According to the conservative political web site The Daily Caller, a Texas teen who made a joke while playing League of Legends (the story isn't too clear on whether he made the comments during an in-game chat or in the official LoL forums), was arrested back in March on charges of making a terrorist threat.
The incident happened in February of this year. Justin Carter was either playing League of Legends or engaging in a forum conversation when another player wrote a comment calling him insane.
Carter went a little overboard with his response, according to the report. His father (speaking to local media) claims that his son said something along the lines of "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." His comments were followed by "j/k" and "lol," but forum readers didn't take it that way. Keep in mind that the timing of this comment was a couple of months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings that happened in Newtown, Connecticut.
A Canadian woman, concerned about the comments, looked up Carter’s Austin address, noted that he lived close to an elementary school, and called the police. He was arrested and charged with making a terrorist threat. He has been in jail ever since and spent his 19th birthday in jail.
If convicted, Carter could face up to eight years in prison.
Carter’s father said that his son didn’t follow the news at all and was only making an innocent joke.
“Justin was the kind of kid who didn’t read the newspaper,” said Jack Carter. “He didn’t watch television. He wasn’t aware of current events. These kids, they don’t realize what they’re doing. They don’t understand the implications. They don’t understand.”
Carter’s parents have launched a change.org petition to convince Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot to release their son. A hearing to review Carter’s case is scheduled for July 1.
“Release Justin Carter from jail,” the petition reads. “Too many teenagers are being arrested, jailed and having their lives forever altered because of anti-terrorism laws and investigations that impede their 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech.”
You can find the petition here. So far it has garnered 4,856 signatures.
While Carter may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, and should be strongly admonished for his foolish comments in the wake of a national tragedy, he doesn't deserve to spend eight years in prison for his mistake.
Source: Daily Caller