Charging a six-year old as an adult

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by acludem, Nov 12, 2003.

  1. acludem
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    acludem VIP Member

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    Not far from where I live, a six-year old with a history of mental problems is being accused of murdering his grandfather. The prosecuter is considering charging this boy as an adult with first degree murder. Personally, I find this scary. First that six-year old could kill, and second that we would then consider sending him to prison for the rest of his life. When did children become adults? Two 12 year olds in Florida have been sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Bry
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    Bry Member

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    Yeah, I totally agree with you. It sucks. Speaking of "a history of mental problems", I think our country is developing one.
     
  3. acludem
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    acludem VIP Member

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    I should say...I'm not sure this prosecutor will charge this kid as an adult...and I don't know if the sentence would then be life. The fact that the law allows for such a young child to be charged as an adult however is, IMHO, a serious problem.
     
  4. X.P. Alidocious
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    At the risk of sounding very cold-hearted - I think that if the kid is dangerous enough to kill, he should probably be locked up.

    However, I think that if, by law, children receive different punishments soley on the basis of age, that law should be
    followed.

    I think it is pointless to make an exception, then to make an exception to the exception in order to try a person
    regularly.

    We need to either get rid of the distinctions between children and adults, or observe the distinctions we've made.
     
  5. janeeng
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    I think it's wrong - yes, he might have murdered, but what was the cause? and how was this child brought up? treated? Seems to me, today, a lot of children are being abused by parents or relatives or a condition that just wasn't bothered to be taken care of. There is also the GREAT DYFUS in NJ, they do their jobs real well - they would rather choose to close a file then go out and see what's going on, close the file, kids die! just happened again with the boys that I believe was mentioned on here, not sure. Either way, 6 years old is too young to put away for life..
     
  6. Dan
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    Dan Senior Member

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    Well, this kid's life is over, anyway. Think about it, first of all, if he has the mental capacity (or incapacity) to murder at age 6, then he probably won't be able to function in society anyway. Furthermore, he's going to forever be branded as the six year old who killed his grandfather, nobody's going to want to give him a job, or be his friend.

    Acludem, do you have more details about the murder? I think maybe the parents or guardians should be held responsible for this too, think about it, how else is a six-year-old going to murder someone other than using a gun? He's not strong enough to stab someone or strangle them, I think. I'd like to know the circumstances around the murder.

    Down here last week, a four year old was rushed to the hospital after smoking crack. Kinda depressing, these stories.
     
  7. Bry
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    Bry Member

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    Whatever happened to "rehabilitation?"

    (just a general question, i guess. jejeje)

    There is a good reason for treating children differently from adults: children don't have the emotional development to evaluate a situation based on ethical criteria. Is 18 an arbitrary line? yeah. Is it necessary? You bet. Maybe we should develope some sort of maturity test to see if some 13 year olds should be allowed to drive? Or 6 year olds allowed to vote? Personally, I'm just fine with the law as it stands, and in so saying, we should respect it, not lower the age whenever we feel like it.

    And Dan, it's not about the mental capacity to murder, it's about the mental capacity NOT to murder.
     
  8. Joan
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    Joan Mommy Dearest

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    We had a 10 year old in Jersey kill a 4 year old. The kid's mother died when he was very young, and the father supposedly abused this child. The was another case where dyfs was involved and did nothing! It was a horrible tragedy, but this child had NO parental guidance and probably had no idea of what he was doing (or the consequences thereof). A few years in a mental home with proper therapy would do wonders. I also remember when my kids were in Jr. High - one of their peers killed another - the boy was put away, yes - but was out within a couple of years, and is now from what I hear leading a normal life. So there is hope!
     
  9. Bry
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    Bry Member

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    huh!? jejeje. I think you got the wrong thread, jim.

    uh, Joan! yeah, thanks for that great post. I couldn't agree with you more. One problem: those institutions that are supposed to help these children build normal lives are terribly underfunded. I don't know anything about dyfs, but from what i've read about most of the Juvi centers, they're a pretty scarry place to have to learn how to deal in the real world.

    Just a thought.
     
  10. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    Sure did! Thanks for pointing that out, I didn't even realize it even after I submitted! :)
     

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