Austin Texas is known as “the blue dot in the middle of a big red state”, thus it is one place in Texas where an egregious assault against the First Amendment like this, can still take place.
At NRO, Charles C.W. Cooke says, Free Justin Now:
In the state of Texas, a 19-year-old man named Justin Carter sits in prison, ruthlessly stripped of his freedom for making an offensive joke. After a Facebook friend with whom he played video games described him as “crazy” and “messed up in the head,” Carter replied — sarcastically, one imagines — “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.” He added “lol” and “jk” for good measure. For this he was arrested by Austin police, charged with making a “terroristic threat,” and thrown into prison. He may languish there until the start of the next decade.
Carter’s joke was witless and flippant — typical, in other words, of late-teenaged men. By no means was it criminal. Nevertheless, a woman in Canada, who inexactly described herself as a “concerned citizen,” saw from afar what Carter had written and shopped him to Texas police. Police acquiesced to her request, searching the family’s house in the process — and finding nothing. “They really want my son to go away to jail for a sarcastic comment that he made,” Jack Carter, the boy’s father, said. Apparently so: He’s been incarcerated since March without trial.
Cooke, an Englishman, took it upon himself to explain the Constitution to the Texas authorities – who really seem to need the education. Ironic, considering Austin is a college town.