blumangroup1720 karma2013-01-19 18:50:17 UTC
This may not be a popular viewpoint, but after reading through all those documents, this case isn't as cut and dry as OP is trying to make it seem.
(1) If you read all the statements, there is zero evidence of anyone "lying." The girls do potentially misconstrue who initiated the conversation about bringing guns to school, but there's no evidence of lying. This is Reddit, the site that caught a professor trying to post a fake article to it. No one thinks it's strange that OP posts all that other stuff, but not (a) the judge's opinion from the civil trial, or (b) the audio transcriptions from the criminal trial, even though these two things are the two most relevant pieces of evidence that the girls outright lied, other than OP's OP? I'd like to see someone fact check OP's statement in the audio transcripts.
(2) It seems pretty reasonable to conclude from the evidence that TJ actually did same some pretty messed up things. Imagine you were on a jury in a civil trial. Your understanding of the facts are as follows: a group of girls turns to a group of goth guys behind them who frequently talk about morbid things. The girls ask them if they will bring a gun to school. Some of the guys answer "yes." The girls then ask who they would kill. Some of the boys name names. Joel says Kelsey's name in the context of this conversation, although not specifically that he would kill her. Kelsey appears to have been extremely disturbed, based on the testimony of her mother who is a teacher at the school. A jury would likely find that it would be reasonable for teenage girls to be scared by "joking" death threats, even if they initiated the conversation. Their claims are bolstered by all the weird things TJ said (skinning cats). TJ seems like a scary individual. The second police report says he described a number of gruesome death scenes to the girls in graphic detail. He would not come across well to a jury. Joel may be the most sympathetic of the boys, but he loses a lot of credibility by association with TJ. And it appears a fourth boy in the class (Bryan) with whom at least one of Joel's friends may have interacted actually did have a list of names. This further bolsters the girls claims that they were afraid of the boys and that's why they initiated this conversation (as opposed to OP's theory that they initiated the conversation to trap him and his friends into making a joke about killing people and then reporting them to the cops).
(3) Being acquitted of criminal charges doesn't mean the "whole thing" was fabricated. Joel never says what he was charged with. If it was criminal assault, then the prosecution would have to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that his intent was to cause apprehension of death in the girls. But since they initiated the conversation, that was a non-starter. The boys intent appears just to be responding to questions and joking around, not intending to place the girls in fear for their lives. But this doesn't mean that the girls had no reason to be scared. The criminal law is concerned with the boys' intent, not the girls' reaction. Maybe they were afraid. Kelsey appears to have been terrified based on the rather credible evidence from her mother, who is a teacher at the school. And remember, the girls only reported the incident to the school. The school forwarded the allegations to the prosecutor. The girls didn't go directly to the police, as OP seems to imply when he says they were trying to ruin his life. So it doesn't seem like their motive was to ruin OP's life. It could be a "joke" question gone too far, although one could also see why teenage girls might be afraid of goth guys who tell morbid jokes in light of Columbine. OP blames the girls, but their brilliant plan to trap him and his friends would have failed if they simply . . . didn't engage in a theoretical conversation about who they might kill.
(4) Not only does OP completely misconstrue what being acquitted means [his conclusion is that it proves the girls are lying bitches], but he also misconstrues what it means that many school officials "testified for the defense." That doesn't mean that the school officials had massive indignation over the charges and were on OP and his friends' side. It means they were subpoenaed by the defense attorney. They had to show up to court or be found in contempt of court. Attorneys will subpoena a variety of school officials for a number of reasons, likely to testify that Joel wasn't generally a dangerous student. Remember, the defense was merely trying to prove that Joel didn't really intend to kill Kelsey. They weren't trying to prove that the girls had fabricated the entire conversation.
I don't see anything in the documents posted thus far to back OP's assertions that it was a cut-and-dry case of mean girls fabricating charges against him. Evidence of the outcome of the defamation case or pointing us to testimony from the criminal trial would be much more convincing.
tl;dr - if you read OP's evidence, he and his friends did engage the girls in a conversation about theoretically bringing a gun to school and killing people, and the girls reported them to the school, which in turn forwarded it to the prosecutor, so if anything, blame the prosecutor - not the girls - for bringing charges based on what was clearly only a theoretical discussion with no actual gun possession.
