Judge Refuses To Dismiss League of Legends Terrorist Threat Case

Alleged_Alec

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not_you said:
Alleged_Alec said:
snip for size
Again, you can't just say shit like that and expect to get away with it...
no matter how many "lol" or "jk" you put on the end...
Serious threats deserve serious consequences
Context and hyperbole alone show that this was not serious.
 

Imperioratorex Caprae

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Pinky said:
Zachary Amaranth said:
I seriously doubt you could pick this out from a nutjob who followed through.
Maybe, can you provide me with a single example containing obvious hyperbole and calling it out as a joke specifically?
Have you ever known someone who said they were going to kill themselves and then said it was a joke only later to find out they weren't joking? I have.
Threats against life aren't anything to joke about, and nothing is obvious unless you can get inside someone's head and read their thoughts accurately which is as far as I'm aware not a thing folks can do. At all.
If Law Enforcement didn't take it as a credible threat and the kid DID do exactly that, then they'd be responsible for not following through on it. Erring on the side of caution is wiser than assuming people are joking about violent threats.
I personally wouldn't make a threat like that if I weren't going to back it up and follow through with it, not because of the legality but because its just not something I'd joke about.
And making threats joking or not are serious business. For example if you were to threaten someone with bodily harm, even if you were joking, and they took you seriously and were scared for their well being, that is considered under the law ASSAULT.
And to folk making parallels to someone doing stand-up comedy, someone writing a book/movie/tv script, those are not the same thing. You can't apply tv tropes to real life people, and making threats on a social media site is almost the same thing as doing it in real life. The law is starting to take that shit extremely serious, especially where I live where a 12 year old girl killed herself over harassment, bullying and threats made on facebook. So yeah, its pretty fucking serious and not at all funny.
The whole "grow thicker skin" and other such arguments are BS, because as soon as you cross the line into making someone feel threatened or someone feeling you aren't joking no matter how many lol's you put after it or if you say j/k, its credible.
Kid deserves to get slapped down for being a douchebag and other people need to learn what's appropriate and what isn't.
 

Imperioratorex Caprae

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BarbaricGoose said:
This is eight years off a kid's life. Or four with parole, I guess. I don't know what punishment would be appropriate, but I do know that eight years, or even four, ain't.
You do realize he hasn't been convicted nor is it guaranteed that if he is, he'll get the maximum sentence... I mean learn how the legal system works a bit before you knee-jerk react to terms such as "up to 8 years". Or maybe just some reading comprehension.
 

auron200004

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amaranth_dru said:
I can't...what? Are you serious? A kid responds to somebody else's claim (him being crazy) with a jest that was OTT. 8 years in prison potentially. And you say he deserves it because he needs to learn what's appropriate and what isn't?

This kid has been locked up for months, been raped, needed to be put in solitary confinement (which many individuals consider a form of torture at this point) because of said repeated rape, and put on suicide watch because he said a joke online. Then, the judge is now making it possible for this horrible business to continue on for potentially eight more years. And he deserves that.

Great. Good. Nope, that's completely justified. Yup.

EDIT: Not to mention that him being put into prison would make him a convicted felon. Thus, he will never be able to hold down a decent job above minimum wage. All because of a (inappropriate, I will admit) joke on the internet. Yeah, that's justice being fair and blind for you.
 

Imperioratorex Caprae

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auron200004 said:
amaranth_dru said:
I can't...what? Are you serious? A kid responds to somebody else's claim (him being crazy) with a jest that was OTT. 8 years in prison potentially. And you say he deserves it because he needs to learn what's appropriate and what isn't?

This kid has been locked up for months, been raped, needed to be put in solitary confinement (which many individuals consider a form of torture at this point) because of said repeated rape, and put on suicide watch because he said a joke online. Then, the judge is now making it possible for this horrible business to continue on for potentially eight more years. And he deserves that.

