Well, it’s a new week, and so here’s a new story about someone posting something dumb online and now facing severe criminal charges. Over the weekend, Gawker posted about Caleb Clemmons, a 20-year-old from Georgia:
Clemmons, a psychology major, who ran a Tumblr of his creative writing, posted the following on February 8th: “hello. my name is irenigg and i plan on shooting up georgia southern. pass this around to see the affect it has. to see if i get arrested.” After a few hours, Clemmons was tracked down and arrested, and has been held in Bulloch County Jail since then. Police found no actual plans to attack the school, and Clemmons owned no weapons.
However, the county decided to set his bond at $20,000, much more than his family can afford. Clemmons has repeatedly told authorities that the Tumblr post was “an experimental literary piece and an art project,” but he is still being charged with making terroristic threats via computer, which can be punishable by up to five years in prison.
If this all sounds familiar, it should – earlier this year, a teen from Texas was detained after joking about shooting up a school. His family also suggested that he was abused while held, and his bond was set at a prohibitively high $500,000, which was paid by an “anonymous donor“.
Coming back around to Caleb Clemmons, his supporters have set up a blog seeking to spread awareness, and raise funds for his defense. His “experimental literary piece and … art project” was certainly monumentally ill-conceived, but even so, five years is a very powerful potential sentence. The trial is due to begin in the next few days, and maybe this publicity will help his cause.