Do you really want students NOT reporting all potential threats to the school, even if the students think they might have only been joking?
edit: actually I think it was Kelsey's mother who reported it to the school, not even the girls
EDIT2: A couple comments have pointed out that OP never said he was involved in a criminal trial. I just assumed he was since he said he moved schools, was "cleared of wrongdoing," and it seemed kind of crazy to sue for defamation unless it really negatively impacted his life, since damages to his "reputation" alone would be nominal. But as OP said, he didn't win very much money, so it seems to fit.
I still wish OP would explain his side of the story of exactly what happened. I'll leave the above here because it still seems to be true, except for the stuff about the criminal trial. OP has said [in 2 comments] that he doesn't blame the girls for accusing the other 3 boys, so he seems to agree that there was a conversation ["No I believe they had every right to report the other 3 boys" and "My answer to this is that I think I was guilty by association nothing more. I am not saying they did not have the right to report the other 3 boys I am only saying I was wrongly accused"].
So it seems it went down basically how I gleaned from the police reports and witness statements. There was a conversation about bringing guns to school and who might be on a hit list, and TJ likely said some really messed up things. But OP says he wasn't really involved ["We hung out in the class together but outside that I never saw or talked to them, I can only assume I was guilty by association"], although he did answer a question about who he disliked in a context that might suggest, by association, that that that person might be in danger. Not smart.
EDIT - tl;dr - OP admits a scary conversation occurred and that the girls may have been justified in reporting the other 3 boys, but still felt the need to sue their parents.
EDIT - OP delivered on the audio transcripts and the final judgment! I don't have time to review them today - watching the AFC/NFC games at a friend's soon - but OP, maybe you'll make that job easier? I'm sure you remember the trial pretty well - what were the top 3 moments where your lawyer caught them lying and made them look foolish? If you can, would you type up the back-and-forth, or the gist of it? Also, I'm curious - how much in damages did you ask for in your complaint?
View HistoryShare Link
blumangroup409 karma2013-02-24 17:34:44 UTC
Krispy Kreme throws a bunch of donuts away at the end of each day. Check the dumpster out back late at night. They are usually inside sealed boxes so still good, and only slightly stale.
blumangroup163 karma2013-02-20 00:17:17 UTC
So now that you can finally be honest about it, what do you really think of Kim Jong-Un?
blumangroup29 karma2015-07-23 00:52:13 UTC
I'd just like to point out briefly that a lot of people think you can just "take your case" to the Supreme Court. It doesn't really work that way. The Supreme Court chooses its case load, and takes only a tiny fraction of the cases that are appealed to it. Getting a case to the Supreme Court is also about luck, finding an area of law that needs to be clarified, having compelling facts, and then even more luck.
There were a ton of same sex marriage cases throughout the country, as the OP points out. Out of all those cases, Jim's made it to the Supreme Court presumably because Anthony Kennedy found the facts of his case the most compelling.
What all this means for "social justice causes" is that the battle is won or lost in the presidential election. The president appoints justices of the Supreme Court. And then it takes 4 justices to vote to hear a case, and then it takes the vote of 5 justices in your favor to win the case.
If there was no moderate on the Court like Anthony Kennedy, this case would have never been heard, or it would have been decided the other way. It looks like Ginsburg has elected not to retire during Obama's presidency, and her health isn't that great, so it's possible that the next presidential election will determine the outcome of Supreme Court decisions for the next 30 years. If Ginsburg, a liberal, is replaced by an ultra conservative justice (like Scalia or Thomas), that's the end to cases like Obergefell (and possibly even an end to Roe v. Wade).
tl;dr The real answer to your question is that the best thing a social justice cause can do is work its hardest to get a president elected who is most closely aligned to your values.
blumangroup21 karma2013-01-27 20:34:32 UTC
How did Jon Stewart prepare for the Bill O'Reilly debates?
... I actually really wanted an answer to this one.
Copyright © 2014 BestofAMA.com, All rights reserved.
reddit has not approved or endorsed BestofAMA, reddit design elements are trademarks of reddit inc.