Great. Good. Nope, that's completely justified. Yup.
Lets just assume now that all threats followed by a j/k aren't real then. I can go about threatening anyone I like, no matter what the context as long as I say j/k lol, its all good. Maybe just maybe common sense should come into play and making threats like that, especially in the wake of a school shooting isn't just in bad taste but probably a bad fucking idea.
You're seriously asking me to have sympathy for the kid?
No I don't feel sympathy for the kid. Not one fucking bit. Why should I? He obviously doesn't have any sympathy for the victims of Sandy Hook, nor did he have enough common sense as to not make a threat like that. So no, I won't feel bad for him. Sorry, but you open your mouth and say something stupid and someone calls you on it you get what you get.
Sucks for him, but freedom of speech isn't a blanket statement that protects everything that comes out of a person's mouth. BTW, how are you, I or anyone else but the kid supposed to know if his threat was actually a joke? There's a reason why in this country its also illegal to even joke about presidential assassinations. Thats not a loss of freedom, its a fucking preventative measure.
 

spartan231490

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Yeah awesome, because we''re not allowed to be sarcastic or have a sense of humor anymore. All I can say to anyone who thinks that this is right: is that I hope you are the next ones to have your rights violated and lives ruined over something that was obviously sarcastic.
 

Something Amyss

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spartan231490 said:
Yeah awesome, because we''re not allowed to be sarcastic or have a sense of humor anymore. All I can say to anyone who thinks that this is right: is that I hope you are the next ones to have your rights violated and lives ruined over something that was obviously sarcastic.
Unlikely. I doubt many people are going to jokingly plan to shoot up a school on a public space. But, I mean, you were just sarcastic, so I'm assuming that since they've taken away the right to sarcasm, you won't see this because you'll be in jail? I guess that's the logic you've put forth.
 

auron200004

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amaranth_dru said:
Nice try. Read my post again. Not once did I mention the "lol" or "jk" which you seem to be harping on. In fact, I agree with you...sort of... in that those in and of themselves don't disqualify something from being a threat.

But this wasn't said in a vacuum. It was a direct response to something said immediately beforehand as a sarcastic response.

And regardless, just because you don't like what somebody said doesn't mean that he should be punished with jail time for it. Or should any joke about flying planes into two tall buildings be construed as a terrorist threat, no matter the context?
 

Imperioratorex Caprae

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auron200004 said:
amaranth_dru said:
Nice try. Read my post again. Not once did I mention the "lol" or "jk" which you seem to be harping on. In fact, I agree with you...sort of... in that those in and of themselves don't disqualify something from being a threat.

But this wasn't said in a vacuum. It was a direct response to something said immediately beforehand as a sarcastic response.

And regardless, just because you don't like what somebody said doesn't mean that he should be punished with jail time for it. Or should any joke about flying planes into two tall buildings be construed as a terrorist threat, no matter the context?
You realize that threats are made in response to things, right? They don't exist in a vacuum either, they're triggered by something else. So your analogy doesn't hold.
 

auron200004

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amaranth_dru said:
You realize that threats are made in response to things, right? They don't exist in a vacuum either, they're triggered by something else. So your analogy doesn't hold.
Here, a more apt analogy:

Man 1: What are you, a terrorist?

Man 2: Yep. I'm gonna fly a plane into a skyscraper while praising Allah.

Add lols or jks wherever you want.

Tasteless and offensive? Certainly. Worthy of punishment that could be up to 8 years in prison? Apparently yes.
 

Killclaw Kilrathi

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amaranth_dru said:
BarbaricGoose said:
This is eight years off a kid's life. Or four with parole, I guess. I don't know what punishment would be appropriate, but I do know that eight years, or even four, ain't.
You do realize he hasn't been convicted nor is it guaranteed that if he is, he'll get the maximum sentence... I mean learn how the legal system works a bit before you knee-jerk react to terms such as "up to 8 years". Or maybe just some reading comprehension.
You realize he's already spent four months in prison before being released on bail, where he was repeatedly assaulted by other inmates and had to be kept in solitary confinement? It also took police about a month to search his house, where no weapons were found. The authorities have shown themselves to be clearly unconcerned that this was a legitimate threat, or at the very least utterly incompetent at handling the case and downright negligent in ensuring his safety as a prisoner.

