Release My Son Justin Carter - Being Prosecuted For A Facebook Comment
  • Petitioning President Barack Obama

This petition will be delivered to:

White House
President Barack Obama
Attorney General of Texas
Greg Abbott
District Attorney of Comal County
Jennifer Tharp

Release My Son Justin Carter - Being Prosecuted For A Facebook Comment

    1. Jennifer Carter
    2. Petition by

      Jennifer Carter

      Austin, United States

My son, Justin Carter, was arrested on February 14, 2013 (yes, Valentine’s Day) because of a sarcastic comment he posted on Facebook about a computer game which was then taken out of context by a complete stranger! Please sign my petition to help release my son, Justin.

My son has been in jail for months because we can’t afford to pay the half million dollar bail money. It took a month before he was even questioned and he spent his 19th birthday behind bars. To this day, Justin has not had a trial. No weapons were found during a search of his apartment, and so we’re really confused and heartbroken that our family is being violated like this.

While stuck in jail, Justin has been assaulted a number of times. He has been locked in solitary confinement for weeks. I urgently need your help.

Justin’s a good kid. He wouldn’t hurt anyone, let alone a child. What I understand happened is that he was in an argument on the League of Legends website, which continued on a Facebook page, and someone on Facebook called him crazy and messed up in the head.

So he responded in a sarcastic tone by saying 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 response may have been in bad taste, but it was written in a non-threatening way that didn’t translate well online. None of his friends or family would even question his intention as anything other than a poor choice of words. Things got out of control, but my son is not a felon and terrorist as he’s currently being charged!

The authorities’ over-reaction is ruining Justin’s life. And it’s setting a dangerous example trying to punish kids who often say strange things that I believe are protected under freedom of speech. The justice system’s abuse of Justin is wasting time and money that could otherwise be spent to help people who honestly need it!

I hope you will sign this petition. I’d like Justin to be released. And I would like a more reasonable law to be put in place so this doesn’t happen to anyone else again.

July 11 update: We still need your help. Thanks to an anonymous donor, Justin is now out on bail. I'm happy to have him out right now, but my son is still facing a felony terrorism charge and years in prison if found guilty. I have said all along that his Facebook joke was made in poor taste and understand why it raised some concern, but Justin has no prior record and he was clearly not actually threatening anyone.  Please sign and share to continue supporting Justin's campaign. We need to make sure he's not labeled as a terrorist simply for making a Facebook comment. Thank you.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Justin's case heads back to court

      Jennifer Carter
      Petition Organizer

      http://www.austinchronicle.com/daily/news/2014-08-22/facebook-threat-case-returns-to-court/

      Thanks for all the support you have all already shown our family. Please send all your prayers and positive energy to Justin on Tuesday. We hope and pray that this can finally be over soon!

      Facebook 'Threat' Case Returns to Court

      In February 2013, then-18-year-old Justin Carter made a sarcastic Facebook comment about shooting up a kindergarten - a comment that, initially reported to Austin police by an anonymous tipster, eventually landed him in the Comal County jail. (" Facebook Threat Case Unresolved, Feb.

    2. The Trial Continues

      Jennifer Carter
      Petition Organizer

      The District Attorney of Comal County is still intent on prosecuting my son. Though there is no hard evidence against him or any complaining witness. The trial is set to start in June, but I'm sure the DA will ask for yet another continuance. Meanwhile all of our lives hang in limbo. Justin is slowly adjusting to being back in the world, even working part time but the insecurity of his future haunts him.
      Please continue to sign, get friends to sign, or share this on Facebook! IF we get enough people to say ENOUGH, maybe the DA will finally listen!
      Thank you for your continued support!
      Jennifer

    3. One year later

      Jennifer Carter
      Petition Organizer

      Well, it has been a little over a year since my son was arrested and imprisoned. We are still having pre-trial hearings and seem no closer to a resolution. Every hearing I hope and pray that this will be the one where the District Attorney drops the case. That finally my son will really be free.
      The next hearing is scheduled for March 28th, please send hope and good thoughts our way that soon this will all be over.
      Here is the latest article:
      http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2014-02-28/facebook-threat-case-unresolved/

      Facebook 'Threat' Case Unresolved

      Courtesy of the Carter Family Last February 14, Justin Carter, then 18 years old, was indicted on a charge of "terroristic threat," a third-degree felony which carries a potential penalty of up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The "crime"? A Facebook comment.

