This Teenager Is Facing 8 Years In Prison For Making A School Shooting Joke On Facebook

Justin Carter’s mom says the joke was in bad taste. But he “wouldn’t hurt anyone, let alone a child.” She said the teen has been assaulted numerous times in jail.

1. Carter’s family has created a petition on Change.org in an effort to get their son freed.

In it they speak about the incident that led to Carter’s arrest. An argument on the website for the League of Legends video game spilled onto a Facebook page where someone “called him crazy or messed up in the head.”

2. His mom explained:

So he responded in a sarcastic tone by saying something along the lines of ‘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’ which was followed by saying JK (just kidding) and LOL (laughing out loud). His response may have been in bad taste, but it was written in a non-threatening way that didn’t translate well online. None of his friends or family would even question his intention as anything other than a poor choice of words.

3. According to CNN, court documents revealed a more graphic comment by Carter.

Beck Diefenbach / Reuters

He wrote, “I’m f—-ed in the head alright. I think I’ma (sic) shoot up a kindergarten and watch the blood of the innocent rain down and eat the beating heart of one of them.”

According to The Stream, authorities were quick to act on one woman’s report of the comment, because of the sensitivity after the Sandy Hook shooting.

Still, his parents say Carter has endured assault in jail and fear for him because he could face up to eight years in prison. He is also on suicide watch and doesn’t believe he’s going to make it out, CNN reports.

4. A #FreeJustinCarter hashtag on Twitter is demanding his release.


Chris Siciliano

@CSicilz

#freeJustinCarter what he did was dumb and immature, but nothing that he should serve time for #overreaction

#FreeJustinCarter, cuz if a 19yrolds crude joke allows govt 2break dwn his door & imprison him, who's next? #tcot #p2 http://t.co/CQ5HTzYTZk

— Shaughn (@Shaughn_A)

Shaughn

@Shaughn_A

#FreeJustinCarter, cuz if a 19yrolds crude joke allows govt 2break dwn his door & imprison him, who’s next? #tcot #p2
http://t.co/CQ5HTzYTZk

19yr old in jail for an outlandish lol Facebook Comment. Could face a Felony in Texas..Really? #commonsense #FreeJustinCarter *retweet*

— Erik Barnett (@Erik_Barnett)

Erik Barnett

@Erik_Barnett

19yr old in jail for an outlandish lol Facebook Comment. Could face a Felony in Texas..Really? #commonsense #FreeJustinCarter *retweet*

#FreeJustinCarter His stupid, adolescent post may have warranted a harsh warning from authorities but not jail time. PC America gone mad.

— George Gamard (@GeorgeGamard)

George Gamard

@GeorgeGamard

#FreeJustinCarter His stupid, adolescent post may have warranted a harsh warning from authorities but not jail time. PC America gone mad.

Go out there and catch real criminals instead of jailing kids for 8 years for being sarcastic on a video game. #FreeJustinCarter

— Nintendildo (@MotherFan_)

Nintendildo

@MotherFan_

Go out there and catch real criminals instead of jailing kids for 8 years for being sarcastic on a video game. #FreeJustinCarter

10. Carter’s parents have been unable to get him out of jail because they can not afford the steep $500,000 bail. According to National Review, Carter’s judge has a history of overreaction:

The State Commission on Judicial Conduct has issued a private reprimand to District Judge Jack Robison for improperly jailing a Caldwell County grandfather after a restroom confrontation in 2009.

The reprimand, the commission’s harshest form of rebuke, said Robison “exceeded the scope of his authority and failed to comply with the law” by jailing Don Bandelman for contempt of court without a hearing or advance notice of the charge.

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Adrian Carrasquillo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Adrian Carrasquillo at adrian.c@buzzfeed.com.
 
 

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