12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

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12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby Iulus Cofield » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:20 pm UTC

Boy accused of murder held in isolation

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 7 (UPI) -- A Florida boy, 12, charged as an adult with first-degree murder and held in isolation, should be moved back to a juvenile facility, his lawyer said.

Cristian Fernandez lives in a 30-square-foot cell in the Duval County Jail in Jacksonville, The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union reported Tuesday.

Fernandez was indicted by a grand jury for the March 14 beating death of his 2-year-old half-brother, David Gallariago.

He is the youngest person in the city's history to be charged with first-degree murder, the Times-Union reported.

If found guilty, Fernandez faces a sentence of life in prison with no chance for parole, the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., reported.

Fernandez is in isolation because his age and the high-profile nature of his case forces the jail to keep him away from other juveniles, jail chief Tara Wildes said.

Fernandez's lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Rob Mason, said he wants the boy to be sent back to the juvenile facility where he was held for several months since the toddler's slaying.

"He's done well there and developed a good relationship with his mental health counselor," he said.

The prosecutor, Assistant State Attorney Mark Caliel, said juveniles must be treated as adults when facing adult charges, adding that safety at the juvenile facility is an issue.

"If I were the parents of a kid charged with petty theft, I would be outraged if someone charged with first-degree murder were there right beside them," Caliel said.

Fernandez is scheduled for arraignment Wednesday.


In case you missed it in the spoiler, this charge has never before been levied against someone so young. It's hard to make an informed opinion based on the scanty details made public so far, but I find it pretty shocking. He's 12; he's allegedly suffered extreme child abuse (I read this in a different article); he needs therapy, extensive therapy, not having his life taken away.

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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby KestrelLowing » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:30 pm UTC

I can totally see that, but I'd also be a little worried for the other people in juvy. While I don't know the specifics, beating a 2 year old to death is a little scary as in all likelihood, it took at least 2 or 3 hits for the child to die. What I think would be ideal is a secluded facility, but to continue with his professional therapy. If that advances enough, then perhaps he'd be ok to go back to juvy.

But man, you've got to be really messed up if you're that old and that young and killing a 2 year old. I kind of feel sorry for him. It couldn't have been a good life.

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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby broken_escalator » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:34 pm UTC

If he's violent and belligerent than that would make sense to separate him from the other kids. But I do agree, they should try to rehabilitate him to the best they can. Twelve is awfully young to start a life sentence.

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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby sourmìlk » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:55 pm UTC

I agree that, assuming he actually beat his brother to death, he should be charged with 1st degree murder. I also agree that he should be rehabilitated rather than punished for life. My problem isn't with the verdict so much as it is with how imprisonment works.
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby ++$_ » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:59 pm UTC

He hasn't been convicted yet. He's awaiting trial.

12 years old seems a bit young to be tried as an adult to me. It definitely seems a bit young to be in solitary confinement, although in this case, maybe the guy is actually dangerous, so I don't really know what to think.

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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby mmmcannibalism » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:00 pm UTC

the term charged as an adult is now in my mind officially a complete bullshit term.
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby sourmìlk » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:03 pm UTC

++$_ wrote:He hasn't been convicted yet. He's awaiting trial.

12 years old seems a bit young to be tried as an adult to me. It definitely seems a bit young to be in solitary confinement, although in this case, maybe the guy is actually dangerous, so I don't really know what to think.

No age should be put in solitary confinement. I am convinced that it's a form of torture.

mmmcaninbalism wrote:the term charged as an adult is now in my mind officially a complete bullshit term.

How do you figure?
Last edited by sourmìlk on Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:14 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby Roĝer » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:51 pm UTC

Also, what sick mind is seriously proposing to send a child to jail for the rest of his life without any hope of getting out ever?
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby mmmcannibalism » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:06 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
++$_ wrote:He hasn't been convicted yet. He's awaiting trial.

12 years old seems a bit young to be tried as an adult to me. It definitely seems a bit young to be in solitary confinement, although in this case, maybe the guy is actually dangerous, so I don't really know what to think.

No age should be put in solitary confinement. I am convinced that it's a form of torture.

mmmcaninbalism wrote:the term charged as an adult is now in my mind officially a complete bullshit term.
How do you figure?