    4. Justin's new hearing

      Jennifer Carter
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you again for all the support. I wish this case could just be dismissed but the prosecutors refuse to work with us. His latest hearing is scheduled for January 28th.

    5. The Latest Hearing

      Jennifer Carter
      Petition Organizer

      Today, my son had another hearing. We were all hoping the judge would dismiss the charges. Unfortunately that didn't happen. The judge is going to rule later this week on that motion. Please pray, send good thoughts, or get friends to sign the petition. If this precedes to trial we will need all the support we can get! Thank you again!
      Here is a local news story:
      http://www.keyetv.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/justin-carter-back-court-making-facebook-threat-15014.shtml

      Justin Carter Back In Court For Making Facebook Threat

      Justin Carter Back In Court For Making Facebook Threat CapMetro Bus Hit By Crashing Vehicles Nextdoor Neighbors Unite In Crime Watch Austin-Area 911 System Disrupted Operation Blue Santa Reaches Out To SE Austin Flood Victims Texas Teen Charged In Facebook Threat Case In Court Northwest Austin Home Damaged In Fire Civil Rights Group: State Passive On Voter Turnout New Website Helps Austin Residents Fight Back Against Crime Police: Austin Man Passes Fake Money On The Job Judge Deals NSA Defeat On Bulk Phone Collection Wildflower Center Prescribed Burn Today, Tuesday Pa.

    6. Hearing Date Changed

      Jennifer Carter
      Petition Organizer

      Hi all, sorry I forgot to update that Justin will be in court again on November 4th. Sorry for any confusion!

    7. The latest hearing date

      Jennifer Carter
      Petition Organizer

      Hi to all of Justin's supporters! The justice system is moving very slowly and so not much has happened in Justin's case. The next court appearance is October 24th. We still need the support of people like you to let the District Attorney know that we aren't giving up the fight! Thank you for your continuing support!

    8. The September Hearing

      Jennifer Carter
      Petition Organizer

      Hello to all, I know it has been a little while but when they say the wheels of Justice move slow they aren't kidding. Here's the latest article, covering what the next hearing will be about. I just wish the DA would drop the whole case and let our family heal!
      http://www.gamefront.com/justin-carter-update/

      Justin Carter's Attorneys Contend Facebook Threat Was Misconstrued

      Posted on September 13, 2013, Phil Hornshaw For more detail and background on this story, read Game Front's complete coverage of the Justin Carter case. Justin Carter's defense is focusing its attention on the actions of Texas police as it prepares for a pretrial hearing on Sept. 23.

    9. This pretty much covers what happened today in court

      Jennifer Carter
      Petition Organizer
      Facebook suspect: Police altered remarks

      NEW BRAUNFELS â Lawyers for a man accused of making terrorist threats on Facebook claim authorities, in securing charges against him, misquoted his remarks about shooting up a kindergarten. At a pre-trial hearing Monday, defense lawyer Donald H.

    10. The first hearing and the news clip

      Jennifer Carter
      Petition Organizer

      Today was the first day in court for me to witness. It was a long day but a lot of motions were filed that will hopefully help Justin. Again, thank you all so much for your support and for continuing to support Justin!
      http://keyetv.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/texas-teen-back-court-facebook-threat-11082.shtml

      Texas Teen Back In Court For Facebook Threat

      Leander HS Football Player Charged With Child Sex Assault 6 Killed After Stolen Truck Crashes During Pursuit Holder Proposes Changes In Criminal Justice System Man Claims Austin Bar Discriminated Against Him Automated Track Could Whisk You Around Texas 12THMAN License Plate Up For Bids Controversial Lesson Plans Stopped Temporarily APD

    11. The New Braunfels Courthouse

      Jennifer Carter
      Petition Organizer

      For those of you who have asked this is the address of the criminal court:100 Main Plaza #203
      New Braunfels, TX 78130
      and the hearing is scheduled for 9 am tomorrow.

