On Monday, I posted an article about Justin Carter, an 19-year-old Texan
who became involved in an argument on Facebook over a League of Legends match
and is now languishing in jail. One of his comments was considered to be a
“Terroristic Threat” as by law enforcement officers as it referenced school
shootings. He has been incarcerated since 27th March this year.
As an update to this sad story; Justin’s parents spoke about the issue
in an interview with CNN yesterday. His father, Jack Carter, said of his son
depressed, he’s very scared...and he’s very concerned he’s not going to get
out. He’s pretty much lost all hope."
Justin is currently on suicide
watch and in solitary confinement.
His father acknowledged that his
son’s joke was in poor taste, but added that this case deserved the application
of more common sense.
"He’s a good kid.
He didn’t mean it. It was a joke, and he would never hurt anybody."
Justin’s bail has been set at half
a million dollars. He faces a sentence of 8 years in jail for a flippant,
albeit tactless, statement made as part of a disagreement about a game. If you
find this as absurd as I do, you can sign the official petition created by his
According to definitions.uslegal.com, current Texas law states
that a Terroristic Threat constitutes the following:
(a) A person commits an offense if he threatens to commit any offense
involving violence to any person or property with intent to:
Cause a reaction of any type to his threats by an official or
volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies;
Place any person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury;
Prevent or interrupt the occupation or use of a building; room; place of
assembly; place to which the public has access; place of employment or
occupation; aircraft, automobile, or other form of conveyance; or other public
Cause impairment or interruption of public communications, public
transportation, public water, gas, or power supply or other public service;
Place the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of serious
bodily injury; or influence the
conduct or activities of a branch or agency of the federal government, the
state, or a political subdivision of the state.
Justin’s parents have found legal representation for their son through a
local (to them) law firm who has said they will work pro bono.
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Please note that these are the views of the author and not MWEB (Pty) Ltd