Debate and Discussion

Minors Tried as Adults?
trevoramueller at 8:30AM, Oct. 19, 2007
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Talking about Capital Punishment got me thinking about all the elementary school shootings from a few years back. Should kids be tried as adults for committing murder or rape? Where's the age cut off, or should it be based on the severity of the crime?

If an 8 year old kid brings a gun to school and shoots 3 classmates, is that any different than a 20 year old kid shooting his classmates in college?

What are your thoughts?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 4:33PM
subcultured at 9:02AM, Oct. 19, 2007
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they should be tried as adults, murder is an adult offense.
send the message to kids who think they can behind their age
J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:03PM
freefall_drift at 10:45AM, Oct. 19, 2007
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Lots of issues here.
At what age is a kid able to understand what they were doing? My 4 year old thinks being dead is like being asleep.
Remember how twitchy you were during puberty? Did you feel like you were in control?
Do you believe in redemption or punishment? Do you believe that people can change? Or that it's not possible and the best we can do is make them suffer for their crimes?

I think kids have to get counciling and therapy and help, and deserve another chance. There should be some form of punishment, but the emphasis is on rehabilitation. I think kids are redeemable. Slowly between 12 and 18, the kids becomes adult enough to know better, to know it was wrong, and they should be tried as adults. And I don't know enough about biology and maturation to tell you when. I bet it's different for each child.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
Aurora Moon at 10:51AM, Oct. 19, 2007
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it would depend on the kid though.

you know that there have been instances of kids young as 5-6 years old raping other kids or enaging in seemingly consental sex with other kids that young after he/she has been sexually assulted by an pedophile.

It's an classic sypthom that unfounately not many people know about. In a way you could say that's how the pedophile “mental illness” passes down…. the kid can't tell anybody what happened, or so he/she thinks. So she/he starts to act out by doing the same things that the pedophile did to him/her on other kids.
The kid gets addicted to this form of outlet, horrible as it sounds. And that addiction leads to the kid becoming a pedophile in his/her future.

I've always believed that when you're that young when it's discovered, that those kids could easily be helped before they hurt anybody… or even to stop them from hurting anyone ever again.
Unfounately, not enough help is given to kids even with all this awareness about pedophiles causing those kids to act out.

In a lot of cases, it often dispupts an family life in a lot of ways after it's discovered that the children in the family was sexually assulted. That of course adds unneeded stress for the children snice they know all the disturbances is about them.
And in some other cases, the family often won't take thier kids to phychlogists after the pedophile is caught and convicted…they just attempt to “move on” with thier lives while being there for the kids, hoping that the kids would forget and just move on too. That often doesn't work nethier.

Now the question is….Are you really okay with convicting an 5-6 year old as an adult for rape of other kids when it's clearly obivous that the kid is basically acting out on the fact that he/she was raped himself/herself too?

Sure, there's very unfounate cases where an kid raping other kids is gonna have a lasting effect on the other kids, like in that case of 11-year-old boy giving aids to preschool girls because some goddamn pedophile gave him that illness. But it could be argued that if that pervert never laid his/her mitts on that 11-year-old boy, it would never had happened in the first place.

Of course, as the kids becomes more older… like coming into his/her late teens I guess he/she could become more accountable for his/her actions.
So I guess it all comes down to whenever the kid can really be helped or not, and whenever he/she was in a fit mental state to know what really went on, that merits such a punishment.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
crazyninny at 1:01PM, Oct. 19, 2007
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If you old enough to know, and understand what your doing, then your old enough to pay for the crime. A crime is a crime, dosen't matter who or how old you are, if you did it, you did it. Now pay the time! Show those kids that they can't get away with anything they want!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:48AM
StaceyMontgomery at 1:09PM, Oct. 19, 2007
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Presumably we are also giving children the right to vote? I mean, if they are responsible for their actions, then they should get an equal say in society.

Also, of course, they should be paying their share of taxes.