    12. The Latest News

      Jennifer Carter
      Petition Organizer

      So sorry for all of you waiting to hear about Justin, but here is the update:
      Due to Justin's severe bond restrictions, he cannot live with his family. At this time he is in a temporary living situation until we can find a permanent place for him. The District Attorney is still trying to punish Justin, even though he no longer sits in her jail.
      So please, continue to visit: http://freejustincarter.org/ We are working on updating the site as well!
      Justin has his yet another pre-trial hearing on August 12th, 2013 in The New Braunfels Courthouse.
      We cannot believe that the District Attorney is continuing to pursue a case against our son for exercising his right to free speech! We haven't won yet!
      Please continue to sign the petition or direct people to it as well.
      I look forward to the day when we can declare Victory, when Justin will be free to return to his life and when the Texas justice system reforms its laws so that no other teen is held in jail for free speech on the internet.

      Official Free Justin Carter Site | Jailed for posting on facebook !?!

      Wonderful news everyone! A very generous individual has opted to pay the entire $500,000 bond! Justin is free and with his family. We are very thankful for everyone's support and if you can or want to continue to donate please do because it's not over.

    13. Reached 200,000 signatures
    14. Update

      Jennifer Carter
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you so much to everyone who has signed Justin's petition! At this point Justin is adjusting to being out in the world again. However, he is still facing criminal charges and needs your help to stand up for Freedom of Speech. He must fight this battle while also finding work and a place to live. Please continue to sign the petition, visit the website and help Justin! http://freejustincarter.org/

      Official Free Justin Carter Site | Jailed for posting on facebook !?!

      Wonderful news everyone! A very generous individual has opted to pay the entire $500,000 bond! Justin is free and with his family. We are very thankful for everyone's support and if you can or want to continue to donate please do because it's not over.

    15. Reached 150,000 signatures
    16. Statement from Justin's lawyer.

      Pulin Modi
      Senior Campaigner

      The following is a statement from Justin Carter's lawyer:

      "Justin and his family are overjoyed at his release and tremendously thankful to an anonymous Good Samaritan who has posted his half-million dollar bond. He also wishes to thank his supporters all across America including those who have been signing the petition on Change.org.

      While Justin acknowledges the insensitivity of his words of February 13th, he looks forward to vigorously defending his First Amendment rights to free expression on the Internet."

    17. The Justin River Carter Donation Fund

      Jennifer Carter
      Petition Organizer

      The latest good news: First, we now have a way for people to donate online:
      http://freejustincarter.org/
      and second, you can still go to a Wells Fargo Bank in the United States, ask to speak to a personal banker and donate to the Justin River Carter Donation Fund.
      As you know, we are trying to raise the money to pay Justin's bond so that he can be released pending trial. His bond is set at $500,000. Which means we have to raise 10% or $50,000 to get a bail bondsman to sign for his release. Today we have 81,000 signatures. If everyone donated just one dollar Justin could be free to rejoin his family! So please consider donating or buying a t-shirt!
      This is a great news story about the small company that is making the t-shirts to help us out!
      http://www.keyetv.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/tshirts-free-justin-carter-9769.shtml

      Free Justin Carter | Jailed for posting on facebook !?!

      My son, Justin Carter, was arrested on February 14, 2013 (yes, Valentine's Day) because of a sarcastic comment he posted on Facebook about a computer game which was then taken out of context by a complete stranger! Please sign my petition to help release my son, Justin.

    18. Christian Science Monitor Article

      Jennifer Carter
      Petition Organizer

      Update: The family is working on a webpage dedicated to the release of Justin, as well as setting up an online link for donations to Justin's Fund. Please be patient and I will update that information as soon as I get it. This article has some positive news, a statement by the District Attorney's office stated: Justin "may be eligible for “deferred adjudication community supervision,” which, if served successfully, would not result in a criminal record." This is the first comment she has made publicly and is certainly better than the 8 years that was previously offered.
      http://news.yahoo.com/justin-carter-case-one-mans-facebook-banter-anothers-204336459.html;_ylt=AwrNUbC5ONdRUkoA1DLQtDMD

      Justin Carter case: How one man's Facebook 'banter' is another's 'threat'

      Did Justin Carter make a threat, or a sarcastic joke? That's the question in the case of the New Braunfels, , teenager arrested for a comment posted on that's generating national attention. Mr. Carter was arrested several months ago on a third-degree felony charge of making a "terroristic threat."

