Telling a bad joke is always an awkward experience. Your friends look at you funny, an audience might boo you, or maybe even throw a tomato. But 20-year-old university student Caleb Clemmons is suffering far worse for his bad joke. He has been locked up in county jail since February without trial and with bail set too high for his family to afford.
Back on Feb. 8, Clemmons, whose high grade point average earned him a scholarship to Georgia Southern University, posted the joke — or “experimental literary piece” as he called it — to his Tumblr page under his screen name of “irenigg.” Granted, the joke was not a good one.
“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,” the student wrote, without using any capitalization.
The results of the experiment were affirmative. Clemmons was indeed arrested within hours. The incident was kept quiet until the following month, when the post started circulating again. At that time, University Dean of Students Patrice Jackson issued a statement informing students that there was no threat.
There never was a threat. Police found no evidence that Clemmons had any plans to carry out an attack and did not own any firearms. The post was simply an tasteless prank.
Nonetheless, Clemmons remains in Bulloch County Jail where his family says he has suffered assaults and abuse because many of the other inmates are violent criminals and hard-core racists. Clemmons is African-American.
Clemmons faces trial later this week and could be sentenced to up to five years in prison if convicted of making a terrorist threat.
The student’s bond was set at $20,000 but his family have not been able to raise even the 10 percent of that needed to free him and cannot afford to pay it out of pocket. They have started a fund for his legal defense and have accumulated just fewer than $2,000 in donations.
SOURCES: Gawker, Guns.com