See? I didn't think you meant it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
freefall_drift at 1:20PM, Oct. 19, 2007
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>> A crime is a crime, dosen't matter who or how old you are, if you did it, you did it. Now pay the time!
Yeah right! Very Republican of you.
Isn't it listed in the bible that parents are supposed to kill their kids if they backtalk or something.
Kids deserve a second change. hell, people need a second change.
Now if it's a pattern, that's different.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
Aurora Moon at 1:25PM, Oct. 19, 2007
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crazyninny
If you old enough to know, and understand what your doing, then your old enough to pay for the crime. A crime is a crime, dosen't matter who or how old you are, if you did it, you did it. Now pay the time! Show those kids that they can't get away with anything they want!

Ah, so a 5-year-old should be tried as an sexual offender and jailed for up to 10 years away from his/her family. All Because he/she was acting out sexually on other kids his/her age due to the fact that she/he was sexually abused by an adult.

Yeah, great logic there.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
okamimako at 2:36PM, Oct. 19, 2007
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I personally think that, by the time they hit high school, they should know better. They should be tried as adults and shipped off to prison.

BUT.

Kids (being as they're so much younger than I am…) are high influential at that age, especially during middle/high school. So, they're tried and sentence to whatever number of years in prison, and, suddenly, they're in the middle of all these immoral people who would have a horrible influence on them and, predictably, cause them to be someone who would continue acting like that once they get out of prison.

So, I would think therapy, as well as teachers/parents/other adults that are a constant in the kids life, as well as making sure he doesn't hang around poor role models. Will the kids not like this constant? Of course not, but he's going to have to be punished somehow. The only thing I can think of against this is that it's a big commitment to keep tabs on a kid until they're whatever age/proven to be stably sane, and plenty of people would give up before the kid stops imagining hanging his schoolmates.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:20PM
crazyninny at 6:33PM, Oct. 19, 2007
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crazyninny
If you old enough to know, and understand what your doing, then your old enough to pay for the crime. A crime is a crime, dosen't matter who or how old you are, if you did it, you did it. Now pay the time! Show those kids that they can't get away with anything they want!

Ah, so a 5-year-old should be tried as an sexual offender and jailed for up to 10 years away from his/her family. All Because he/she was acting out sexually on other kids his/her age due to the fact that she/he was sexually abused by an adult.

Yeah, great logic there.

You seem to missed the part where I said ‘If your old enough to know, and understand what your doing’. Its right there, in the first line.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:48AM
crazyninny at 6:36PM, Oct. 19, 2007
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freefall_drift
>> A crime is a crime, dosen't matter who or how old you are, if you did it, you did it. Now pay the time!
Yeah right! Very Republican of you.
Isn't it listed in the bible that parents are supposed to kill their kids if they backtalk or something.
Kids deserve a second change. hell, people need a second change.
Now if it's a pattern, that's different.

It is in the bible that your suppose to punish your child if you love them. Which I belive in. I hate these parents buying whatever they'er kids want, and letting them off for doing small crimes, and having babies at age 12.

Does Hitler desever a secound chance then?
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:48AM
Aurora Moon at 7:05PM, Oct. 19, 2007
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crazyninny
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crazyninny
If you old enough to know, and understand what your doing, then your old enough to pay for the crime. A crime is a crime, dosen't matter who or how old you are, if you did it, you did it. Now pay the time! Show those kids that they can't get away with anything they want!

Ah, so a 5-year-old should be tried as an sexual offender and jailed for up to 10 years away from his/her family. All Because he/she was acting out sexually on other kids his/her age due to the fact that she/he was sexually abused by an adult.

Yeah, great logic there.

You seem to missed the part where I said ‘If your old enough to know, and understand what your doing’. Its right there, in the first line.

But that's the thing. a 5 year old knows the adult who hurt him/her did something wrong. Even if he/she doesn't understand WHY the adult in question hurt the 5-year-old in that way. And by acting out on other kids that 5-year-old is aware that he's hurting others but he also knows it's a way for him to “feel better” about being hurt.
5-year-old logic… hurt others after being hurt, even if you knew right from wrong in the first place.

