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After 5 years the League of Legends Facebook 'terrorist' Justin Carter is getting a trial

Justin Carter.jpg

Justin Carter is the name every gamer should never forget. The 18-year old male from Austin, Texas was jailed in March 2013 for making a Facebook comment that some random stranger thought marked him as a terrorist. Carter has spent the past five years under house arrest and was forced to live with his grandparents because he was perceived by the court as a threat to his siblings.

In case you don't remember, here's what happened. Carter got involved in a Facebook comment with a random stranger after a League of Legends match. It's not Carter's comment per se that got the attention of the authorities, but the when. A few months earlier (in December 2012) the Massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut happened where a 20-year old male shot 20 children and six staff members. It had no relation whatsoever to Carter, and to this day the investigation hasn't turned up any evidence to suggest that Carter had any other intention than making a comment in extremely bad taste.

“Someone had said something to the effect of 'Oh you're insane, you're crazy, you're messed up in the head,’ to which 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,’ and the next two lines were lol and jk."  explained Carter's father in a statement.

Now 21, Carter is finally getting his day in court. The Carter case is important for many reasons; it was one of the first incidents that showed that what you say online can have very serious legal consequences. We argued that the Carter case has been used to set a precedent for what the courts considered as a threat of crime. Remember, no crime was ever committed by Carter. He was also abused in jail, ruined his future, and became estranged from his siblings and friends. The emotional and financial cost to his family has changed their lives forever.

We've talked a lot about Carter's case on GameZone, and if you're a frequent reader, then you know we take a very firm stance on things like online harassment - but in Carter's case, things have gone too far. The punishment doesn't fit the crime; there was no crime. As I've stated before - yes he was an idiot and yes, his comment did deserve some kind of repercussion - but not this.

On February 20 Carter's fate will be decided in the New Braunfels OLD Courthouse.

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