Wednesday, July 03, 2013

First amendment does not protect sarcasm?

In the state of Texas, a 19-year-old man named Justin Carter sits in prison, ruthlessly stripped of his freedom for making an offensive joke. After a Facebook friend with whom he played video games described him as “crazy” and “messed up in the head,” Carter replied — sarcastically, one imagines —  “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 added “lol” and “jk” for good measure. For this he was arrested by Austin police, charged with making a “terroristic threat,” and thrown into prison. He may languish there until the start of the next decade.



told you so said...

the cold war was "fought" to end just such injustice. who, i wonder, will stand up for us? will the government be happy when we are all criminals not because of what we do but because of what we think or say?

Anonymous said...

While I can see the absurdity in this, I can also see the Austin Police being stuck with a question to ask - is this guy really serious or not? In just about all of the recent mass shooting incidents, it has always come out that the suspect was displaying signs of having mental/violent issues and that the local law enforcement “missed the warning signs.” I can easily see the Austin Police erroring on the side of safety and telling themselves that they will not be accused of missing the warning signs on this person.

Anonymous said...

"Political correctness is a far greater threat to our freedom and liberty than is terrorism..."

Brian from Rochester NY said...

Anonymous 1:40,

Your point is valid to a degree, but you forget that he has been in jail since March, no weapons were found in the home, they seized his computer and likely found no evidence of a violent pattern, so why are they still holding him?

This just strikes me as an overreaction on steroids.

Anonymous said...

The police don't decide how long someone stays in jail, the courts do. So the Austin Police have no control over how long this kid has been in jail

Brian from Rochester NY said...

5:28, if you had read my comment, I did not say that the police were holding him. I simply stated "they", meaning those in authority. Yes, I could have been more specific, but your reply only picks at my grammar, totally ignoring the point I was trying to make.

The government as a whole, in all of it's branches and duly sworn deputies (including, but not limited to, the courts, lawyers, police and politicians), has a duty to uphold the constitution where this is concerned.

Where is the reasoning for keeping him in jail for months? Where is the evidence that he deserves a bail set at $500,000 USD? What was found on his computer that reasonably determined him as a threat?

No actual crime was committed, little to no evidence was found (presumably), and no trial in nearly 5 months. These things should concern all American citizens, because this is not an isolated incident.

Anonymous said...

The use of a comma between 'still' and 'beating' renders it nonsensical.
A heart cannot be still and beating at the same time.
It can, however, be 'still beating' if it continues to beat after being ripped out...
As for the kid - if we are moving towards imprisonment for every stupid comment I want to start a prison construction company. I am open for investors.