July 12th, 2013
08:39 AM ET

'New Day' Exclusive: Teen Jailed for Facebook Comment Speaks

Justin Carter, the 19-year old teen facing a felony terrorism charge for an alleged threat on Facebook, is now free on bail after five months in prison as a result of an anonymous donor posting $500,000 bond.

Here is the background leading up to now:

Today, for the first time, Carter speaks to CNN’s Kate Bolduan on "New Day" to discuss his release and comments on Facebook that got him in trouble.

“I just think that it got taken out of context and it’s been blown out of proportion,” Justin Carter says.

He was joined by his father Jack Carter, mother Jennifer Carter and two attorneys Chad Van Brunt and Donald Flanary, who are working on the case pro bono.

When Bolduan asked what he would have done differently, Carter replies, “I certainly would have thought a lot more about what I said and how permanent my writing is. I just want to make it clear that people should be very, very careful of what they say and it’s being recorded all the time if you say it on any website, anywhere. And you can get in trouble for something that’s not something you should get in trouble for. And I just want people to be warned.”

Justin Carter, his parents and their legal team claim that his comments on Facebook about “shooting up a kindergarten class” were sarcastic. An online petition seeking his release recently reached over 125,000 signatures in less than two weeks.

For updates, visit CNN.com.

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soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. glk20c

    BTW, America, you live in a dictatorship.

    July 15, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Reply
  2. heartlandpatriot

    He made a stupid joke. A really lousy, crude, and sickening joke. Unfortunately, someone (whom I heard isn't even an American citizen) took him literally. Does he deserve to be up on terrorist charges though? Of course not. I guess its okay for people to make threats about what they will do if George Zimmerman happens to be found not guilty, but oh forbid that a teenager makes a stupid joke. Gimme a break already.

    July 12, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Reply
  3. Sierra117

    I love the way everyone is rushing to this kid's defense. What if he had been serious and actually shot up the school, then everyone would be in an uproar because nothing was done. This kid did an incredibly stupid thing and is getting an appropriate punishment. Please quit portraying this kid as a victim, he's not. He knew what he was doing.

    July 12, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  4. enr

    Had he called the school and made his remark , that would have been a threat. Nowdays, there is no freedom of speech. Have to be careful of what you say. Always someone out there who will make a mountain out of a molehill. Not saying he was right, just that he should have been of what and how he said it. Ask uncle ted, he knows!

    July 12, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  5. Name*jeebus

    Get a life. It was a comment made in bad taste but obviously a joke. There is still some freedom of speech left. It does not rise to the level of any credible threat...it will never make it to court.

    July 12, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  6. DeathOfSarcasm

    He's not going to admit intent because he didn't have intent. If you read the conversation it's extremely obvious that it was a joke in very poor taste, not an actual threat. We shouldn't be throwing citizens in jail for making inappropriate jokes. I feel like too many people nowadays don't pay any attention to the context within which words are said. If the police want to pay the kid a visit and check up on him – that's fine. Even if they want to search his house for the comments – that seems a little over the line but maybe acceptable. But throwing the kid in jail is ridiculous.

    July 12, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  7. deathstalker

    FACEBOOK IS NOT REAL LIFE! This country is absolutely insane. We are turning into the old soviet union. Why don't they actually arrest everyone in DC who murder people everyday instead of little kids making jokes on a website? CNN is State Media!

    July 12, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  8. zechone

    it's only few that will understand the trick

    July 12, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  9. LHJ

    @JHL He didn't make a threat. He made a sarcastic comment. End of story, and whoever set his bail and is threatening him with 8 years in jail should be utterly ashamed of themselves.

    If we start to completely ignore context and intent as a mitigating factor then we might as well just put a bullet in the head of free speech now because it would be as good as dead anyway.


    July 12, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  10. Christal

    He needs to think about things better before he puts it on facebook for the world to read there is so much sickness and hated things . people kill themselfs over things like this i will pray for you!

    July 12, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Reply
  11. MRH

    This has just gone way to far. Who is prosecuting this? Would they seek these charges if it was their kid? There's more going on here and a kid who made a comment will suffer in jail for 10 years. (Political attention?) If people actually have intentions on taking similar actions this kid spoke of, they would not be saying it in front of their friends on facebook. In fact, those that have taken those actions, did not have any 'friends'. Maybe some acquaintances but not friends. And if they announced their intentions, don't you think the would use any means necessary to not be traced unless they actually wanted to be caught? And if they wanted to be caught, they would actually see no 'jail' time but put into a mental institution. Leave the kid alone.