Even at that age they can be incredibly perceivtive about a lot of things. this I know from babysitting my nephew who's around that age… and he knows right from wrong, too. Like he knows it's wrong to hurt others, to steal things that isn't his, etc….
So by that logic, my 5-year-old Nephew could easily be held accountable for his actions since he KNEW BETTER but did something naughty anyway.

However…at that age they lack the experience and the self-restraint that adults has, and that's why they do a lot of things that they KNOW they shouldn't be doing. At that age, most 5-year-old acts mostly on impulse even though they had knowledge telling them not to do that.

It can be argued that that could easily be the same for any 11 to 14 year olds…. Especially if they were raised in an environment where they weren't able to gain any experience in the world on their own. Or worse, because they haven't had parents and or family members telling them about what was right and what was wrong. With experience, comes self-restraint.

The same could easily apply to say, an mentally impaired adult man who was sheltered his whole life; who didn't know how to deal with his adult impulses and ended up acting upon those impulses in an destructive way. That mentally impaired man is at an age where most people would just know better than to do such things, but thanks to his situation, he's not most people.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
crazyninny at 7:16PM, Oct. 19, 2007
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I still stand by ‘if you know, and if you understand’ idea.
My brother, and cousin are both mentally challenged, so they can never truly fall in the ‘understand group’ and ‘know group’, now can they? So they can be spared from normal prisons. Institions, most likely not, but prisons, yes.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:48AM
Aurora Moon at 7:40PM, Oct. 19, 2007
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Eh, I don't know about that. I've had relatives who worked with the mentally challenged, so I've been around them enough to know that if you explain things in a way where even they can understand it, they can easily know right from wrong.

like there was this mentally challenged kid who had been so sheltered by his parents he thought he could do anything he wanted to.
He kept on staring at any female who happened to have a developed chest… and sometimes just walking up to the said female and groping their chest.

So after a long session of explaining things to him in terms that even a 5-year-old could understand, as well as acting out what the consequences were if he were to continue it, he stopped doing such a thing.

The problem was really his parents. They thought that snice he was mentally challegned, that he wouldn't be able to understand right from wrong so they never brothered to explain any of it to him. And they also had the complusion to want to protect him from the world…. which is understandable. However it also resulted in sheltering him in such a way where he wasn't able to learn social skills and basic knowledge such as the fact that you just don't grope some female's breasts.

You see, there's all different kinds of retardation…. so others may understand, and some may not.
The parents made the mistake of labelling all mentally challeged people as the same… as people who would never really understand right from wrong.

Just like how YOU're making the mistake that ALL kids at any age is able to understand right from wrong, etc…..
I simply believe it needs to be done on a case by case basis, rather than as some kind of sweeping gerenalization that all 11-16 year olds “know better”….Because all kids devlop differently.

like how my nephew's a very brillant boy, but the next 5-year-old might not be so smart.

so while a 11-year-old boy may know better than not to shoot up schools…. a 16-year-old may not.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
crazyninny at 7:53PM, Oct. 19, 2007
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… I don't see my brother time to time, I LIVE with him. I known him snice the day he was born, and I'll know him to the day I'll die. Knowing mentally challenged people is one thing, but LIVING with them is different. He DOSEN'T know the difference between right and wrong becuase he can't remeber smiple, and easly remebered things like that.
When you lived with some one with a challenge your whole life, then you can talk about it to me.

And you still don't get it, I'm not sterotyping kids. I'm saying if they ‘KNOW and UNDERSTAND’. Like you seem to not be able to UNDERSTAND that not every kid is smart like your 5 year old nephew. Hell, I got 5 year old cousins that still don't know why planes are able to fly, and why my hair is short like a boys.
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Aurora Moon at 8:04PM, Oct. 19, 2007
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*smiles sweetly* I'm deaf, and I've been in a boarding school full of people with disabilities for nearly my whole life.

so trust me, I KNOW!!!!!

and I've seen that classic scenario way too many times where a parent shelter their kids way too much to the point of being overprotective. All because their kid happened to have a disability whereas their other kids didn't.
And that ends up being an disservice to their kids instead. After all, why assume that your kid can't understand if you don't let them try to learn it first?

