The Facebook Comment That Ruined a Life

Justin Carter's violent threat on Facebook lands him in jail, and limbo.

Flanary is adamant that the case has been handled in just that way.

"The way that the criminal justice system is supposed to work and was envisioned by our founding fathers is: First you prove the crime, then you get the punishment," he says. "That's clearly how it's supposed to work. But now, in Justin's case, [it's] 'Let's do the punishment first and then we'll see if we can prove the crime later.' The damage has been done. And I suspect they know the damage has been done. I suspect that maybe one of the reasons they're holding on so hard is because they fear a lawsuit."

Flanary says that, as the father of two kids in elementary school, he understands why Austin police wanted to follow up on the tip from Canada. But, he says, police questioning should have revealed a somewhat dorky kid who wrote something dumb and offensive, not a kid bent on mass murder.

Prosecutors have failed to produce the entire thread containing Carter’s alleged threat, according to his attorney, Don Flanary.
Prosecutors have failed to produce the entire thread containing Carter’s alleged threat, according to his attorney, Don Flanary.
Attorney Don Flanary of San Antonio says Justin Carter was coerced into confessing something that wasn’t even a crime.
Josh Huskin
Attorney Don Flanary of San Antonio says Justin Carter was coerced into confessing something that wasn’t even a crime.

"If they're spending their time chasing around people like Justin Carter, I hope they're not missing the real dangers to society, the real school shooters," Flanary says. "There's only a finite number of police, and if they're chasing around guys who are being mean on Facebook, where are the ones fighting crime?"

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297 comments
citydweller78
citydweller78

"I suspect that maybe one of the reasons they're holding on so hard is because they fear a lawsuit."

Bet your boots that is true and they should be sued out of existence. I  hope they arrest me for this impolite comment. 

What happened to the boy is unforgivable. The prosecutor is a real dirt-bag!

Sad truth there are to many like her.

martin192
martin192

This is all about men's alleged right not to be have their threats taken at face value.

I don't have to look very far to imagine what similarly moving story the Dallas Observer would have written if Hannah's warning had not been heeded and Carter had indeed gone and shot up a school -- as young alienated self-centered white males with a "dark streak" tend to do.

LCMG
LCMG

If it is a terrorism charge then the law assumes you are guilty until proven innocent. Welcome to the legal reality that average Muslims face in America... 

miasosa_1979
miasosa_1979

Thats terribly wrong what he has said, but can someone please explain to me why this youngster is being prosecuted for posting something so hate full on social media, the new black panther can stand out in public and talk about killing white people/crackas and their babies is being overlooked and not considered a act of terrorism or racial hate. Kill the Crackers, Kill them all: http://youtu.be/DDb2byj74oY

black panther kill some crackers.flv: http://youtu.be/hVcfymOvoUo

ugglybabee
ugglybabee

What we have now is some prosecutor who is dumber than a box of dirt and willing to go to take any moral detour to avoid owning up to his mistake.  Prosecutors will kill people to avoid admitting a mistake. 

therax
therax

This isn't just the local police this is the NSA and the architecture of oppression that is being built and rammed down the throats of the American people. We are currently living in a Stasi like tyranny and the worst and most visible cases of this going on are happening right now in the state of Texas.

nonojoeyno
nonojoeyno

the government is using stories like this to take away our freedoms... and everyone is supporting it, purchasing stock in it, and raising a family in it. pretty soon theyre gonna take up a third mortgage on bullshit.
and theyll get taxed too.

jaded.maggi
jaded.maggi

When we see news of school shootings we all say, "Why did no one step in and do something about this clearly unhinged person before they went off the deep end?".

Now though, we're seeing a person who has made threats of violence and he also has several of the markers of past school shooters: He's clearly depressed, possibly bipolar, he's been bullied, he's an outcast, he's made threats before and had a restraining order taken out on him, he has suicidal ideations and he fantasises about being a hero and being loved.

The boy doesn't need to be in jail, he needs help from a mental health professional to cope with the depression or whatever mental illness he's suffering from.

gordonhilgers
gordonhilgers

You know something?  I have been thinking about making this comment for many years, yet now I have decided now is the best time ever to have my say: 

I have long realized that I, Gordon Hilgers, indeed could have a happy life, a prosperous life, a nice wife, plenty of happy children...

