Partial Transcript: Episode 67 (Terrorism)

Nick: I hate this.

Virginia: You brought it up.

Andrew: I want to start with the case of Justin Carter.

Virginia: How old is he?

Andrew: 18.  He said something stupid on the internet, which happens every day.  Most of the time, no one thinks twice.  This guy gets thrown in jail.

Leland: He wrote, “I’m fucked in the head all right.  I think Ima shoot up a kindergarten / And watch the blood of the innocent rain down / And eat the beating heart of one of them.”

Andrew: Then followed by “LOL JK”

Leland: They always omit that part.

Nick: Our media always does this.  Misreport the news, and then try the person given the false story.

Andrew: I’m surprised that no one has ever shown the full conversation.  It’s as simple as going a screen-print.

Nick: Much like the Zimmerman trial where the media shows pictures of a 12-year-old kid instead of a 6’4” guy.

Andrew: We all agree that it was a dumb comment.  Kids do stupid things all the time.

Virginia: Facebook didn’t come out until I was almost done with college.  I’m really lucky.

Andrew: I’m sure there’s a ton of stupid stuff I wrote in IRC chat rooms.

Nick: Myspace.

Andrew: What happened is that some lady in Canada saw this conversation and freaked out.  She did a Google search to see if there were elementary schools near where he lived.  And surprise, he did!

Virginia: He lives in America.

Nick: Sex offender, much?

Andrew: So, this lady is doing all this research.  She calls the police and says that a kid is going to shoot up a school.  The police spend a month investigating.  That, to me, says that they knew that it wasn’t a credible threat.  Anyone who looks at the conversation knows that it wasn’t credible.  But, after a month, they decided to file terrorism charges.  They set his bail at $500,000.

Leland: What was the prompting to arrest him for?

Andrew: I’m not sure, but it’s really common for people to claim that they’re trying to protect the children.  Most of the responses are, “You just can’t be too careful.”

Nick: This guy’s 18.  He’s a child himself.

Andrew: We took a guy who plays League of Legends and other stuff online and put him with actual criminals.

Leland: We’ve institutionalized him.

Virginia: At what point would have this guy been credible?  If he left out “LOL JK?”

Andrew: A history of behavior.  One comment isn’t enough.

Leland: Send him to the San Antonio mental health agency for an evaluation.  Find out if he has a history of violence.  Has he been in any fights or been arrested?  I’m sure they investigated to some degree.  Anything at all.  It seems like it was a gesture that got out of hand, that they were doing it to avoid the possibility of him doing something more extreme.

Andrew: I’m still blown away that it was some random lady in Canada.

Virginia: Canadians are very polite.

Nick: This has happened before.  The football player sex case.  That was a blogger.

Leland: The guys that raped that girl?

Nick: Allegedly raped her.  We did a whole podcast on that.

Andrew: That one wasn’t as clear-cut.  You’re be hard-pressed to find a person who could read that whole conversation and think he’s a threat.

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