Gamers of the World! FLASHING NEWS! Sarcasm can get you in JAIL! And while we are at it Great White Sharks can be bad for your health. I mean, just a little… S:
Justin Carter made a dumb comment online and landed in jail for it. He may end up in doing time for 8 years!
Today’s Mr. Towelhead topic on Video Game Culture: Justin Carter
In February of this year (2013) Justin Carter (19 years old) made a terrible mistake while playing a video game online. He is now facing charges for Terrorism and could end up in jail for freaking 8 years. He was playing “League of Legends” which is a fantasy MMORPG (massive multiplayer online, role-playing game) for all I know (please correct me if I’m wrong as I don’t know League of Legends), when another player made a comment calling him insane or something. In response Justin said, and I quote the quote (so to speak) of the article that appeared on The Daily Caller:
“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,”
After that, probably realizing he kind of went too far, Justin added “lol” and “jk” which in case you don’t know means laughing out loud (LOL) and just kidding (JK) in game and online jargon.
Don’t you know guys, “jk” is the new “no homo!“
Tom & Mark (I believe) are (c) belong to: Benjamin Silverman [Little Britain USA]
By the way, here is the link to the article in The Daily Caller website:
Problem was, a concerned mom from Canada took the matter into her hands, investigated where Justin Carter lives and after finding out that an elementary school was near, she contacted the police. And so Justin Carter was arrested, has been in jail ever since, is being confronted with terrorist charges (apparently) and is being trialled as we speak/read, etc.
I got wind of this case because Youtube-blogger: AlphaOmegaSin made a video-comment about this issue. AlphaOmegaSin is a hardcore gamer that uploads video game reviews and video game related information. For my part, as a hardcore gamer and Internet addict I really like his channel and highly recommend it if you are into video games and don’t mind the use of the word “fuck”, erhmmm… I mean f*.
AlphaOmegaSin is your Man when it comes to video game rants!
While I disagree with his opinion on Justin Carter, he is still pretty cool :D
Here the link to his youtube channel:
HOWEVER… now we come to the naughty part :D
This matter has become a mindless rant about “evil” government control, political and jurisdictional stupidity, accentuating Justin’s tragedy all the while mocking and calling names on the Canadian mother who took the joke seriously and reported Justin to the police. Comments on Alpha’s video that go “against” Justin or against AlphaOmegaSin’s opinion have been met with rants and curses (trust me I know)…
Here a caption of your friendly neighbor Mr. Towelhead receiving the heat from an AlphaOmegaSin fan boy :D
And for the record I don’t blame Mr. AlphaOmegaSin for this, le me likes Mr. OmegaSin’s blog, BUT I DISAGREE!!1
Here the link to the video/article from AlphaOmegaSin:
Things can get very wild and emotional on the Internet, I know, and I bet Justin Carter knows as well. We (humans) like to voice our opinions with passion but I think that AlphaOmegaSin’s view on the matter is flat out:
SO NOW I WILL VOICE MY MOTHERF*ING OPINION AND TELL YOU TO GO F*… Ha, ha just kidding. I think the best is to remain calm and check out the facts per se, and not AlphaOmegaSin’s opinion (nor mine for that matter). And bare in mind that I am NOT a lawyer, I am just a dude with access to the Internet.
So, from what I have gathered:
1. A Death Threat IS a criminal offense. It is explained (at least in California) under section 422 of the Penal Code (I have included section 422 at the end of the post, in case you are curious).
1.1. A Terrorist Threat means a threat of violence with the goal to disrupt public “welfare” in reckless disregard of the consequences such threat will have on others. Which is kind of what Justin did (unknowingly I will give him that).
2. Justin Carter did write a death/terror threat. He admitted it, his father confirmed it too. Further more by saying “jk” (just kidding) he also confirmed that the message/comment was indeed made by him.
2.1. Wether you like it or not, wether it was a joke, sarcasm or not; to shoot a kid and eat his/her still beating heart is a Death/Terror Threat.
2.2. The law distinguishes that, if the alleged victim rules the threat as a joke, the offender (Justin in this case) gets his ass saved. But if the alleged victim (or victims) are truly scared, with fear for their lives; then the offender has his ass handed to him (Justin in this case).