...if I could only get the HP/UP chicken-head girlie-boy's auxiliary Adolph Hitler plastic Jesus manufacturing prostitution machine off my behind. 

Actually, there is enough blood and bone marrow--ripe for the taking!--right inside Parkland Hospital if those goobermenches wanna try this trick again. 

HULLABALOOYA over genes. 

I hope Dallas--HP/UP slaves for Confederate Jebus--is unhappy for many years into the future.  


Thanks a lot, Dallas white coons!  "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!" 

charlie.ingram
charlie.ingram

This is about the stupidest thing I've heard. We have now officially gone off the deep end in overreacting to what people rant on the internet. We need a serious attitude adjustment with regard to separating words from actions. This is not screaming "Fire" in a crowded theater or actually threatening to do bodily harm. This is howling at the moon and damning all the things that frustrate you. If you have not done that at some point in your life, you are officially dead. 


This act breaches the point of having "Thought Police" and criminalizing fantasy and free speech and goes way past "1984" and "Minority Report". Let this kid out. We have done him a grave injustice and any Public Prosecutor who does anything but release him without prejudice is abusing their position and should be removed from office. Or alternatively. maybe blown up and fed to wolves... 


Let's see what reaction that gets. Awooooooooo! 


Stupid people in positions of authority are becoming way too common. Let's try a little common sense for a change.

jeffwalker007
jeffwalker007

Watch and learn: This kid has pissed off some people, and they are gunning for him.


TERRORISTIC THREAT. (a) A person commits an offense if he threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to;


Define Intent: the thing that you plan to do or achieve : an aim or purpose.



There was no intent, therefore no crime. This is clearly a 1st amendment violation. Anything else is arguable. This case lacks in evidence and lack in intent. It is futile to try to prove anything else or that there was intent to hurt anyone.  So let the kid go, and let Ronald Miller from Celina go as well.

The only evidence in this case is a facebook message and nothing else.





JustSaying
JustSaying

I learned a long time ago that jokes, particularly the ones of particularly poor taste, do not translate well when typed out. Sounds like this kid is paying the ultimate price for having a fucked up sense of humor. If anything, this kid is only guilty of not understanding his audience.


jwoop66
jwoop66

POST THE NAMES OF EVERY INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INCARCERATION OF THIS KID!


JUDGES. LAWYERS. COPS.    ALL OF THEM

BigSky1970
BigSky1970

Shades of MINORITY REPORT and "precrime".

MissMacy
MissMacy

What an absolute idiot. There's an entire generation that has no idea what it means to edit themselves or keep their stupid mouths shut.

ginger4v
ginger4v

He most def has mental issues. Does he deserve to stay in jail? No. He will be a richer idiot after this. As for that idiot in CA, I say worry about CA!

drobbs
drobbs

Reading Texas penal code 22.7, it's obvious that in order to qualify for anything, Justin's threat should have been specific, he had to intend to cause panic, fear, evacuation etc. of that specific school. The small article "a" he used in his sentence, such as in "a school" ruins all that completely. Without naming the specific target, it can't be terrorist threat. The conclusion that "a school" must be the school he lives closest to, should be laughed out in any sane court.


But even if he named _the_ specific school, which he did not, he had to make that threat known to the people related to that school, in order to cause the actions specified in the law. He did not.

nightcast347
nightcast347

Does he have a criminal record or a violent history? No he doesn't. Maybe he was feeling depressed at the time. He is a victim here and the people responsible for his hardship will pay. Karma will eat your souls. Buddha would be on his side at this time. Free Mr. Carter or else you will pay. Karma is coming for everyone involved.

nightcast347
nightcast347

I hope the system gets sued out of this one. Poor guy, this is way to harse if you ask me. That is the craziest thing I have read about in a while. I guess there is no such thing as freedom of speech. 

zellousone
zellousone

Every such case should list the contact info for all of those involved in the decision process so they begin to feel some heat politically.    

zellousone
zellousone

He is a poor nobody working at a drapery store.   If his name was Suckerberg or Bieber or Lohan he could say and do anything and never be touched.  

