Stupid Comments Should Not Result in Charges

Heard of Justin Carter? (See, e.g., http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/03/tech/social-media/facebook-teen-jail) Apparently, he made a stupid sarcastic comment attempting to joke about shooting up some kids and eating their hearts.  It isn’t a real threat against any identifiable person–it even contained an “lol j/k” disclaimer.  Yet, the constitutional schoars at the Comal County TX District Attorney’s office (http://www.co.comal.tx.us/cda/index.htm) have kept him in jail for four months, with bail at $500,000.  

Kudos to his attorney, though, for taking this case pro bono.  I can understand the police investigating, but that should have been the end of it.  No charges; no prosecution.  Don’t they realize they are practically setting themselves up for a huge civil suit?  (While they might enjoy individual immunity, the taxpayers who will have to cough up the judgment proceeds should kick out the DA).

If you care about free speech, you need to care about those whose speech offends you most.  

One Response to Stupid Comments Should Not Result in Charges

  1. “If you care about free speech, you need to care about those whose speech offends you most.” His speech doesn’t even approach the level of offense in my mind. The truly offensive thing here is he was turned in by some woman in Canada! Seriously, it was like she’d never been in the internet before. If that was the worst comment she could find she wasn’t looking too hard.

    Metafilter weighs in

    This is the URL in case html isn’t allowed: https://www.metafilter.com/129795/When-Facebook-posts-lead-to-prison

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