After all, Down sydrome is not the same as Autism. ETC, ETC, you get the idea.
There's mild retardation, and then there's sereve retardation, and the in-bewteen.
Click here to see how different types of mentally challenged people can become independant on their own and can understand some basic things. a Chart's at the bottom of the page.

And I'm not saying all kids are smart, etc… in fact I was actually saying is that there's different levels of intelligence for every person…so therefore it has to be done on a case by case basis, instead of just treating most minors like an adult just simply because they're at an age where they should had known better.

THAT'S ALL I WAS SAYING!
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crazyninny at 8:27PM, Oct. 19, 2007
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Lets just agree that we both have our own views on the subject matter.
End of Story. Its not like I'm suppose to know everyones problems in the internet world.
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bobhhh at 3:13PM, Oct. 20, 2007
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Presumably we are also giving children the right to vote? I mean, if they are responsible for their actions, then they should get an equal say in society.

Also, of course, they should be paying their share of taxes.

See? I didn't think you meant it.


RIGHT ON!!

Further in every other situation that pertains to a child, the parent or guardian is responsible, so why not here?? If you really want to blame somebody for the actions of a minor, blame the parents. Perhaps if they had been more responsible, they wouldn't have sired and raised children capable of criminal actions.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
crazyninny at 7:09PM, Oct. 20, 2007
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Presumably we are also giving children the right to vote? I mean, if they are responsible for their actions, then they should get an equal say in society.

Also, of course, they should be paying their share of taxes.

See? I didn't think you meant it.


RIGHT ON!!

Further in every other situation that pertains to a child, the parent or guardian is responsible, so why not here?? If you really want to blame somebody for the actions of a minor, blame the parents. Perhaps if they had been more responsible, they wouldn't have sired and raised children capable of criminal actions.

Like that one mother that bought her son all those guns recently?

… For real! Who would let their kids have weapons like that to being with!? I mean, if its a hunting rifle to hunts some deer or something, or a bebe gun, then I can understand. But that kid had more guns than Al Capone did! And knifes and swords too! How old was that kid?! And where did he keep them all?!
Psh, if I was a mother, I would have a fit if my kid had even a pocket knife. But that mother was just worng, no kid should have any kind of weapon like he had.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:48AM
Aurora Moon at 11:51PM, Oct. 20, 2007
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usually in those cases those kids did get those weapons from thier parents.

But you see… that's the thing. the parents in those situations usually brought them for self-defense purposes or had a hunting hobby. I remember one instance where one father was even in the army.

But of course, they didn't keep thier weapons secure enough… for even if they locked up the weapons, they kept the key in such a obivous place where the kids were able to access them regardless.

So most of the time, it really did come down to the parents' responsblity to keep it diffcult for their children to access anything dangerous like that.
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spacehamster at 3:34AM, Oct. 21, 2007
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StaceyMontgomery
Presumably we are also giving children the right to vote? I mean, if they are responsible for their actions, then they should get an equal say in society.

Also, of course, they should be paying their share of taxes.

See? I didn't think you meant it.



Yep. Also, from a purely pragmatic point of view, it doesn't do anyone any good. It won't act as a deterrent to juvenile delinquents because they're too young to really be able to imagine what it means to have to go to jail, and with every youth you throw in prison to serve an adult sentence, you've created another lifelong criminal that's going to do more damage to society and cost taxpayers more money through trials and prison terms.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:50PM
DAJB at 4:39AM, Oct. 21, 2007
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As a general rule I'd say, sure, there definitely are kids who commit the most terrible crimes and who are fully aware of what they're doing. There's no reason why those kids shouldn't be sentenced in the same way as adults.

The practical problem in legislating for it, however, is that every child will gain that level of awareness at a different age. Given the number of kids who happily flout the law these days knowing that they cannot be punished, the question has to be asked whether the current definition of a minor is actually set at the correct age. Wherever you set it, however, it's going to be correct for some and not others.