This is how our corrupt system of injustice now works,  where the serfs have become fodder for prosecutors and private prisons while the elites do what they want,  steal trillions and laugh all the way to the bank.  

paulpsycho78
paulpsycho78

we have 5% of the worlds population and 23.4% of the worlds prison system population..is this any surprise..go down to the courthouse and observe a day of court.  this shit happens 24/7

quadibloc1
quadibloc1

A sexual assault happened? This level of negligence on the part of Texas authorities escalates the matter into another plane entirely. They now should face charges of crimes against humanity, since sexual assault is a form of torture.

rockyboyy
rockyboyy

What is the point of making an example of one kid? I have read  a thousand comments worse than the ones he mentioned, and none of which I believe have any sincerity behind them. Why waste so much time and resources on one dumb kid? Give him a fine if you want to punish him. Scare him shitless. Deny him from internet access from anywhere he lives. I don't know, but jail time? 

This is wrong. He will go in a scared kid, and come out someone else. Over nothing. Shit like this is what disgusts me about the 'justice' system.

http://tieudunghay.com/threads/phai-lam-gi-khi-tv-lcd-bi-nhieu-mo.24421/

http://www.1nhap.vn/threads/10107-Bi-kip-ban-hang-online-hieu-qua

http://suckhoe123.com/index.php?forums/t%C6%AF-v%E1%BA%A4n-h%E1%BB%8Ei-%C4%90%C3%81p-s%E1%BB%A8c-kho%E1%BA%BA.22/


richardLB
richardLB

Without the Facebook thread, how can they possibly validate the authenticity of the photo? C'mon now.. With 10 minutes and a basic shot of a Facebook page, it would be very easy to alter a photo to put words in someone's mouth.

Welcome to TexASS, the most backwards state of the union.

jj77019
jj77019

@miasosa_1979 what does THIS have to do with Justin??  You've basically said; we should not be worried about white kids who make death threats but rather we should focus on the scary black man.  The two men said the SAME THING you racist bitch.  Seriously.  I had a bit of sympathy for the kid until you came here with god knows what type of mental gymnastics and post something about an alleged "black panther" to absolve the white kid of his failings.  GTFOH.

downtown21
downtown21

@miasosa_1979 Would you like to ask a real question or do you want to scream about how much you hate the Black Panthers?

quenificent
quenificent

@miasosa_1979 The answer is simple but in truth may not make much sense. The young man made a direct threat to shoot a specific target where as the Black Panther made threats that were a bit vague and as silly as it may seem, are protected under the "Bill of Right" as sick as that may seem. He was careful not to cross the LEGAL THRESHOLD of what would constitute a Terrorist threat. I don't agree with the premise I'm just explaining what it the unfortunate reality

quenificent
quenificent

@miasosa_1979 The answer is simple but in truth may not make much sense. The young man made a direct threat to shoot a specific target where as the Black Panther made threats that were a bit vague and as silly as it may seem, are protected under the "Bill of Right" as sick as that may seem. He was careful not to cross the LEGAL THRESHOLD of what would constitute a Terrorist threat. I don't agree with the premise I'm just explaining what it the unfortunate reality.     

downtown21
downtown21

@ugglybabee You should give them more credit that you are.

I can assure you the prosecutor knows EXACTLY what they're doing, and they know it's wrong. They just don't care, because the only thing prosecutors care about is locking up as many people as possible for as long as possible.

