Justin CarterNEW BRAUNFELS, TX – A teen in Texas was charged with making terroristic threats after he made a joke on Facebook regarding shooting schoolkids and eating their hearts.

Back in February, 18-year-old Justin Carter was on Facebook arguing with someone after a game of League of Legends, an online multiplayer game. After the other person called Justin insane, 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 then followed that with “lol” and “jk”.

Unfortunately for Justin, a woman in Canada saw the post and was not amused. After doing a search on Justin and seeing that he lived close to an elementary school, she contacted police. The next month, Justin was arrested and charged with making a terroristic threat. He’s been in jail since March 27 and is now facing a possible eight years in prison if convicted.

Justin’s father is trying to make people aware of what his son is going through while also hoping it serves as a warning to others.

“If I can just help one person to understand that social media is not a playground, that when you go out there into social media, when you use Facebook, when you use Twitter, when you go out there and make comments on news articles, and the things you are saying can and will be used against you,” added Jack Carter.

They also want to see anti-terrorism laws changed, and they present a very valid argument. In a petition started by Justin’s family, they state:

“Justin Carter was arrested on February 14, 2013 for a statement that he made on Facebook. He was not questioned by the police until March 13th, 2013. His home was not searched until a week after his questioning. The only item seized from his home was his personal computer. No weapons of any kind were seized. If he had posed a real terroristic threat, shouldn’t the police have questioned and searched his home sooner than a month after an arrest? The 1969 Supreme Court case, Brandenburg v. Ohio, sets precedent for law enforcement to infringe freedom of speech when the speech shows potential for the law to be broken. The speech must provoke the law, and be both “imminent and likely.” Why is this boy still in jail when no case has been made for an imminent or likely threat? It would appear that he is in jail for doing no more than exercising his right to freedom of speech. Please do your own investigation. Please consider releasing Justin Carter, changing the law of what constitutes a terroristic threat, and changing what the criteria for investigating these crimes should be.”

I understand people are hyper-sensitive in regards to threats made online, especially when the threat involves the shooting of schoolkids. But it just seems crazy that this kid has been sitting in jail for this long for the comment he made, especially when considering the context in which it was made.

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