    July 12, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  12. Joe

    You mean with sooo many messages out in society of shooting up schools, he still feels it was a joke!! He should refrain from those games and watch CNN every now and then. Mr Jokster and/or taken out of context-Pay the piper!!

    July 12, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  13. lol

    People have gone to jail for terroristic threats long before 9/11 and long before the internet and social networking came along. Everyone forgets easily what is right and wrong when the get in front of a computer. Can you imagine what it would have been like if the internet was around during the McCarthyism era when everyone was afraid to say anything? This dumb dumb – like most of the clueless FB and twitter abusers – thinks it's all a game and he can spout off about criminal intentions (intended or not) to the world online and doesn't think it's a big deal...just words, no harm, no foul, right? Just like how people behave in their cars like they are somehow protected from laws and consequences because they are in a little glass and metal bubble, people think they are shielded from their careless and less than moral behavior by the false sense of disconnection and anonymity the internet provides. If you won't consider saying it in public, then it's not ok to say it online either. People get more and more obtuse everyday. Thanks technology...thanks bad parenting. Society today = big failure.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  14. linda123

    If this kid, and his lawyer, have 2 functioning brain cells between them, he'll keep his mouth shut and stay at home. Blabbing to the media will only hurt his case.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  15. Andrew

    If you have ever jokingly said "I'm gonna kill that man!", then you are guilty of the same "crime" as this kid. Better hope no one ever turns you in to the police. What a sad, stupid state we have become when we will destroy some kids life over something so absurd.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  16. REV. DR. CARL

    I have seen this young mans father on TV defending the actions of his son. This behavior has no excuse it is violent and shows the inner soul of a troubled young man. This father should take this young mans gaming system out back and destroy it with a baseball bat. Then take that bat and teach his son how to swing that bat to hit a baseball. The culture of allowing children to sit in and play video games is out of control. This chubby young man should use his anger on the football field instead of spewing hate online. SHAME ON THE PARENTS AND THIS ANGRY YOUNG MAN..

    July 12, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Reply
    • MRH

      So you want him to stop playing violent video games and take up a violent sport? And what's with the CAPS LOCK? You seem angry...

      July 16, 2013 at 8:48 am | Reply
  17. jewbeard

    I know it's horrible language or statements made by this young man but again it's just words. When do we allow empty threats or any comment for that matter to overshadow freedom of speech? Yes he should've been talked to by authorities and questioned for his comments but not arrested and forced to pay $500,000 bond! Statements on the Internet and atrocities by crazed individuals shouldn't cause us to lose focus on our freedoms. Actions are the crime not words. Interpretation of words are just that interpretation and nothing else. Fear controls our lives and this is exactly why we knee jerk react to everything. Yes bad things happen to good people of all ages, but it's always been this way. Of course he was dumb for what he did and learned a hard lesson. But I believe we fear was the cause of his punishment not his words.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Reply
  18. arsh

    JHL he followed the comment with LOL and JK. which are Laugh out loud, just kidding which means they were not an actual threat. some crazy butthurt person like yourself just took it seriously and reported it. I hope karma bites that person ASAP.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  19. Lori

    Some things just are not appropriate to joke about.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  20. wha?

    Obvious troll is obvious .. at least I hope. Any "dimwit" can clearly see that what he posted was sarcastic .. so no, not a threat.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  21. Bobby

    This is obviously a tasteless joke made by a 19 year old kid. Who in there right mind thinks he should go to jail for this? It is absolutely terrifying how pathetically ignorant people are to subtext.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  22. ionymous

    The consequences should have been detainment for a day or two while a psychologist evaluated him and a reasonable search of his home and computer was done. 5 months in prison is ridiculous.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Reply
  23. Ivan

    how come hundreds of tweeters wrote something like "i will kill zimmerman" or "i will kill white people if zimmerman walks", and nothing happens? but he gets arrested for this comment that seemed relatively sarcastic compared to those tweets?

    July 12, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Reply
  24. Steve

    What happened to freedom of speech? It's a police state now. oops, are they coming for me now for saying that?

