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Poll

Question: When should children be charged as adults?

Options:

When the crime is a serious felony (assualt, murder, etc)

When the child is over the age 16

When the victim's families request it

Never, they are kids


Only group members can vote in this poll.

Total Votes: 37

View Results

 Some of you might know I'm a huge crime buff. I'm often fascinated, and mildly horrified, at the vast differences from state to state (and country to country) when it comes to crime and punishment.

It is not uncommon for children who commit felonies to be tried and convicted as adults here in the US - there was a story several years back of a 10 year old who killed his 6 year old neighbor and he got life in prison. Whereas it's more common in other industrialized nations for child offenders to face reabilitation (since statistically child-offenders are unlikely to re-offend). For instance, in Canada several years ago, a 12 year old girl arranged with her 26 year old boyfriend to have her parents and brother killed. She will be released from youth rehabilitation when she turns 21.

So, I started to wonder....we have a large variety of backgrounds here....what are your thoughts on youth offenders. ...

I ask because of the popularity recently of charging bullies with harassment/assualt. These are often children harassing other children. Are we considering locking these kids up and throwing away the key?

I'm a mom of a child on the autism spectrum. So the following story breaks my heart imagining this happening to my son. The older teen is being charged as an adult while the younger has initially been charged as a juvenile (but they are considering upping the charges)..

2 MD Teen Girls Accused Of Turturing an Autistic Boy

Maryland – Police say two Maryland teenagers recorded themselves physically assaulting an autistic classmate and forcing him to perform sex acts, some with animals.

St. Mary County Sheriff’s Department said 17-year-old Lauren Bush and an unidentified 15-year-old girl admitted they assaulted the 16-year-old autistic boy with a knife on multiple occasions between December and February.

Sheriff Tim Cameron said all three teens attend Chopticon High School and that the girls preyed on the boy. They allegedly assaulted him with a knife, kicked him in the groin, dragged him by the hair, coerced him to engage in a sex act with an animal, and forced him to walk on a partially frozen pond where he fell through the ice.

The latter act being a possibly deadly one according to Sgt. Cara Grumbels. ”You’re dealing with somebody who doesn’t have the mental capacity of you and I,” she said. “Somebody like that could go into a kiddie pool and may not be able to get themselves out. That’s what’s really kind of disturbing to us, among the other allegations in this case. The whole thing’s just very disturbing.”

Police got involved after the younger girl’s mother found video of the bullying on her daughter’s cell phone and showed the video to a sheriff’s deputy who works in the school. Both girls admitted to the assaults. Police say there is no evidence that the videos were posted online or any that other students were involved.

Lauren Bush has been charged as an adult, while the 15-year-old was charged as a juvenile. They’ve each been charged with two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault, child pornography and false imprisonment.



Read more: http://www.dreamindemon.com/2014/03/13/lauren-bush-teen-girls-accused-forcing-autistic-boy-perform-sex-acts-knifepoint/#ixzz2wGG3Ortc
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
Follow us: @dreamindemon on Twitter | thedreamindemon on Facebook


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by on Mar. 17, 2014 at 6:23 PM
Replies (11-20):
KickButtMama
by Shannon on Mar. 17, 2014 at 11:04 PM

I agree, and added a different option to the poll, I meant to add a button for 'never' but brain farted on it..lol.

i agree that putting them in prison and throwing away the key is pointless. I think we need to completely re-assess the juvenile penal system in this country. Heck, we need to completely revamp All our penal system. Too often it's being used in a knee-jerk reaction, an emotional reaction, rather than truly preventing future crime. 

