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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
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by on Mar. 17, 2014 at 6:23 PM
Replies (51-58):
jen2150
by Silver Member on Mar. 19, 2014 at 9:12 AM
Depends on the case and crime. You committ pre-meditated murder you should be tried as an adult. Those teens knew what they were doing. There is a difference bwtween beating someone up and punching them in the face and a drive by shooting.
tnt-manda
by Member on Mar. 19, 2014 at 9:31 AM
It's a hard decision, I definitely dont agree with trying a person as an adult if their not an adult. I like things black and white though. Over 18, adult. Under 18, child. I do believe there are consequences for your actions and their should be some punishment equal to the crime committed.

Though, I also think we dont give enough attention to mental illnesses in this country. It's getting better but I believe we have a long way to go. The resources, affordability of medicatios and health care are still way too costly and limited. Maybe Im naive but I tend to think for a child to commit such horrible crimes they have to have some sort of illness. Normal people dont just do that, imo. Or they come from really rotten homes...and in that case I say its not the childs fault, give them a second chance with a lot of rehabilitation and a close eye on them. Sensitive subject, sad all the way around.
KickButtMama
by Shannon on Mar. 19, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Statistically speaking children who commit crime - even as serious as murder - do not re-offend if released.

Quoting yssasa:

hwblyf:


Today's kids are committing horrible crimes that many people only associate with adults. It's the parent responsible to seek help for their child if they know something is "wrong" with them. To make society pay the price by allowing these kids to be rehabilitated and then go out again a commit more crimes, is very selfish if you ask me. I say JAIL them!


KickButtMama
by Shannon on Mar. 19, 2014 at 4:24 PM

I whole-hearted ly agree that we do not give enough attention to mental health in this country. But I think I'm more along the black & white crowd as well. To me the idea of committing a teen to prison for life without the possibility of parole for something they did at age 12... Or even age 8 is disgusting. There have been instances of even disgusting murders committed by youth offenders never being repeated once released as adults. The story of Mary Murphy comes to mind, from England. She was 10 and killed 2 neighborhood toddlers. One she even cut with scissors once he was dead. She was committed to a youth prison until age 23 then released....she committed the crime in the 70's and has never re-offended. Come to find out her mother was horribly abusive - even sold her daughter for sex acts and tried to poison her twice. So perhaps time out of that situation and maturity was all that was needed to help the girl. 


Quoting tnt-manda: It's a hard decision, I definitely dont agree with trying a person as an adult if their not an adult. I like things black and white though. Over 18, adult. Under 18, child. I do believe there are consequences for your actions and their should be some punishment equal to the crime committed. Though, I also think we dont give enough attention to mental illnesses in this country. It's getting better but I believe we have a long way to go. The resources, affordability of medicatios and health care are still way too costly and limited. Maybe Im naive but I tend to think for a child to commit such horrible crimes they have to have some sort of illness. Normal people dont just do that, imo. Or they come from really rotten homes...and in that case I say its not the childs fault, give them a second chance with a lot of rehabilitation and a close eye on them. Sensitive subject, sad all the way around.


tnt-manda
by Member on Mar. 19, 2014 at 4:48 PM
Wow. What a heart breaking story. I do think unfortunately there are alot of scarred homelives to these kind of children, and thats not their fault the were dealt a crappy beginning.



Quoting KickButtMama:

I whole-hearted ly agree that we do not give enough attention to mental health in this country. But I think I'm more along the black & white crowd as well. To me the idea of committing a teen to prison for life without the possibility of parole for something they did at age 12... Or even age 8 is disgusting. There have been instances of even disgusting murders committed by youth offenders never being repeated once released as adults. The story of Mary Murphy comes to mind, from England. She was 10 and killed 2 neighborhood toddlers. One she even cut with scissors once he was dead. She was committed to a youth prison until age 23 then released....she committed the crime in the 70's and has never re-offended. Come to find out her mother was horribly abusive - even sold her daughter for sex acts and tried to poison her twice. So perhaps time out of that situation and maturity was all that was needed to help the girl. 

Quoting tnt-manda: It's a hard decision, I definitely dont agree with trying a person as an adult if their not an adult. I like things black and white though. Over 18, adult. Under 18, child. I do believe there are consequences for your actions and their should be some punishment equal to the crime committed.

Though, I also think we dont give enough attention to mental illnesses in this country. It's getting better but I believe we have a long way to go. The resources, affordability of medicatios and health care are still way too costly and limited. Maybe Im naive but I tend to think for a child to commit such horrible crimes they have to have some sort of illness. Normal people dont just do that, imo. Or they come from really rotten homes...and in that case I say its not the childs fault, give them a second chance with a lot of rehabilitation and a close eye on them. Sensitive subject, sad all the way around.

Beniegenie
by Member on Mar. 20, 2014 at 4:35 PM
I think when a child is 16-17 years old and many at 15 years old, they are able to make decisions right or wrong. They have sex, they know the risk of STD's and pregnancy for girls becoming parents for boys. If we are to say that these kids shouldn't be treated as adults for a crime that they knowing and willingly commit, that would be like saying we need to make it maditory that all kids under 18 be required to give up their children that they create under unprotected sex. They do the crime they need to suffer the consequence. Becoming a parent at 16 is a life long adult consequence to an adult desicion. So yes they should be tried as adults. I start questioning for children under 14. Military recruiter approach kids at 16-17 years of age to make a four year min commitment to the military. At 15 we allow them to drive vehicles, putting their lives and the lives of others in their hands. So I don't see a gray area unless they are under 15.
paganbaby
by Silver Member on Mar. 20, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Couldn't have said it better myself.

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 will not have a temper tantrum nor stomp across the floor.


I will not pout, scream or shout or kick against the door.

I will not throw my food around nor pick upon another.

I’ll always try to be real good because I am the mother.

I am the mother.

I am the mother.














yssasa
by on Mar. 23, 2014 at 7:09 AM

Kickmom:


That's not true. Many of today's felons started as child criminals and look were they are today-jail. I truly believe if one commits a heinous crime such as murder or rape at such a young age they cannot be rehabilitated. Also, what about the victims of the crimes these kids commit where is their justice? I would not want to hear someone say to me " please have mercy on the kid because their just a child" when they may have robbed and killed a love one of mine, would you?

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