    19. The Wall St. Journal Article

      Jennifer Carter
      Petition Organizer

      This article is a little behind the current news for Justin, but I thought I'd share with you guys. Justin has a hearing date set for July 16th and we invite anyone in the local area to show up and show your support for Justin's cause. Thank you again for all the signatures and support!
      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324260204578583482948367730.html

      Teen Jailed for Facebook Posting About School Shooting

      Americans were still reeling from the elementary-school massacre in Newtown, Conn., when Justin Carter allegedly committed his crime in New Braunfels, a city in central Texas. "I think I'ma [sic] shoot up a kindergarten and watch the blood of the innocent rain down and eat the beating heart of one of them," the 19-year-old wrote Feb.

    20. Reached 75,000 signatures
    21. A Local New Story about Fundraising

      Jennifer Carter
      Petition Organizer

      If everyone were to buy a shirt (even if you don't want to wear it!) we could have Justin released immediately! So please watch and consider buying a t-shirt or donating to The Justin River Carter Donation Fund at your local Wells Fargo Bank!
      http://www.keyetv.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/selling-tshirts-free-justin-carter-9649.shtml

      Selling T-shirts To Free Justin Carter

      100 Firefighters Battle Huge Apartment Fire Near Capital Plaza Austin Officer Shoot Dog Inside Pet Store Statue of Liberty Reopens Texas Dems Want Statewide Hearings On Abortion Police Ramping Up July 4th Weekend Presence Off-Duty Officer Shoots, Kills Pitbull On The Attack Motorcyclist Killed In FM 620 Crash Austin Hotel

    22. The Today Show's piece on Justin's story and

      Jennifer Carter
      Petition Organizer
      Teen charged, held for months over 'terroristic' Facebook threat

      Nearly five months after he was charged with making a terroristic threat on Facebook, a Texas teen remains in jail while his father worries constantly about his son's safety. "He's scared for his life, and I'm scared for his life," Jack Carter told TODAY.

    23. Reached 50,000 signatures
    24. Today's story on CNN

      Jennifer Carter
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you again for all the support for the petition. Justin is very grateful! We are overwhelmed by all the encouragement we have received. I am posting the link to the CNN interview that aired this morning. If you click on the different video links you can see Justin's father, Justin's attorney and myself, Justin's mother, sharing Justin's story. We cannot thank everyone enough for the support, it has directly led to another hearing being set for July 16th (versus July 25th) and we encourage you to share this story with others. Let's keep the petition going! It is helping to ensure that Justin has a chance at release, something he didn't have before!!
      http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/03/tech/social-media/facebook-teen-jail/index.html

      Jailed Facebook teen finally getting day in court

      (CNN) -- A Texas teen who's been jailed more than four months for a Facebook comment he made during a video-game argument is finally getting a day in court that could let him go home.

    25. Reached 40,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Patrick Linerudt KRISTINEHAMN, SWEDEN
      • about 13 hours ago

      Sure the kid went a bit too far with his bad tasted joke, but it hardly deserves jail. A warning would have been more than enough.

      I think the Anti-Terrorism laws in the US is being taken a bit too far. As it is the government is afraid of more or less everything and anything what they aren't familiar with.

      The US has entered a "Terrorist Fever", they see "terrorists" everywhere and anywhere... where there's actually nothing. It has kind of like: "the monster under the bed situation", where everything has gone out of control and turned into one big witch hunt -.-'

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Louis Hopgood LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 19 hours ago

      Because its absolutely ridiculous to lock a teen up for potentially 8 years for a stupid comment on a gaming forum. Public prosecutors should use more common sense, and whoever signed off on his arrest needs to be held accountable and preferably resign.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Shandelle Gordon JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
      • about 21 hours ago

      Reading this story utterly horrified me! This is beyond ridiculous no one should be thrown in jail for a comment made on facebook especially without any evedince pertaining to this so called "threat"which there clearly isnt! Everyone deserves the freedom of speech which clearly we no longerhave! Justin will be in my thoughts! Stay stong!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Lily Sarain TEMECULA, CA
      • 1 day ago

      I just think that although its not right for people to go make such horrid comments online, it shouldnt be a jail crime for years. He should probably get therapy and stuff, but its not right for him to be jailed over a child threat. Its like jailing a 6 year old cuz he said he'll kill his sister over an arguement.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • jeth ho AUSTRALIA
      • 1 day ago

      yes his comment was tastely and ill thought, but he doesnt deserve such unjust treatment. If anything, the time and effort that was spent in this case should have been used to look into why it is taking so long to settle an issue like this. i'm an athesist but if there is a god, i pray that he will help your family tide through this tough thime as soon as possible.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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