Justin Carter, Another Victim Of US Prosecutorial Overreach

It was a stupid thing to post, made clearly in jest and in the heat of the moment.  And now it may cost him his life.

Back in February, then-18-year-old Justin Carter was on Facebook with a pal having an argument with a stranger over an online video game.  After the stranger noted that he was a bit off, a darkly sarcastic Carter wrote the following in reply:

“I’m fucked 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.”

He ended the comment with “LOL jk”.

Unfortunately, the story doesn’t end there.  A Canadian woman somehow spotted this, did some online research and learned that Carter lives near a elementary school.  She alerted the authorities.  A search warrant was granted.

On Valentine’s Day, Carter was arrested at his workplace for making a “terroristic threat” and remains in custody to this day.  Bail bond was originally set at $250000, then bumped up to half a million dollars.  Although his family only has to pay 10% of that to have him released, they can’t even afford to pay the $50000 to take him back home.

But now the story has taken a more sinister turn.  According to this, the Texas teen, who celebrated his 19th birthday in jail, is on suicide watch as he depressingly fears he will be convicted and imprisoned for a decade, all because of a dumb Facebook comment.

It’s bad enough that the unidentified Canadian woman and the Texas authorities don’t understand that “lol” means “laughing out loud” and “jk” means “just kidding” (absurdly, they dispute these were even found in the original posting), extremely common Internet chat abbreviations.  It’s even worse that through their investigation they found absolutely no weapons or any evidence he was planning a legitimate massacre.

All they did find was a typical dopey teenager with a sick sense of humour.  Not exactly public enemy number one and not a good enough reason to put someone away.  Whether you like it or not, his posted comment is constitutionally protected free speech.

But with renewed interest in gun massacres post-Sandy Hook, once again common sense has been replaced by mass hysteria.  And according to this, Carter isn’t the only victim of that unfortunate hysteria.

For those who still think America believes in the First Amendment, this story will strongly challenge your convictions.  At the heart of it is an increasingly paranoid police state eager to lock up anyone even remotely considered subversive for ridiculously long periods of time.  Just ask Bradley Manning.  Or Aaron Swartz, for that matter.  (Oh, right.  He’s dead.)  And for what?  To make everyone in the country feel safer?  To possibly help the private prison industry make more money by housing more inmates?  Or maybe to exterminate free speech & dissent once and for all?

Regardless, after four and a half months behind bars, surely Carter has been thoroughly punished enough for something he never should’ve been arrested for in the first place.  But no, that’s not good enough for the authorities.  To add insult to injury, they offered him a Omar Khadr-style plea deal:  admit culpability and your sentence will only be eight years, rather than the maximum ten.  How awfully generous of them.  Carter has understandably rejected that disrespectful gesture.

Honestly, what has happened to the justice system in America?  We have a President who has ordered the murders of countless people without any evidence of wrongdoing, who doesn’t recognize previously exonerated but still incarcerated Gitmo detainees as “persons” and tortures them on a daily basis against their will, who harshly prosecutes honourable whistleblowers who expose the crimes of his administration and who thinks that spying on everyone in the entire world in the name of “national security” is perfectly reasonable.

We have an economic community that systematically screwed people out of their hard-earned money and their living spaces.  And we have a media culture that thoroughly kisses the asses of these powerful, institutional elites who are able to get away with any number of these crimes because these overpaid blow job “journalists” don’t believe it’s their job to hold them to account.

How many days in jail have Obama and Wall Street spent for committing their horrible acts?  A combined zero.

But not to worry, everyone.  The harmless dumb guy who made a tasteless joke is facing “justice”, a full decade’s worth.

Happy fourth of July, America!

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, July 4, 2013
10:29 p.m.

UPDATE:  A very kind human being paid Carter’s bail, so thankfully he won’t be beaten up and put in solitary confinement any longer.  Now if only the prosecution would drop this incredibly cruel case and let the kid be.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, July 13, 2013
4:58 p.m.

Published in: on July 4, 2013 at 10:29 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] The unfair prosecution of Justin Carter.  Drop it already.  He’s been punished […]

  2. […] We’ll also be awaiting the fate of Justin Carter, a silly teenager who made a terribly unfunny Facebook comment and is facing serious criminal charges for it.  After a recent defense motion to dismiss the case was rejected, Carter, who, thanks to the kindness of an anonymous stranger is out on bail, is not yet out of the woods.  I wrote about his unfair dilemma in July. […]

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