    July 12, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Reply
  25. R Christopher

    You have NEVER been in a online gaming forum have you?? If he would not have said this 2 months after the school shooting this would be a NONE issue. People are not mentally mature until 25-26 (please takes a coarse of the development of the human brain) OR, just look at your average Fraternity men at 18-22 (LOL) All kinds of people in this on-line games post threats. This guy just got called out.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Reply
  26. Jacob Crim

    Welcome to new America. Where internet trolling gets you arrested.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  27. James PDX

    JHL, it seems that you are the dimwit if you don't understand context and sarcasm. I won't blame your tree, though. Every tree has a bad apple.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  28. walker

    I think that should be a lesson to all the teens (and not only teens) that if you post something stupid online, you should and will be held accountable for it. Jail time included free of charge. It doesn't matter if you really mean it or not because it will be assumed that you do mean it.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  29. Brian

    Scary times. If they can control your speech, they can control your thoughts. Beware!

    July 12, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  30. SLM

    The problem here isn't correcting someone and showing consequences. He SHOULD have been questioned. Heck, even a night or two in the cell as a lesson, but 500k bail? MONTHS in lockup? For this? If he were that dangerous, bail wouldn't have been an option. This amounts to one thing: overzealous prosecution and "throwing the book" at him as a lesson to others. Anyone with an ounce of intelligence can look at the facts and realize that.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  31. Greg

    Yeehaw!!!! Come to Texas on your next vacation. We'll send you to jail and try as hard as possible to execute you. Texas is nothing more than Iran light.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  32. Richard

    I think a little jail time is what he deserves in the world now today with all the things that have happened, you should know that you dont make threats on the internet. weather intentional, or not. You just dont do it...or say what he had said on the game. You just dont do it..i think he should have sat in there longer until trial and all those good things the justice system gives us.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  33. kellycanuck

    To JHL. Well I'm in my 50's . Not sure how old you are. But if you're over 30, then welcome to being a dimwit. You remember all the crap we said when we were in our teens? No one came knocking at our door to arrest us, and we said far worse stuff than this kid. Everything you say now is poured over with a fine tooth comb. I had a weird dark sense of humour and still do. That doesn't mean everything I say has to be taken literal. My friends laugh. However, I suppose I would be hauled off to jail now. Get a grip.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  34. Kita

    After constant referring to of an abortion doctor as "Tiller the baby killer" led to the man being murdered (in a church of all places) the idea of exercising prudence and forethought in the things you say should have taken hold...

    July 12, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  35. princessbonbon

    *rolls eyes* " And you can get in trouble for something that’s not something you should get in trouble for. And I just want people to be warned.”

    No, you SHOULD be getting in trouble for saying such an awful thing. Not felony level trouble but definitely a misdemeanor with a boatload of community service attached trouble.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  36. BobbyBrick

    Stupidity has it's consequences. I believe he was being sarcastic, but it was a very stupid thing to say. Hopefully a lesson is learned especially with posts to the internet.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  37. Juice Grapefruit

    Government issued, jackbooted thugs abusing power and running roughshod over citizens acting within their rights of free speach.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  38. JLS639

    He made bond. This is not over, though. Prosecutors are still editing out the entire context of the statement (apparently because context makes the joke clear) and ignoring evidence. This is a massive waste of time and money and an attempt to ruin someone's life for nothing. It has already resulted in numerous assaults on someone for telling a joke. It will not protect anyone, it will not help anyone and will either result in thrown out charges, an acquittal or an overturned conviction. People all over the internet will be throwing this up an exhibit A on why the government is incompetent and unwilling to spend its resources pursuing actually dangerous people when it can beat up people of modest wealth over nothing.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  39. Hood1707

    Hey CNN! Tell us what he said. In all the news reports that I have seen, they have never stated what was said.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  40. getaclue69

    Welcome to oppression. Big brother is watching every move we make now. No one can say anything about anyone at anytime or you will be arrested for a terriristic act. I hope everyone is happy at the country we now live in............

    July 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  41. Mike

    I agree that Justin's statements were PROBABLY sarcastic.

    But I also agree that there's no reason for the police to assume they are. I'm thrilled the police investigated and took him into custody.

    The problem here is Justin was CHARGED with making threats. Once the police have determined the likelihood that this wasn't a threat made against a real target, and that the threat was probably made sarcastically, then he should not be charged with felony terrorism.

