Teen accused of terrorism faces 10 years in prison
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Teen accused of terrorism faces 10 years in prison

New Braunfels : TX : USA | Jul 03, 2013 at 6:03 AM PDT
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Mug shot Carter

A bout of sarcasm on Facebook was taken too far. In February, a Texas teen was arrested on charges of terrorism. He was offered a plea deal of eight years in prison but declined the plea.

Justin Carter now faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Donald Flannery, his attorney, said that Carter’s post was taken out of context. Flannery also stated that it was pure sarcasm on the part of the teen.

Carter’s bond hearing is set for July 16. Flannery and his team will be representing Carter pro bono. The trouble began for Carter when after playing League of Legends, he and another boy began arguing on Facebook. The unnamed boy wrote that Carter was “[Expletive] up in the head,” to which Carter replied that he was so screwed up in the head that he was going to shoot up an elementary school and eat the hearts of the kids.

Carter’s mother said that her son has a dark sense of humor, but she believes he was being sarcastic in making a comparison to Adam Lanza, the young man responsible for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012. While in poor taste, family and attorneys are of the firm belief that it was merely a joke—that Carter was not actually stating that he was going to shoot up a school.

Opinion

Teens are not known for making the best choices. We have laws that prevent people from drinking before the age of 21 because as a society, we know that teens make poor decisions on a daily basis. After reading the actual Facebook post, even I believe it was sarcasm. As adults, we use sarcasm as well. How many times has someone said something and we have given a sarcastic answer in response? My husband and I are sarcastic with one another on a daily basis, all in good fun.

This teen essentially said "Oh yeah, I am so screwed up that I am going to act like Adam Lanza." Of course Lanza did not eat the hearts of the kids he killed. However, I believe that that portion of the statement was meant to be overly ridiculous to show the sarcastic nature of the entire comment. Carter is currently on suicide watch.

Lesson of the day

Be careful of what you say and to whom you say it, especially online.

Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/02/tech/social-media/facebook-threat-carter/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Hook_Elementary_School_shooting

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April Johnson is based in Columbus, Ohio, United States of America, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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