You think a District Attorney gets themselves reelected by bragging about all the people they set free? You think that flies in TEXAS? We're talking about a state where the Governor intentionally let an innocent man be executed for a crime that NEVER EVEN HAPPENED and then blamed the resulting controversy on Jews.

dfwenigma
dfwenigma

@nonojoeyno The government is not taking away your freedoms. What the government is doing is protecting itself from whack jobs that might repeat the types of activity we're seeing today - extreme violence in public places. This young man unfortunately decided to use free speech in a manner akin to yelling fire in a crowded theater. In Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) SCOTUS overturned a the 1917 Schenck case that allowed a man to shout "fire" in a crowded theater. Opining harm to school children without other corroborating intent creates the case which will now ebb its way through the court. The question is whether Brandenburg holds in the instant case. Were the young man's First Amendment Rights usurped by the states reasonable attempts to protect the lives of the innocent? When I was a child you could say what you wished to a child and anything else was considered simply bad manners or something to be settled between parent and child or parent and parent. I am personally aware of a case where a young man called a girl a "hure" - he had no idea what a whore was albeit his middle school age. The girls had been egging he and his friends on - they had said far worse to them - yet the young man ended up with a black mark on his otherwise pristine record. This eighteen year old faces far more serious consequences largely because someone used the law - and convinced local authorities to do the same - to get back at him. He is not innocent in this venture. He said angry, unintended things that could be perceived as "terroristic" in nature. I loath the modern term terrorism because I think the use of the term is dangerous and imprecise. Social media allow expression of free speech in a manner different then the Founders could have envisioned. The immediacy coupled with bad manners allows people to say and do things that are extremely unhealthy for our society.

Markus
Markus

@jaded.maggi  The comments you've made suggest that you are personally involved with this story. Do you know this kid personally? "He's clearly depressed, possibly bipolar, he's been bullied, he's an outcast, he's made threats before and had a restraining order taken out on him, he has suicidal ideations and he fantasises about being a hero and being loved." Those are a great deal of assertions without any proof what so ever. This article stated nothing about any of that with the exception of having a restraining order two years prior, and it does not state what the order was for.  This kid broke no laws. He did not display any actions that would be considered out of the ordinary for any teenager. His statement was meant to provoke an shock and awe reaction as indicated by the verbiage used. I am a psychologist with a several degrees from a Major D-I University and sir you have no idea what you are talking about.

gordonhilgers
gordonhilgers

I am not particularly angry at the dim-bulb, limp-wristed fools for trying that little rabbit trick. 

All that wasted time and talent.  For what?  I cannot help but continue to ask: 

For what?  So the white coons of Highland Park can get "their negro" back? 

That's a laugh.  My family and many Black citizens across the South practically invented the Civil Rights movement. 

Why'd you do it?  Fix this.  Now. 

GatoCat
GatoCat

@quadibloc1  You've never been in jail, have you. 17 guys in a cell meant for 10.  Guards come around three times a day, when meals are delivered. Assaults, both sexual and simply violent, are very common. Nobody cares.

stk34
stk34

@rockyboyy  said: "I have read  a thousand comments worse than the ones he mentioned"

No doubt, for anyone even cursory familiar with inet forum culture, the sarcastic tone of the comment in question is 101% obvious. Problem is, the people who charged the kid, don't belong to that group. Plus, I suspect, English is not their native language, so they don't see much difference between "yeah, sure, I will go and shoot a school" and "tomorrow I will shoot the school on my street". 

drobbs
drobbs

@richardLB  according to the article, he confessed that he posted it.

chrisirwindavis
chrisirwindavis

"Without the Facebook thread, how can they possibly validate the authenticity of the photo?"

They couldn't. That's why they tricked him into admitting it was his post without his lawyer present – as mentioned in the article.

scottie1620
scottie1620

@richardLB  Actually, there are quite a few states that are far more backward than Texas. Ever been to Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Kansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Iowa? Any of those places makes Texas look like an advanced civilization, though I do agree with your sentiments about Texas being all too happy to support the commercial prison industry and the political aspirations of Neanderthal prosecutors and cops that give birth to that industry.

iamjensational
iamjensational

@quenificent @miasosa_1979 - the Bill of Rights is anything but sick, it's a perfect protection of our rights given by God.  Free speech is a two way street and that's the most wonderful thing about it.  You can say anything you wish to say against anyone or anything.  The 1st amendment is a great way for people to also figure out there are consequences to the things that come out of your mouth so be prepared to accept them and pay them when you mouth off too much.  One day, when  you no longer have this Bill of Rights, you will see the error of your judgement of them but then it will be too late and your head will be gone.  ;-)  Protecting that Bill of Rights is extremely important.

downtown21
downtown21

@dfwenigma @nonojoeyno Oh for God's sake will you LISTEN TO YOURSELF?