    The District Attorney here deserves to be fired/voted out. And the judge who didn't dismiss the charges deserves to be fired/voted out. But I have no complaints about the police involvement in this case.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Reply
  42. Will S

    Well, he did end the FB post that started all this with "LOL", according to an earlier article. That is short for Laugh Out Loud, which is shorthand for "this post was meant to be funny and isn't an indication of intent to go on a killing rampage". The bright side is that he'll eventually make quite a bit of money when he settles the civil suit against the DA.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  43. RK

    Stupidity when it comes to today;s technology knows no bounds.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  44. GPN

    There have been too many instances of crazy people shooting children at schools. Unfortunately we cannot continue to be a society of 'everyone is innocent until they actually kill people'. We need to start dealing with these 'innocent' people before they kill. If, as a result, some people get convicted in error because they were just joking or being sarcastic – so be it. We must protect the innocent from these crazy people. They are responsible for their own actions, their parents need to take a stronger stance in their development, teachers need to more powers. Enough of these bleeding heart liberals, they would soon change their tune if heir children were gunned down by someone who gave out warning signs but nothing could be done about them because they had not yet done anything.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  45. Thought Police

    JHL should be put in jail for his intolerant hate speech. We need to make an example of him. He should be reported to the FBI.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  46. Snarky MacFee

    Seriously? He was trolling and wrote something stupid after playing a "violent" game. Why is it called "common sense" when it is so rare?! Use your heads, people....YES he should have been interviewed by authorities. But arrested, charged, and give a bail that a CHILD MOLESTOR OR SPOUSE MURDERER never gets (and should), no. No, this is a waste of taxpayer money, waste of justice, and the result of someone trying to make a career or name for themselves...DA or police perhaps? Face it folks, it was an insipid and clueless remark made at a tender time in America's conscious. What is the back up to his text? Was there weaponry found? Are there receipts for ammo? They should calm down a bit and thoroughly think this through before wasting a court's time. Let it be said this little jack*** is NOT funny and NOT clever..but NOT about to pull an Adam Lanza. We need to stop reacting to the small stuff just because we feel guilty for not catching onto the last "psycho" that acted on innocents.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  47. Alicia

    HIs comment, sarcastic or not, was inappropriate. He should be punished for this and if that means jail time – oh well.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Reply
  48. Scott

    Once it was discovered his threats were baseless and not real, bail should have been lifted (or heavily reduced), and he should have been let out of jail. The story is ridiculous.

    But at the same time, I have very little pity for him. He chose to say what he said, and he paid consequences for it. You can't say those kind of things online and expect no one to take it seriously or to exercise caution about it.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  49. Kevin

    If you have nothing nice to say then do not say it at all. And if you have to use a website to post your thoughts rather than saying them in person, then you are a coward. His words are very thought out and not just sarcastic. Maybe, just maybe we can get another crazy off the street rather than losing more to senseless violence.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Reply
  50. kenny

    slippery slope... if you can arrest someone for "JOKING" ... we are no longer free...

    July 12, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Reply
  51. cicisbo

    Okay.. I have a good sense of humor like the next person, but what he said was not only in poor taste, but that kind of comment has no reason to be uttered out of the mouths of anyone, unless that person is sick in the head.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  52. NO childhood American

    This is stupid. No one should be arrested over a facebook posting solely. Police need to learn how to properly perform an investigation. The douche bag woman in Canada needs to be sued, then maybe she will mind her own business. What a troll she is for report this kid to the police.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  53. Zimmrah

    Sure, people are sympathetic now. However, if he HAD posted that – and nothing had been done – and then he went and followed through on it, people would be up in arms about why he hadn't been arrested.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  54. CEM

    Look I can understand someone looking into his comments for obvious reasons. And even giving him some type of "punishment" but 5 months behind bars with that kind of bail – I mean where is the common sense? How much time and money has been wasted on this ridiculous situation that could have been better spent going after REAL threats?

    July 12, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  55. Luggage1974

    " But, threats have consequences.
    Welcome to adulthood, dimwit."
    When you follow that up with J/K and LOL it is a threat. This has been blown way out of context and we have wasted tax payer dollars to try and punish a kid that was clearly kidding around. Arrest him, confirm it was a joke in poor taste and lesson learned.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  56. Briana Walker

    I'll say as well that this teen is now smarter than he ever expected to be, and his friends as well.

    July 12, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  57. bibleverse1

    Why are we not protesting in the street for these charges to be dropped?