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
ozoneocean at 9:48AM, Oct. 21, 2007
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There's a good reason why we say “sentenced as adults”: because those sentences are intended for adults. In all the cases I've ever heard of, the decision to sentence the child offender “as an adult” was simply about vengeance for the crime. I think there are over 70 or so children under 14 serving life sentences in the US alone.

If you want you justice to be about vengeance, then I suppose that's ok then.

The point about allowing kids to vote if they can be tried as adults is a valid one and should be extended to alcohol consumption, military service, gun ownership, driving licences, the right to have sex, and the right to smoke… But I'm glad that it's NOT! They're not adults, they're stupid little kids with tiny little brains that have years to go before they're even mechanically able to contemplate a quarter of the things about life on the planet Earth, society, and even their own bodies that an adult can, let ALONE be able to actually understand any of those things intellectually!

Man… It reminds me of a moronic thing I've heard said a few times: "Kids are growing up faster than ever these days" WTF????!!!
That is always said seriously (not as a throwaway line), and in relation to spoilt little western kids with their access to violent video games, porn on the net and violence in movies… How ignorant can some people get?????? I'm astonished! Just a little under 150 years ago children as young as 5 -7 worked in mines in the most powerful country in the world at the time (Britain), there were child prostitutes on the streets there, child soldiers in the armies and navies of that great country and today they think a stupid video game and a bit of porn makes a child grow up faster? o_O

Look, the fact is that you have perfectly formed, perfectly mentally sound , beautiful little children who've grown up in places like Sierra Leone, who were inducted into rebel militias and spent their formative years raping mothers, cutting of the noses, ears and hands off people, putting out their eyes, killing… And they grow up NOT being “evil”. Because they are not and never were.

And because of this, adult “punishments” are a nonsense. I think you have to treat kids who've done bad things like dangerous animals: in that you have to be wary of them because they can very well do it again; you have to teach them NOT to do it and in the mean time you have to control them and separate them from the rest of us until they're safe to be around.

Adult punishments aren't like that, it's mainly retribution… Like that fucking moronic petition chain letter about the child killers of that Bulger toddler and how they should never, ever be freed…

Ah, got a good head of steam up. That means I'm procrastinating :(
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:28PM
crazyninny at 7:12PM, Oct. 21, 2007
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usually in those cases those kids did get those weapons from thier parents.

But you see… that's the thing. the parents in those situations usually brought them for self-defense purposes or had a hunting hobby. I remember one instance where one father was even in the army.

But of course, they didn't keep thier weapons secure enough… for even if they locked up the weapons, they kept the key in such a obivous place where the kids were able to access them regardless.

So most of the time, it really did come down to the parents' responsblity to keep it diffcult for their children to access anything dangerous like that.

Thats why I refuss to own a gun. The risk of having a little kid finding it, no matter what *Even if you hide really it well. Come on, eeeevveerryyyoonneee sneaked around the house looking for X-Mas or Brithday presents… Some of us got spanked for it. ;_;*

I think that, even if you REALLY need a gun, you should at least keep the bullets some where else, and the gun under lock and key. That way, if the kid finds the gun, they'll won't be able to shoot each other or open the safe. But once they find the bullets and key… Well, I don't need to finish this thought to let you all know what'll happen.
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freefall_drift at 6:13AM, Oct. 22, 2007
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ozoneocean's post about vengeance is what I wished I had said. I wished I had that gift of words.
And would I give Hitler a 2nd chance? No. He knew what he was doing.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
Priest_Revan at 11:56AM, Oct. 22, 2007
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I think the only case that a minor should be tried as an adult is if he/she takes the life of another person. It should also be based on the severity of the crime.