I'm not saying there should be no consequences for saying stupid shit but if you have actually been following this story you'd probably agree that this kid has been through enough to have learned his lesson. I say reduce the sentence to time served, maybe throw in some court-mandated therapy sessions, and be done with it.
 

TheWanderingFish

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not_you said:
Alleged_Alec said:
His comment was clearly made in jest, for fuck's sake, you bunch of humourless fucks."
Again, you can't just say shit like that and expect to get away with it...
no matter how many "lol" or "jk" you put on the end...
Serious threats deserve serious consequences
Zachary Amaranth said:
Pinky said:
It looked like a threat to someone who was either extremely naive or stupid.
And as much as you want to marginalise anyone who disagrees with you, I seriously doubt you could pick this out from a nutjob who followed through. And sadly, this isn't the first time I've made this point. But somehow, everyone who disagrees is either stupid or naive.
I think the point is it wasn't a serious threat and should have been easily distinguished as not a threat by law enforcement. It was an odd, and I grant you appalling, thing to say. However, based on the context of the situation, it is evident to even the average Joe that it is a joke. I think that a large part of this issue is that what he said is being taken in isolation, and not in the conversation to which it was a part of.
 

miketehmage

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auron200004 said:
amaranth_dru said:
You realize that threats are made in response to things, right? They don't exist in a vacuum either, they're triggered by something else. So your analogy doesn't hold.
Here, a more apt analogy:

Man 1: What are you, a terrorist?

Man 2: Yep. I'm gonna fly a plane into a skyscraper while praising Allah.

Add lols or jks wherever you want.

Tasteless and offensive? Certainly. Worthy of punishment that could be up to 8 years in prison? Apparently yes.
This guy wins the thread. Couldn't have put it better myself. Anyone arguing otherwise is nothing short of an idiot.
 

Something Amyss

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Pinky said:
Maybe, can you provide me with a single example containing obvious hyperbole and calling it out as a joke specifically?
You mean the JK added after the fact?

Probably not. But then, that's a bit inane.

Are you going to sit here and say serial killers, school shooters and the like don't speak in metaphor and hyperbole? From religious quotes to Beatles lyrics, dude. Seriously. From "rivers of blood" to the Columbine shooters....Some serious intent behind some serious hyperbole.

But they were obviously all joking, because hyperbole. And this is apparently the only real measuring stick we need. Oh, also harassment, as seen below. That could probably also extend to Klebold and Harris, given the reports.

So do we now argue that Columbine was just a joke, or can we move on from the inane argument that one can tell a school shooter from a kidder based on the circumstances immediately being offered.

Areloch said:
See how easy that was?
How easy it was to make a false parallel? Yes, but I didn't even have to be involved to see that.

option1soul said:
Actually, it does... Or it's supposed to. Shouting "fire" in a crowded theater is something different. This was neither a threat nor calling for someone's death nor "inciting imminent lawless action".
And it's obviously not a threat because you say so after the fact. Which is still weirdly reminiscent of Klebold and Harris.

If what you claim is true than every single person who says "I'm going to kick his ass" would be held on legal grounds; not to mention the amount of depraved hate and violent speech that passes for normal on websites, forums, and gaming blog sites.
"They didn't do it elsewhere" isn't proof that it's wrong here. That's like saying that personally attacking someone on the Escapist is okay because so-and-so didn't get warned.

Of course, I do wonder how often saying you're going to shoot up a school occurs in day-to-day life if you think it's on par with "I'm gonna kick your ass."

I'd add as a final note to this, I wonder how often these are actually, you know...Reported. People often run to this excuse, like the police troll every single Facebook looking for death threats. But then, I would hope we would be so reasonable as to understand the difference between a case that was reported to the police and an instance that likely wasn't.

The inability of a system to be comprehensive does not mean you haven't violated the system.


This was his personal facebook page
Which could be seen publicly. Saying it was his private page is pointless. People were able to see it. Some woman in Canadia was able to see it. You yourself pointed that out. It wasn't said in private.

and he was responding to someone's harassing comments (regardless of how "bad" the comment was or wasn't)
Ohhhh...I get it. If someone's harassing me I can say I'm going to shoot up a school.