    July 12, 2013 at 11:59 am | Reply
  58. austintexas1961

    In these dangerous and unpredictable times, we cannot ignore someone who says he'll be shooting up a bunch of small children. It's up to the authorities to investigate such people. There might be a situation when someone makes a threat and does carry them out. There have been too many instances where people utter something threatening or menacing....and dismiss those remarks with a weak "I didn't really mean it." Too often, people use a lame excuse to explain something potentially dangerous.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:57 am | Reply
  59. GUy

    so let me get this straight a white kid says something about hypothectically shooting up a kindergarden class goes to jail on terroristic threats and then theres an organization thta publicly threatens to riot if a verdict does not go there way and its leaders making the threats are still walking around wierd double standard...

    July 12, 2013 at 11:56 am | Reply
  60. lpingree

    I disagree. Taking speech so seriously in a country that prides itself on freedom of expression and speech is akin to the "Pre-Crime" enforcement of law that was depicted in "Minority Report". Putting people in jail "Before" committing an actual act is crazy and this exemplifies why these sorts of "pre-crime" laws should be redacted. Sure, have law enforcement investigate, but there is no need to punish people for mere words.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:55 am | Reply
  61. TLB

    And you don't say "bomb" in an airport!

    July 12, 2013 at 11:55 am | Reply
  62. Jerry

    It is just one of those things you can not be saying out loud or online especially in this day and age

    July 12, 2013 at 11:53 am | Reply
  63. Scott

    IIRC, Justin Carter's comments were non-specific. Though I believe a police interview and psychiatric consultation would be justifiable, I believe the legal system went too far in their response to him.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:53 am | Reply
  64. TheDreadedWoodenSpoon

    Well I'll tell you what, he looks a lot better now. Hopefully he acts a lot better too. Get away from those coddling parents kid, you're a man now.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:52 am | Reply
  65. Derek

    So... if we ignored his threat and he did shot up a school.. would the government have been wrong and to blame?

    July 12, 2013 at 11:52 am | Reply
  66. austintexas1961

    In this day and age, we don't have the luxury of ignoring people who utter that they want to shoot up small children. Authorities need to look into the matter because of the off-chance that someone like that does carry out his/her threat. It is galling that the parents classify their son's remarks as "sarcastic." That is such a loathsome response. This young man should realize that certain words have consequences. He does now, once should hope.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:51 am | Reply
  67. SJErik

    JHL you are a simpleton. It wasn't a "threat". It was a joke in bad taste. Period.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:50 am | Reply
  68. Tyler

    He had no intent dimwit! Read the back story before you make comments that make you look like a fool!

    July 12, 2013 at 11:49 am | Reply
  69. bostontola

    You sound like the dimwit, J/K.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:47 am | Reply
  70. RYD

    I'm glad he spent 5 months in jail. I also wonder what an appropriate context is for his comment.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:47 am | Reply
  71. Patrick Harris

    “I just think that it got taken out of context and it’s been blown out of proportion,” Justin Carter says. Here is what he said....“shooting up a kindergarten class”

    what else could we have possible though you were talking about?????????????????????????? What exactly did we take out of context???????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    You should stay in jail as an example to all the other immature gun loving losers out there...

    July 12, 2013 at 11:44 am | Reply
  72. Mike

    These charges were likely filed by someone who is naive as to what goes on during almost every single teenage competitive video game session. Teen gamers make comments far, far worse than these alleged comments on a regular basis.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:44 am | Reply
  73. Andrew

    Listen.. first, with all the killings that we've seen in the news where the killer posts things like this on their facebook or other sources, even if this kid is joking, you cannot take the chance that it was. What this kid was irresponsible and not something to joke about and is insensitive to those who have lost kids and others in situations we've seen in the news. Being held all this time though seems like it took too long for the investigation, but we cannot feel sorry for someone who did not think before doing what he did. Again, things like this you cannot take chances anymore in this world and today's society. If he did actually go act on his "joke" and no one reported it, how would you feel if you thought it was a joke and it turned out he acted on it....think about that.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:44 am | Reply
  74. Resource

    It wasnt a threat, he just made a comment pretty much saying he wasnt going to do it but made it sarcastic. He shouldnt have made light of the situation but no reason for any of this. At the most, just suspend his account for a week or something, at the most, but none of this.

    This country now makes you be sensitive around every freaking person at punish you like this if you arent. Teach others to be less sensitive.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:43 am | Reply
    • Resource

      and punish*

      July 12, 2013 at 11:50 am | Reply
  75. hurray

    this is a travesty. especially when Travon Martin Supporters are threatening ACTUAL VIOLENCE openly and freely all over the net.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:43 am | Reply
  76. baldsarge

    He still doesn't get it. Seems like he still think nothing wrong with threat to children

    July 12, 2013 at 11:42 am | Reply
  77. NotYoDaddy

    And you think that we don't already live in a Police State?

