lady Michelle Obama last summer continues to say that the entire incident was misconstrued and was a joke, the Washington Post says.

Christopher Picciano, who appeared at a hearing Wednesday to determine his future with D.C.'s police force, is said to have shown fellow officers a picture of a gun on his phone and said, "This is the gun I plan to do it with."

One is a teen with no weapons keyboarding off in a game. The other is an armed and trained police officer with access to weapons.
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