He didn't shoot up a school. He wasn't planning to shoot up a school. He didn't even have the MEANS to shoot up a school. He was NEVER going to shoot up a school, that was obvious to the police and prosecutors, and it's an act of utter insanity to prosecute him as if he was intending to do that. And you know it. You sound like a coward defending this prosecution. A real coward.


There's nothing wrong with INVESTIGATING when someone sends in a tip like "I don't know if he's serious but this guy said something about shooting up a school." But when the investigation turns up NO EVIDENCE of any plot to do that, you don't pile on charges against a teenager FOR SAYING SOMETHING STUPID ON THE INTERNET. If his only transgression was scaring people by saying something stupid without thinking first (something teenagers do all the time), you give him a slap on the wrist to make it clear to him that he must never ever ever do that again and you move on. You don't send some kid THAT WAS NEVER A THREAT TO ANYBODY away for ten years, or even two years. He's not a bad person, he just did something stupid and it doesn't serve the interests of society to lock him up.


You disgust me, hiding behind statutes and court rulings to justify something that you know is morally wrong. Just because the prosecutors technically have the authority to do this doesn't mean they should!

iamjensational
iamjensational

@dfwenigma @nonojoeyno  - No, the government IS taking away our freedoms.  The NSA and TSA, alone, are both violations of our 4th amendment and that's just the tip of the iceberg.  The govt is supposed to protect our rights, not violate them.  Might want to take a look at some of the executive orders (also illegal) being passed lately.  HUGE violation of our rights and the constitution!


ugglybabee
ugglybabee

@dfwenigma @nonojoeyno

 It's not really imprecise.  I happened to find the Texas statute regarding "Terroristic Threats", and it's very precise, but I'm having a hard time believing that whoever decided to prosecute this kid had actually read this.  It's just as clear as mud that this doesn't apply.

(a) A person commits an offense if he threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to:

  1. cause a reaction of any type to his threat[s] by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies;
  2. place any person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury;
  3. 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 place;
  4. cause impairment or interruption of public communications, public transportation, public water, gas, or power supply or other public service;
  5. place the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of serious bodily injury; or
  6. influence the conduct or activities of a branch or agency of the federal government, the state, or a political subdivision of the state.

msbcez
msbcez

@dfwenigma @nonojoeyno Protection instead of abuse of power, would have been too put him into a mental institution for the obvious therapy he needs.  Not a jail to be raped, and probably come out more resentful against society than he was to begin with.  Way to be naive. But hey all the power words, and overly analytical droning on really made you sound intelligent so props!

jParnell8839
jParnell8839

@Markus @jaded.maggi 

Did you even read the article in its entirety? If so, you're doing your "several degrees in psychology" a grave injustice.

Here's some copy-paste for you...

"He's clearly depressed..."    -    "In January 2011 he wrote, "Noone likes me, I have no friends. I'm ugly, I'm annoying. The only good aspect is im smart."

"...
he's been bullied, he's an outcast, ..."   -   "Too smart. Soo smart it borthers people. They think im crazy im not christian another strike against me. Im weird. Noone likes the weird random kid [sic].""

"...he's made threats before and had a restraining order taken out on him..."   -   "The big red flag is his reference to a temporary restraining order a high school ex-girlfriend obtained against him in October 2011."

"...he has suicidal ideations..."   -   "In April he wrote, "Suicide. Yea. Im thinking about it, wish I had bigger balls. Id fucking kill my self RIGHT NOW, but no im a pussy I hate my self [sic]." This was followed a day later with "kill self," which drew concern from his mother."

"...he fantasises about being a hero and being loved..."   -   "...and wrote a zombie-apocalypse story in which he alternately protects "New Austin" from the cannibalistic walking dead and gets laid like a champ..."

The only thing that may be a stretch is the "bipolar" statement. Given the evidence that has been given only by this article, I think that  @jaded.maggi  is completely within bounds to comment (on this article) his opinions, and that he indeed does (unlike you) know what he's talking about.