    July 12, 2013 at 11:41 am | Reply
  78. Luek

    I am so tired of hearing about the medieval judicial system of the third world. Yes, the judiciary in less developed countries is atrocious. This outrage happened where???????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 12, 2013 at 11:41 am | Reply
  79. Awesome

    This story proves that there is no difference between China, Saudi Arabia, Iran and US when it comes to freedom of speech on the internet.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:40 am | Reply
  80. MrBo

    This case is beyond ridiculous. Knee-jerk reaction at its finest.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:39 am | Reply
  81. JHL

    Of course he's not going to admit intent. But, threats have consequences.

    Welcome to adulthood, dimwit.

    Now where's that game going on? Justin's rested, focused, and ready!

    Looks like the apple didn't fall too far from the tree, though.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:37 am | Reply
    • Chrissy

      The was no intent, there was no plan, the were no weapons, there wasn't a target ... Was it a stupid thing to say? Yes. Felony terrorism level thing? No. This whole thing is stupid, we in America have become cowards. It's true. All we want is someone to protect us from everything. We're willing to sell all the freedoms the nation was founded on – even the right to stupid speech – just so we can feel safer. That's cowardly.

      July 12, 2013 at 11:50 am | Reply
    • ZLUR

      A comment like that makes you the dimwit, sir/ma'am.

      July 12, 2013 at 11:51 am | Reply
    • Dimwit

      Jailing people for bad humor is one more step for America down a very dark road.

      July 12, 2013 at 11:55 am | Reply
    • Jameserizer

      The point is, it wasn't a threat; it was simply a sarcastic comment. The larger issue here is whether we are so afraid of the very idea of an assault on a school (or pick any threat, for that matter) that we suspend the first amendment to free speech and prosecute anyone to the fullest extent (come on: $5,000,000 bail, which would require $500,000 bond??) on the bases of an online post taken out of context and without any corroborating evidence supporting the validity of an actual threat? This is what totalitarianism is built on, certainly NOT "Land of the Free" foundations. This is right up there with expelling a 2nd grade boy for carving his PBJ sandwich into the crude shape of a gun, or a 2nd grade girl for bringing a squirt gun that shoots soap bubbles to school. We have crossed the Rubicon on insanity here, citizens...

      July 12, 2013 at 11:58 am | Reply
    • Specialplaces

      So I take it you are a proponent of him getting jailed? That's ludicrous... It's a slippery slope, my friend. This is a HUGE step in the direction of being arrested simply for SPEECH (which should be FREE with MINIMAL restriction). You know what eventually comes from this, especially since the NSA is watching our every word? All it takes is for a person to say, "I hope (personally despised politician) has a heart attack and is out of office." Then, you know what? You get arrested for threatening to poison a politician in an effort to give him a heart attack. It's INSANE and without even common sense. Was the boy stupid for his comment? Yes, no one is denying that. Should it be treated criminally simply because he SPOKE, with NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER to suggest he was threatening someone? NO.

      We as a country FOUGHT hard for our ability to speak freely. We FOUGHT for rights that today seem more like inconveniences to some people. In these times freedom seems more like a hassle to both government and a large amount of the population. We give up our personal rights to be free citizens more and more with each passing event like this one. And this one is especially atrocious because it's APPARENT and OBVIOUS that it was sarcastic and in jest. But the government no longer even cares. It's a disgrace to live amongst people who believe this kind of arrest is justifiable.

      July 12, 2013 at 11:58 am | Reply
    • DB

      Terrorism charges and $500K for saying something stupid on Facebook is preposterous, and you know it. Was this a credible threat? Of course not. You tell him "welcome to adulthood," but your own attitude about this is just downright childish. The fact that the law allows for these excessive charges doesn't make them right or reasonable in this case, and cackling about him learning a lesson is pathetic. He could have learned his lesson with a misdemeanor charge and some community service.

      July 12, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • jdoe

      Sure, and kids never say stupid things sometimes. Maybe we should build more jail to house anybody who blurt out something stupid. It's only taxpayer money.