At best this argument amounts to a "two wrongs make a right" argument.

This is EXACTLY what kind of free speech is supposed to be protected by the constitution.
No. It's designed to protect unpopular speech and the issue here is not its popularity no matter how hard you try and force it. But again, you've supported non founder logic to try and argue how this is different.

Similarly, any of the "we're not allowed to be sarcastic anymore" arguments (which are apparently not criticisms of the ruling because of obvious hyperbole) because it's not about sarcasm. It's not about hyperbole. It's not about someone else harassing him. There are numerous ways to respond to such a harassing claim without risking getting flagged by the cops or your place raided.

Why? Because sarcasm and hyperbole and the other guy's actions don't really change what they reacted to or why.

I'd be surprised to find any real precedent for the "I'm just kidding!" school of thought, but then....

I'm shocked that you claim to "know what it says and it means" but seem to think we wouldn't be able to say things like this.
Well, yeah. I do know what it says, and I know what legal precedent and Constitutional rulings from the SCOTUS have said in the past. I'm versed on it, which is why I both know what it says and means (to the degree anyone can of a living document) and not find myself swayed by people who can only repeat that it was just a joke (obviously). You can try and "shame" me for not pretending that tacking jk on after the fact makes a world of difference, but....Be serious.

An obvious joke is George Carlin's "Elmer Fudd raping Porky Pig" joke.
 

otakon17

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You know, back in middle and high school, I had anger issues. I had them bad enough that I became a well known name in high school among most of the people there. Then the Columbine Shootings happened, and as I walked out to leave one day talking to my friend, the subject of the shooting came up. I eventually said to him, as the topic turned to my anger issues "If I had ever planned on doing anything like that, I would have by now. I have a hunting shotgun and my stepfather has several as well, it's not like I don't have access to guns."

The next day I was called into the principals office and was sent to a local hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. I was terrified out of my mind that they might find me crazy and lock me up or some such, sitting there in an open back gown with my mother nearby. Hell I think I was actually younger than this guy this is happening to right now. But my fears were unfounded, they found me not to be a threat to anyone else or myself and the subject never came up again. I certainly made sure to never talk about the Columbine shooting in school ever again.

I was not immediately arrested and charged with intent to commit murder/terrorism, I didn't spend months in holding to be beaten and put in solitary and on suicide watch. My mother didn't have to field a petition to get me released or to rely on an unanimous donation to cover my $500,000 bail. I was taken aside, looked at carefully and let go when they found there was nothing to worry about. To note, I don't have a criminal record. Not even a parking ticket or citation for jaywalking.

They went about this all wrong, completely and utterly and are continuing to do so. This will wreck his life, there is no recovering from it at this point and I will not be surprised if we see a report of him committing suicide after the trial is over(assuming he isn't charged and convicted). I pray to God it doesn't come to that, I truly do.

If he is found guilty of this manufactured crime,I will seriously consider moving to Canada soon.
 

Something Amyss

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TheWanderingFish said:
I think the point is it wasn't a serious threat and should have been easily distinguished as not a threat by law enforcement. It was an odd, and I grant you appalling, thing to say. However, based on the context of the situation, it is evident to even the average Joe that it is a joke. I think that a large part of this issue is that what he said is being taken in isolation, and not in the conversation to which it was a part of.
Except for the part where they said it wasn't obvious only the the naive and stupid.

The point I had already addressed, so you really don't need to explain it to me. The rebuttal, "only if you're dumb or clueless," is where you came in. I think you might have noticed that if you paid attention to the context of the argument, which is a touch similar to what you just said....
 

loa

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Truman Soutar said:
valium said:
loa said:
The victim blaming is strong in this thread.
Fuck people.
The victim in this case being?

