With sensitivity to school shootings at an all-time high in the United States, one 19-year-old Texas teen is paying the price. Justin Carter has been behind bars since March for posting a threatening comment on Facebook made to one of his friends during an argument over an online video game.
According to Justin's father, Jack Carter, his son sarcastically responded to a friend who called him "crazy" with "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 father added that his son followed up his comment by writing "LOL" and "J/K" to show he was joking.
The authorities were quick to act on one woman's report of the comment, especially after the elementary school shooting in Newton, Connecticut. Justin is facing up to eight years in prison for making a "terroristic" threat.
Using the hashtag #FreeJustinCarter, netizens are discussing whether Justin's punishment is unfair or completely justified.