      July 12, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • Educator of Morons

      This is a prime example of butthurt political correctness taken too far. The kid was investigated, his house was searched, NOTHING was found to indicate he planned to do anything, NOTHING was found to indicate his words in an online chatroom were anything more than words, and yet he was arrested and held for months. You assume there was intent, which is your opinion and you're welcome to it. It's also fair to assume there WASN'T intent as well, and if you can't see that, you're the dimwit.

      July 12, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Reply
    • WordsAre Trick

      Oh please, your mentality is what's wrong with the world today. He has already spent several months and slapped with a felony for an obvious sarcastic remark. I can think of better ways to use our courts and law enforcement.

      July 12, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Reply
    • ialsoagree

      Couldn't disagree more.

      This was not a threat by any legal definition. Arresting and detaining this person was a violation of their 1st amendment rights.

      July 12, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Reply
    • AMY

      Like you have never said anything sarcasitic you really did not mean? WOW you must be PERFECT, lol. Jailing him for facebook comment is stupid. They checked him out and did not find anything. I hope he makes the best of all this and knows how many people are behind him!

      July 12, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Reply
    • JJJ

      Nobody advocated that he shouldn't face any consequences nor be investigated for the threat. But it became pretty clear that it wasn't a real threat that posed any danger to anybody, so keeping him in jail on 500k bond is unlawful and just plain wrong. Not saying he wasn't a dimwit, but just because someone is dumb doesn't mean we should keep them in jail forever.

      July 12, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Reply
    • LM

      While I agree the comment should never have been made in the first place, a statement followed by "lol" and "jk" is not usually a threat.

      July 12, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Reply
    • MD

      Unfortunately, it sounds like you don't have any concept of how kids and teenagers interact online with each other. The various cliques they form in online interaction can be extremely virulent. It's a bunch of kids from 12 to 20 that are left to determine their own pecking order a la Lord of the Flies.

      I've seen enough of it close up that "shooting up a kindergarten" is honestly pretty tame compared to a lot of the other racist, hateful things they say to one another – but only online. It's an outlet for their own frustrations and insecurities and behind a computer they feel invincible. Brought into the light, these same kids tend to be embarrassed and scared if confronted.

      I'm not saying what this kid did was right, or smart. It was incredibly stupid and was in the wake of a national tragedy, and he tossed it into a public forum – one that does not lend to inflection of voice, at that – but it's very easy for anyone who has spent a few minutes watching the interactions of his peers in similar situations to agree that yes, he was being sarcastic or trash talking.

      This whole thing is ridiculous though – a stupid kid says and does a stupid thing and people are shocked and surprised? Please. Because everyone knows that teenagers on the whole are bastions of logic, reason, and well thought out actions. Everybody get your stones out and line up to be the first to throw on THAT issue.

      July 12, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Reply
    • Derek Jones

      Here is the thing, everyone is responsible for their own actions and you know what else? If he had a kid in a school and someone made a comment like that about the school his child attended or that person lived in his area and there was even a risk of it happening, he would be infuriated and worried for the safety of his child. This teens stupidity is not only amusing but also another example of how teenagers are and behave in todays society, I think he should learn from this and not continue to say it was not fair or right he got into trouble. And I personally think his parents should be investigated due to their obvious lack of parenting skills, I hope his parents are punishing him and not just saying exactly what he is saying.

      July 12, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    • Jake

      Of course threats have consequences. But in this case there was NO physical evidence that this kid was actually going to go through with his threat and there for should be protected by freedom of speech.

      Did they need to investigate his comment? Absolutely! But if there was no evidence of him planing to actually go through with his threats then the investigation should have been closed right there.

      Distasteful yes, a crime, I hardly thinks so.

      July 12, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Reply
    • getaclue69

      Its sad, really, that joking around is being oppressed and that every single statment anyone makes or types is now being taken literally. The context of his conversation has been blown out of proportion. Now we live in a police state. Whay did we waste so much time fighting for freedom to let this happen?

      July 12, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Reply
    • SMH

      There was no intent to admit to. In the US, even adults are allowed to say comments exactly like that without being prosecuted. Investigated? Certainly. Thrown in jail for 5 months on terrorist charges with a $500,000 bail without the civil servants meeting the minimum requirement of proof AND reasonable expectation to commit a crime? Nope.