For example, a “simple” gun shot shouldn't be worth as much as, say, a kid beating other kid, then burning his/her body, then eating some of it.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:48PM
Aurora Moon at 4:40PM, Oct. 22, 2007
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I don't know if any of you remember this but…

he Tiffany Snow murder case. I do not remember the assailant's name at the moment, however, I do remember the case. Tiffany was 7 years old, playing unattended with her 12-year old friend. When the boy's parents came back, Tiffany was unconscious. He said that she just collapsed, but when she got to the hospital, they discovered that she had suffered severe physical trauma. Her ribs were shattered, and one of the bones had actually impaled her liver. I believe her skull was fractured as well. The doctors were unable to save her; she died at the hospital.

Later questioning revealed that the trauma had come from her friend showing off a wrestling move that he had seen on TV. He saw the professionals do it and get out just fine, so he thought there was no risk in trying it on her, as it was only a game. When he realized he HAD hurt her, he did what any kid would do; he covered his butt and said he didn't know what happened. While the “attack” was deliberate, the result was unexpected; an accident. He was thinking like a KID.

They tried him as an adult. He became the youngest person ever to be sentenced to life in prison without parole. That sentence was later changed to something more fitting for thinking like a kid, due to pressure from the media and probably his family.

He clearly was not thinking as an adult when it happened. He was six years too young to be legally considered an adult.

So why should kids be tried as an adult if they were not even thinking like an adult when they commit an crime?

Heck, most of the time whenever they did something criminal, they usually weren't even thinking like any mature person.

That's why I can only agree with trying an minor as an adult IF IT WAS DONE ON A CASE BY CASE BASIS, by looking at the evidence of whenever the kid was really mature and aware of consquences or not. Just because they know what they were doing, doesn't mean that they were aware of the consquences like with that kid up above who killed his friend using an wrestling move.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
trevoramueller at 8:58AM, Oct. 26, 2007
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Do you guys weight age over crime, or vise versa?

For example: a 16 year old probably understands murder, so they should be tried as an adult. But what about an 8 year old? 5 year old? Or is murder an adult crime, and whoever commits it should be treated as such no matter the age?

And do you think that the parents should be held responsible if they “supplied” the weapon? If they have an unsecured weapon in the house (let's say a hand gun), should they be held accountable at all for the crime?
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horseboy at 10:22AM, Oct. 26, 2007
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It depends on extenuating circumstances. Personally, I'll cut a “child” a lot more slack than I would a teenager. In fact we've got a twisted on going on right now. My little niece's (8 years old) “boyfriend” got a hold of a locked and loaded gun from his buddy's house. Pointed it at his sister and shouted “bang” hitting her in the arm. The kid panicked and ran off, leaving his sister to bleed to death. It's a horrible, terrible accident. But justice has to take accidents into consideration. Nobody is even considering charging the boy. To the point that the “official” record is she shot herself with a gun he brought over. The local towns are practically burning both sets of parents in effigy for their failures. One for failing to teach their child that you NEVER point a firearm at another human being and the other for leaving a freaking loaded weapon with the safety off just lying around.

Now, had the kids been older, say 14-15 and had shot his sister because she had annoyed him. That would have been different. As someone with that though process is a danger to society and needs to be as far away from society as possible.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:50PM
Priest_Revan at 10:52AM, Oct. 26, 2007
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posts: 2,339
joined: 12-31-2006
trevoramueller
Do you guys weight age over crime, or vise versa?

For example: a 16 year old probably understands murder, so they should be tried as an adult. But what about an 8 year old? 5 year old? Or is murder an adult crime, and whoever commits it should be treated as such no matter the age?

And do you think that the parents should be held responsible if they “supplied” the weapon? If they have an unsecured weapon in the house (let's say a hand gun), should they be held accountable at all for the crime?

I would weigh the crime over the age. Yeah sure, a 16 does understand death better than a 5 year old, but that doesn't mean that if the 5 year commits something beyond belief he/she should just be let go… something has to be done. Now, I don't know about sending small child to a federal prison, but still.

Now, for a kid who may be 8 or 9, at that point in life, you're should be completely responsible for your actions. I don't know any kid today who doesn't understand murder or death, and that point you can't just slap the kid on the wrist and just let him/her be on his/her way.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:48PM

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