Social media users are seemingly rallying around a TikTok user who killed a mother and child, arguing he deserves a lesser prison sentence because he’s ‘too cute’.
Cameron Herrin was sentenced in April 2021 to 24 years in prison, six years short of the maximum of 30, after pleading guilty to killing Jessica Raubenolt and her 20-month-old daughter Lillia by hitting them with his Ford Mustang while racing the car against another vehicle in Tampa, Florida in 2018.
Following the sentencing, numerous social media accounts began sharing posts including the words ‘justice for Cameron’ on the Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages of the 13th Circuit Court, Hillsborough County state attorney Andrew Warren and the Florida Department of Corrections, while on TikTok many users called for a shorter sentencing for Herrin, though many of these posts may not be from real people.
There has been debate as to whether many of these posts came from bots, with experts in online disinformation seeing similarities to paid influence campaigns using fake accounts, according to The Tampa Bay Times, however some users have attempted to dispel this theory by writing in their posts that they are human.
Discussing the support around Herrin, TikToker Hannah Kosh recited some of the comments about his sentencing, one of which read: ‘poor boy, I hope they will forgive him. He looks innocent, he didn’t do it on purpose.’
Another person commented: ‘You’re too cute, I fell in love with a criminal.’
Kosh went on to note that thousands of internet users have gone as far as to sign a petition to get Herrin out of jail, while some TikTok users have used the platform to imitate Herrin’s look from the sentencing.
The judge who delivered Herrin’s sentence said at the time that the TikToker’s track record of excessive speeding contributed to his decision to give him 24 years in prison.
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Tampa Bay Times