Quoting hwblyf:

I'm not for trying children as adults.  We won't let them drive, we won't let them enter a contract, we feel that they make such bad decisions that we won't allow them to choose cigarettes....society screams that they need guidance/surveillance/assistance in making decisions with lasting consequences.  I don't think retribution is what jail should be.  If that were the case, death penalty for all with a waiting period of less than a week.  But we don't do that.  I think rehab is better.  I think positive programs for youth to give them a positive place and positive way to spend their energy, is best.  I think bureaucratically we have no hope for that last one.  But I think that if we're not willing to let someone enter into a legal contract because they don't have the full out thought process that we think it requires, then we shouldn't be trying them as adults.  And it's not as if they're doing a psych profile and maturity eval on anybody prior to determining whether or not they're adults, they're looking at the crime, plain and simple.

As a mom of a very precious, overactive, possibly aggressive and hostile young man, I have to say that throwing away our youth to a prison system is stupid.  Putting a 12 year old in prison for life is a waste.  No good has come from putting someone in prison.  I understand protecting others, but that is a life wasted.  What good can come from that?


KickButtMama
by Shannon on Mar. 17, 2014 at 11:10 PM

I think it needs to be on a case by case basis for sure. But I have a hard time saying the girls are broken beyond redemption. I am a completely different person to the one I was as a teen....I mean Completely. I was a dumb blonde, my friends jokingly called me Kelly Bundy. I was shallow and utterly selfish. Because of those things I didn't think things through or see consequences for my actions. I ended up getting gravely sick when I was 17 with a rare blood disorder. I was really sick litterally overnight and it lasted about 2 years. That episode completely changed every fascet of my personality. From being a Highschool drop-out to getting a degree in Physics. From not taking anything seriously to taking Everything seriously. My point is, if I could do a complete 180 in my personality, so can anyone. 

Do I believe there are sociopaths out there who feed on the pain/terror of others? Sure. But I think lots of kids have tendencies of doing things that can seem sociopathic that they can truly regret and wish to never happen again - which means they aren't true sociopaths. 

Quoting snowangel1979: Really I think it has to a case by case basis and depends on the crime. A 16 year old that brakes into a few homes and steals, rehab. A 16 year old that kills or does something like those 2 girls, life. There's something wrong with their heads and rehab is not going to fix it.


KickButtMama
by Shannon on Mar. 17, 2014 at 11:13 PM


Quoting AutymsMommy:

A 17 year old? Meh - that's iffy. In general, never do I think it's okay to charge a child as an adult. If they aren't considered cognitively mature enough to vote, drink, serve in the military, or any number of other things, I'm not sure how they would be considered cognitively mature enough to commit a crime as an adult. There are reasons (related to science and plenty of research) that indicate a child's ability to control their impulses, understand long term repercussions, and think things through do not develop in what we consider the years of "childhood" - which is WHY they aren't allowed to smoke, drink, decide if they want to go to school, join the military, enter into a contract, etc.

What are we saying if we try children as adults? "You're old enough to be held responsible for your actions, like an adult, but not old enough to enjoy the other benefits of adulthood"? That makes no sense.

A "child" cannot commit an adult crime with the same intent or understanding as an adult - so it cannot, should not, be considered an adult crime. Ever.

My 12 year is still waiting for her letter to Hogwarts (she only half way believes that it isn't coming). She believed wholeheartedly in Santa Clause until 9 or so; the tooth fairy for a while after that. I can't imagine somebody deciding she had the mental culpability of an adult.

At 16/17 (the age of the girls in the article), I thought I was "too skinny" to get pregnant, the pull out method was fool-proof, and nothing bad would ever happen to me.

I completely agree...Well Said!!

jjchick75
by Member on Mar. 17, 2014 at 11:17 PM
I agree with this.

By 16 they understand the seriousness of taking someone else's life and that shouldn't be treated lightly.

Quoting snowangel1979: Really I think it has to a case by case basis and depends on the crime.
A 16 year old that brakes into a few homes and steals, rehab.
A 16 year old that kills or does something like those 2 girls, life. There's something wrong with their heads and rehab is not going to fix it.
Jenn8604
by Member on Mar. 17, 2014 at 11:25 PM
1 mom liked this
Charge them as adults
I do not think the cruel and unusual punishment law should exist. I say these girls, and others like them, need to have the cruel and unusual torture they put people through done to them.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
AutymsMommy
by Silver Member on Mar. 17, 2014 at 11:34 PM
These are children too.