      July 12, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Reply
    • Dante

      It wasn't a real threat though. Police should have interviewed him and seen that immediately. Absolutely no reason to traumatize him by putting him in jail. He will have mental issues for the rest of his life now.
      And if you disagree with my I will eat your beating heart!!! J/K LOL #dontarrestme

      July 12, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Reply
    • MrJ

      I guess we should just arrest every person that has ever made a sarcastic joke on the internet.

      July 12, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  82. amniculi

    So much for free speech...

    July 12, 2013 at 11:37 am | Reply
  83. TLORop

    Threats aren't jokes. If they didn't take all threats seriously the real threats wouldn't get stopped. If you make a terrorist threat you should expect to be treated like a terrorist.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:36 am | Reply
  84. Tracy

    As a parent and a teacher, I am floored again, at how teens are making horrible choices and posting threats and then claiming they were just stupid comments. At what point are we going to hold them accountable? Parents need to get a grip and quit making excuses for their kids. We give teens the ability to drive and the right to vote but they are so "stupid" that they do not realize that making jokes about shooting up schools, or jokes about bombing a truck are not ok?? I truly believe that you hold them accountable and punish them accordingly, maybe we can stop the flow of stupidity.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:35 am | Reply
  85. baldsarge

    The idiot says that he is going to blow up a classroom then now says " And you can get in trouble for something that’s not something you should get in trouble for". Anyone who thinks its OK to joke about or say they going to kill children is a nut case. he deserves what he got and more

    July 12, 2013 at 11:35 am | Reply
  86. Steve

    welcome to the united police states of america

    July 12, 2013 at 11:35 am | Reply
  87. mohamed

    this country has become full of cowards and sissys and the laws are the worst the country is a closet communist.free.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:31 am | Reply
  88. Brad

    This is one of the problems with taking things out of context. I wonder sometimes is the people who reacted negatively to his comment truly didn't understand the shock-value aspect of his comments, which fit perfectly well with that particular, rather large, youth-based, online community, or if they were playing dumb. Either way, this situation was completely unnecessary. It's a frightful day when online speech is being taken out of context and putting people in jail. I've read MUCH more shocking comments online than what this guy wrote.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:29 am | Reply
  89. GTStockReaper

    When the authorities flagrantly overuse/abuse the charge of "Terroristic Threats", it diminishes the spirit and purpose of the law. Common sense can no longer be used because everyone's trying to C.Y.A. I'm glad the police investigated, but once it was found that it wasn't a real threat then the whole thing should of been handled with a slap on the wrist like a few hours of community service. Now this kid is in a trial for a 10yr prison term?!? Ridiculous. The 9/11 victims are rolling over in their graves right now.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:28 am | Reply
  90. cdub2k

    I'm afraid to leave a comment about this topic as it might land me in jail.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:24 am | Reply
  91. Daddy2010

    Sad case.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:23 am | Reply
  92. jimmy

    He should be in jail, killing kids is no joke.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:20 am | Reply
  93. Steve

    Yes, making public comments like that should call for a police investigation and psych eval. But I think the "crime" warrants community service and maybe a small fine, definitely not 5+ months in jail. Like yelling fire in a theater.

    Of course, that's assuming that he didn't have a gun fetish and serious mental issues.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:18 am | Reply
  94. Amanda

    What's crazy is, if he wasn't joking and something actually happened, the public would go nuts saying "why didn't someone say something or do something about this??" All too often are the warning signs ignored. This boy was just made an example of. Maybe next time he'll think about what he writes. I hope his parents talk to him too. Who writes something like that? It's taken out of context....right.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:15 am | Reply
  95. Crazy Mexican

    This looks like a good kid. What a mess they made out of dumb comment When the government locks up good people, spies on the public, and yet fails to follow up on known suspected terrorists from Chechnya, you know there's no one sensible at the helm.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:13 am | Reply
  96. Matt

    Its Texas!! What else do you expect?! That place is worse than GA when it comes to being ass backwards. I hope this kid gets off and then counter-sues.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:12 am | Reply
  97. Frank

    I understand the sarcasm and the right to free speech but he's still an idiot for making those kinda comments in the first place given today's hightened state of alert we live in. Put a hoagie in your mouth next time and shut up because from the looks of it that's all you seem to like to do and that'll be the only thing that keeps you out of jail.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:12 am | Reply
  98. tanthonyS

    Well, this is certainly a teachable moment.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:12 am | Reply
  99. SJL

    I realize it was sarcasm, but that was a down right stupid thing to say considering what has happened this past year. It warranted a police visit maybe, not so sure about an arrest.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:08 am | Reply

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