Jailed for a Facebook Comment

4 years ago

Justin Carter, 19 years old, is in jail for a Facebook comment.

It wasn't just any Facebook comment. In a heated discussion about a video game, the teenager was called insane and then 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.

In a world where people actually do enter elementary schools and shoot children, are police over the line holding a teen in jail who makes a statement like this online?  His parents believe that their son should be released since he clearly doesn't have the ability to carry out that statement due to a lack of weapons, and his father ends the CNN piece by imploring the police to use common sense.

But common sense also dictates that we take steps to protect the public.  We're a jittery nation, for good reason.  We've seen terrible things happen when we've seen warning signs in people and haven't acted on getting them -- or the public -- the help both need. 

Should a 19 year old, who should know better than to make statements like that online, be let out of jail just because they say they didn't mean it?

What do you think about the Justin Carter case?

If nothing else, this is the moment to show this article to your teenager and remind them that anything they say online will be taken seriously by authorities.

Image: Miss_Millions via Flickr

Melissa writes Stirrup Queens and Lost and Found. Her novel about blogging is Life from Scratch.

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