Seemingly, in this case, the victim is some theoretical school full of children, and no one seems to be blaming them at all.
The only "victims" in this "case" are the all the paranoid people who, given their sudden awareness of gun violence in spite of years of (arguably continuing) ignorance, have been so whipped into a frenzy over their sudden awakening, that they need to find somebody, anybody to point at and say "if we just send people like him/her to jail we will all be safe again".

That feeling of fear you get in the your chest, that flushed feeling in your throat, whenever someone says or does something that doesn't immediately compute with you, won't go away no matter how many you prosecute for lesser and lesser "crimes".

"Just because something makes you uncomfortable doesn't mean it has to change." -Megyn Kelly

"Don't argue with idiots, they only bring you down to their level, where they beat you with experience."
Maybe the kid who got jailed for 3 months and still isn't through with this yet for the heinous crime of making a snarky response is kind of a victim here and I can't believe I have to actually point this out??
 

Tsun Tzu

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Alleged_Alec said:
That's not how freedom of speech works. If you shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater or whatever and people get hurt, you will be held responsible. Freedom of speech != freedom of consequence.
I realize that and referenced it in the post. I agree with the rest of your post though. :D

Zachary Amaranth said:
Now just show me where the charges against him include "being offensive or disagreeable to the public" and you might have a case.
Comments made against the kid and in support of his continued punishment or calling for harsher action/making an example out of him are rife with statements about the "offensive" and "disagreeable" nature of his words. That would be what I was referring to in that post, which was written months ago in a similar article's thread.


Zachary Amaranth said:
Ohhhh...I get it. If someone's harassing me I can say I'm going to shoot up a school.

At best this argument amounts to a "two wrongs make a right" argument.
Of course you can. Or you should be and, usually, are.

Though I'm curious about something now; what school? Where? A hypothetical school? With hypothetical children? With hypothetical still-beating hearts?

In order for a threat like this to be taken as seriously as it has, there would need to be sufficient evidence to prove that the guy had an actual target. Making a general statement or "threat" with no real target specified is perhaps grounds for an investigation, or at worst a house call, but that's not what happened here. By all accounts, no evidence was found to support the idea that he was planning or even capable of carrying out the "threat."

What they've done is despicable and blatantly beyond the pale in terms of a legal response, which is why it's so god damned frustrating to read comments calling for this poor bastard to be made even MORE of an example of.
 

w00tage

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Zachary Amaranth said:
tippy2k2 said:
I 100% agree that once it's established that he isn't a threat, it should have been backed off at that point.

Now admittedly, I haven't closely followed this case. Maybe there's more behind it we don't know about (which is why they are continuing to pursue it) or maybe it's just a "setting an example" kind of thing. If there truly is nothing else to this beside what we see here, I agree that at this point, the issue should have been dropped (I suppose community service if you are feeling like SOMETHING has to be done but that should be the farthest it goes).

Also: I 110% agree with the mis-use of the term "freedom of speech". I swear no one seems to understand what it actually means...
In truth, it probably is trying to set an example. Even then, I think it's needlessly harsh and the guy who set bail at half a million for a kid with no outstanding threat needs to be out of a job. Hopefully, it's one of the jurisdictions where you vote on judges and the community decides this was batshit.

w00tage said:
Excuse me, but can you name the people he threatened? Because that's kind of necessary in order to establish intent to do harm.
[citation needed]

Good to know, though: if you make threats to kill people, it doesn't matter unless you actually name them. In that case, why are you casting your net so narrowly? Are you only concerned in this case because it was a gamer?

If someone I know where to claim they were going to blow up a church, would you be their lawyer?
a. A threat has a distinct legal meaning. Citation: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Threats. Test case: http://criminal.lawyers.com/Criminal-Law-Basics/Cyber-Threats-Like-Obama-Facebook-Poll-are-Crimes.html. And that one actually involves an applicable federal law and a named target.

b. If that someone were accused of being crazy by an angry opponent after a game they'd won, and said "sure, I'm crazy, I'm going to go blow up some churches now" and posted the conversation on FB with the addendums of "lol, jk" (edit) with the intention of sharing it with their friends as an amusing story (end edit), would you think they should be arrested for it? Because that's exactly what's happened here.