Quoting Jenn8604: Charge them as adults
I do not think the cruel and unusual punishment law should exist. I say these girls, and others like them, need to have the cruel and unusual torture they put people through done to them.
chotovec82
by Bronze Member on Mar. 18, 2014 at 12:20 AM
1 mom liked this
Kids who are old enough to know better should be locked up. Sorry you know not to kill someone, to rape someone, to force sexual acts upon them, etc...

So I think it should be case by case. I also think that there is a certain age of accountibility. I'd say generally 10. 10 yr olds know killing is wrong, raping or forcing sexual acts, stealing, etc...
Jenn8604
by Member on Mar. 18, 2014 at 1:46 AM
1 mom liked this
No they are perverted FREAKS!!! They're parents need jail time while they need tortured the way they tortured him.

Quoting AutymsMommy: These are children too.

Quoting Jenn8604: Charge them as adults
I do not think the cruel and unusual punishment law should exist. I say these girls, and others like them, need to have the cruel and unusual torture they put people through done to them.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Mar. 18, 2014 at 8:08 AM

I understand why they are charging them as adults.  There are very few penalties for actions anymore and they want to make an example of these kids.  IMO this is the wrong way of going about it.  Things like this tragedy do NOT occur in a vacuum.  There were signs and symptoms leading up to these acts.  Those signs and symptoms most likely had little or no consequences.  Now that these children graduated to a felony, the full weight of the judicial system should fall on their heads?  No.  Of course not.  

I am not very familiar with this case, but I have seen simialr instances occur.  There are many tiny little signs that bad things are coming, but the parents often want to put their heads in the sand about it.  There are plagiarized papers, little white lies, little bullying incidents, etc; but when a school tries to exact some punishments the parents often fight it tooth and nail.  When the behavior finally explodes, the kids have no idea that there are consequences for their actions.  They've gotten out of trouble so often, they think they are untouchable.

Instead of hitting so harshly on the end of the escalation, the system needs to come up with some mild rehabilitations in the younger years AND the parents need to step off and allow them to happen.  There are many kids who should have gone to Juvenile Detention, but.... the parents are terrified of the consequences.  The college scholarships they'll lose, the opportunities they'll miss.  They need to open their eyes and see the consequences of NOT making them face the punishments.

Okay rant over.

mem82
by Platinum Member on Mar. 18, 2014 at 8:56 AM
1 mom liked this
I agree. I think the amount of parents that don't displine(sp?) and won't allow others to do it have created these creatures.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

I understand why they are charging them as adults.  There are very few penalties for actions anymore and they want to make an example of these kids.  IMO this is the wrong way of going about it.  Things like this tragedy do NOT occur in a vacuum.  There were signs and symptoms leading up to these acts.  Those signs and symptoms most likely had little or no consequences.  Now that these children graduated to a felony, the full weight of the judicial system should fall on their heads?  No.  Of course not.  

I am not very familiar with this case, but I have seen simialr instances occur.  There are many tiny little signs that bad things are coming, but the parents often want to put their heads in the sand about it.  There are plagiarized papers, little white lies, little bullying incidents, etc; but when a school tries to exact some punishments the parents often fight it tooth and nail.  When the behavior finally explodes, the kids have no idea that there are consequences for their actions.  They've gotten out of trouble so often, they think they are untouchable.

Instead of hitting so harshly on the end of the escalation, the system needs to come up with some mild rehabilitations in the younger years AND the parents need to step off and allow them to happen.  There are many kids who should have gone to Juvenile Detention, but.... the parents are terrified of the consequences.  The college scholarships they'll lose, the opportunities they'll miss.  They need to open their eyes and see the consequences of NOT making them face the punishments.

Okay rant over.

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