And, if you'd read the article you'd know this, the reason for the restraining order was in fact given: "The big red flag is his reference to a temporary restraining order a high school ex-girlfriend obtained against him in October 2011. The ex, who asked not to be named, says that when she told him she wanted to end things after two weeks with him, Carter's behavior scared her. She says he talked about hurting himself — and her. "At first I thought he was just playing," she says. "I blew it off." But then, she says, "He started threatening me, saying that he would kill me. ... I told the school officers, [and] they started watching him really closely. He would say that he would shoot up the school." She also accused him of stalking her."

As well, your claim of "The kid broke no laws" is completely invalid as well. terroristic threat is defined as a declaration of intent to commit a crime of violence against another with the intent of threatening a person, building, facility, or public or private habitat. I'd say "I think I'ma SHOOT UP A KINDERGARTEN" falls under that definition, wouldn't you?

I highly suggest that before telling somebody they have no idea what they're talking about, you read the entire context that is provided. You make yourself look particularly ignorant when you don't.

gordonhilgers
gordonhilgers

Stupid, white, hairless monkeys do the darnedest things,don't they? 

Koko the Gorilla knows 350 words--maybe more.  The white coons of HP/UP know one: 

HATE. 

gumby1157
gumby1157

@chrisirwindavis Exactly. Which is why it's important to NEVER talk to the cops, because they WILL use it against you.

Pissed_off_Iowan
Pissed_off_Iowan

@scottie1620 @richardLB  


Most of those states maybe, but Iowa? Iowa has gay marriage, and is full of reasonable, pragmatic people for the most part. Take your great state back to 1846, we'll take the blacks that run away. 

dfwenigma
dfwenigma

@msbcez @dfwenigma @nonojoeyno  Hey your analysis and response is ...well lacking. But that's OK one liners work well - on CNN and especially Fox News - so people are well attuned to your views. Heaven forbid we engage in any kind of discourse. And heaven forbid you actually spend two minutes of time to do what I did - think - and research and then write. I know it's too much work - and it doesn't sound as cute either does it?

ugglybabee
ugglybabee

@jParnell8839 

NO, I WOULDN'T, YOU MORON, AND HERE'S THE ACTUAL TEXAS STATUTE

(a) A person commits an offense if he threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to:


  1. cause a reaction of any type to his threat[s] by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies;
  2. place any person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury;
  3. 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 place;
  4. cause impairment or interruption of public communications, public transportation, public water, gas, or power supply or other public service;
  5. place the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of serious bodily injury; or
  6. influence the conduct or activities of a branch or agency of the federal government, the state, or a political subdivision of the state.


gordonhilgers
gordonhilgers

Remember Stanley Marcus and his dumber-than-a-box-of-rocks bit about "Upee", his friend from Mars?  I met Stanley Marcus: A heck of a nice man.  He had the best smile ever--as did Maya Angelou, although when I met her in the basement (I used to keep "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings", her wonderful poetry collection behind my desk at the Dallas Public Library and would read one poem a day to get started with a little inspiration), but then of course is the weapons manufacturing industry and the contempt of the South's white supremacist spoiled baby makers. 

So sorry they had to go "on manipulate" the way they have. 

I will remain happy, but I do hope someone does get hung for what has happened. 

InformedPatriot1
InformedPatriot1

@dfwenigma , You, my not friend, are obviously a paid government employee. When did the young man have his psych eval? He obviously has mental issues but I think help would do more then prison. By your logic everyone that can be seen as any kind of threat should be locked away. Your "research" has nothing to do with this case, it's not even similar and it , in all honesty, makes you look like a scared ignorant idiot. You nor the justice system has the full conversation, plus the fact that he did "LOL, J/K" ... Maybe a police state were people who disagree with the mainstream is perfect for you, but I prefer to live in a FREE country where even if comments are stupid (just look at KKK and white power skin heads, they can and do talk about stuff worse than this kid did and are free) you wont be arrested and imprisoned. If he had specifically said I'm going to X school in X days then that would have been different. His comments were the same as video game trash talk, since that IS where it started ... I guess no one can talk trash anymore for fear the American Nazi machine. 

 
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