3. Justin Carter made the mistake (if you like) to leave the offense in a written medium that can (and was) tracked back to him. The problem with death/terror threats is that they are usually made in oral form, which makes it harder (or impossible) to proof.
4. What about the sentence? Eight years seems too much. Well: According to article 422 of the Penal Code the punishment (death threats) shall NOT exceed one year, so there.
Hey guys did you know that bad jokes can land you in jail …
… ha, ha. Jokes aside. Bad jokes CAN land you in jail.
5. Justin is facing charges of terrorism. What about that? Terrorism is defined as “the use of violence and intimidation for political goals” (New Oxford American Dictionary), which certainly DOESN’T apply to Justin.
5.1. On the other hand, terrorism is also defined as the use of violence and fear as a means of coercion [wikipedia.org on: terrorism], this MAY, OR MAY NOT apply to Justin.
5.2. On that note: Wether a criminal act that resembles terrorism but has no political background is still terrorism, that is open to debate. However the actual act of shooting kids in a school and eating their hearts would certainly be considered a terrorist threat according to law.
6. Kids be kids, and they will say the darnest things. Yes! However: Justin Carter is no 5 years old kid who made a dumb comment, he was an 18 years old boy (back then as he is 19 now) who made a VERY dumb comment.
6.1 Justin’s motive was (probably) to scare the other player. But he did not make a silly comment, he made a very calculated effort to scare the living shit out of the other player.
7. Another heated topic of discussion is: Wether Justin is being stripped of this freedom in an unlawful manner (liberty of speech). In my very personal opinion rights come with responsibilities. You can do and say whatever you want, YES, but you are also going to face the consequences of what you do and say.
So yes you are lawfully allowed to go up to a 2 meter tall undead Skinhead and say “Hitler was gay, and so are You! Meow!”
But don’t come crying afterwards (if you come back at all) because you “experienced” the consequences. By the way, the movie Dead Snow and all images thereof are (c) of Euforia Films.
Same can be said of many other issues, we have liberty of press, speech and deeds but even lawful acts can bring you naughty consequences.
NOW WE COME TO MY OPINION. MUAHAHAHAHA
What I REALLY dislike about this matter is people like AlphaOmegaSin (et. others) who kind of, mindlessly take sides with Justin and furiously condemn the Canadian mom and the “evil” cops who imprisoned Justin Carter with little to no further investigation on the matter.
My take on it would be:
1. I agree that Justin was obviously kidding, but he made a VERY stupid mistake, and he was of age at the time. The ones to blame are really Justin’s parents and Justin himself.
2. I agree that terrorist charges and eight years are WAY OVER THE TOP!
3. I would be happy with community service and one year to probation.
4. I fully agree and support the Canadian mom who ACTUALLY DID SOMETHING about it.
I mean, if I or any concerned parent for what matters, hears or reads such a comment in any way near our/my daughters… I would also flip out, I would also look for help and I CERTAINLY would not take it easy.
Well this is no movie or video game review, but my verdict on the matter is. I hope Justin learns his lesson and gets away with a scare (the time he’s been in prison is probably more than enough punishment for this poor dude). And I salute and cheer the mom who took this matter seriously.
I hope that we (humans) learn to balance out rules, rights and obligations. There are way too many criminals that get away and way too many innocent people who suffer because of the “system”. Provided I don’t count Mr. Carter as innocent :D
If you are curious here is tha 422 of the Penal Code (In California mate):
” 422. (a) Any person who willfully threatens to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person, with the specific intent that the statement, made verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device, is to be taken as a threat, even if there is no intent of actually carrying it out, which, on its face and under the circumstances in which it is made, is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey to the person threatened, a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat, and thereby causes that person reasonably to be in sustained fear for his or her own safety or for his or her immediate family’s safety, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison. (b) For purposes of this section, “immediate family” means any spouse, whether by marriage or not, parent, child, any person related by consanguinity or affinity within the second degree, or any other person who regularly resides in the household, or who, within the prior six months, regularly resided in the household. (c) “Electronic communication device” includes, but is not limited to, telephones, cellular telephones, computers, video recorders, fax machines, or pagers. “Electronic communication” has the same meaning as the term defined in Subsection 12 of Section 2510 of Title 18 of the United States Code. ”