I don't believe its possible for a 12 year old to be competent as an adult such that a life sentence could ever be a just possibility. I can possibly see a mental disorder type problem that would result in a lifetime in some form of treatment, but not a "you are competent before the law and can be sent away forever" when 12.
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby Radical_Initiator » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:09 pm UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:
++$_ wrote:He hasn't been convicted yet. He's awaiting trial.

12 years old seems a bit young to be tried as an adult to me. It definitely seems a bit young to be in solitary confinement, although in this case, maybe the guy is actually dangerous, so I don't really know what to think.

No age should be put in solitary confinement. I am convinced that it's a form of torture.

mmmcaninbalism wrote:the term charged as an adult is now in my mind officially a complete bullshit term.
How do you figure?


I don't believe its possible for a 12 year old to be competent as an adult such that a life sentence could ever be a just possibility. I can possibly see a mental disorder type problem that would result in a lifetime in some form of treatment, but not a "you are competent before the law and can be sent away forever" when 12.


Also, the phrase "as an adult" becomes meaningless when you say that, for the purposes of law, a human who (quite probably) hasn't even undergone puberty yet is essentially an adult. When the law starts defining "adult" based on perceived severity of crime and not the basis on which the term is actually already defined, stop calling it "as an adult" and just say "punitively."
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby SummerGlauFan » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:27 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
++$_ wrote:He hasn't been convicted yet. He's awaiting trial.

12 years old seems a bit young to be tried as an adult to me. It definitely seems a bit young to be in solitary confinement, although in this case, maybe the guy is actually dangerous, so I don't really know what to think.

No age should be put in solitary confinement. I am convinced that it's a form of torture.



As a form of punishment, I agree with you. However, solitary can be used to separate out inmates who are more dangerous/more vulnerable in order to keep them from the general prison population. I don't think that's the case here, but solitary can serve a purpose.
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby Duban » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:41 am UTC

I would just like to point out that the term "life sentence" means a minimum of 20 years with possibility of parole at an undetermined time after that. "Life without parole" is the term it's being confused with.

Also, correction to the OP. The change has never been given to someone so young, in the city of Jacksonville. City of Jacksonville != ever. Similar atrocities committed by kids 10-15 are disturbingly easy to find and punishments tend to be harsh.
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby zmatt » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:51 pm UTC

Duban wrote:I would just like to point out that the term "life sentence" means a minimum of 20 years with possibility of parole at an undetermined time after that. "Life without parole" is the term it's being confused with.

Also, correction to the OP. The change has never been given to someone so young, in the city of Jacksonville. City of Jacksonville != ever. Similar atrocities committed by kids 10-15 are disturbingly easy to find and punishments tend to be harsh.


I think if you stick a kid in prison at 12 years old and keep him there for 20 years you are almost guaranteeing he will never be a normal person. If the accusations about abuse are true then it isn't the kid's fault. He has mental problems and the murder should be placed on the person who abused him and caused this mess. You can't expect a kid (and that is what he is) to be able to rationalize and think things through. he was likely transferring the frustration and anger at said abuser to the baby. The kid needs help and deserves a shot at being normal. If we just throw him in prison for 20 years it's essentially saying "too bad you were abused and messed up and don't understand your actions. we have to ruin your life now."
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby Belial » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:59 pm UTC

I think the benchmark for when a court system can try a child "as an adult" should be "if this kid had come to us the week before committing the crime, holding a petition for emancipated minor status, would we have granted it?"

If no, then fuck you, I don't care if he nuked arizona, use the juvenile justice system that exists specifically for this purpose and stop being wankers.

And I've yet to hear of an american court that emancipates mentally unstable 12 year olds.
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby Noc » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:05 pm UTC

But...but...this is a Grown Up Crime!

The juvenile justice system is like the "Kids' Menu" in restaurants, for crimes like skateboarding in a No Skateboarding Zone and flagrantly eating your yogurt from a tube, right?

...right?
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby Iulus Cofield » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:46 pm UTC

That's a really good idea, Belial.

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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby Radical_Initiator » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:06 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:That's a really good idea, Belial.

Except the wanton tube-yogurt consumption. That is an insidious crime that threatens the moral fiber of our great nation, and it should be punished as such.

Damn kids.
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:13 pm UTC

I don't think the "would we emancipate this minor" test is a particularly good one. The skills necessary for living ones life by oneself are not the same as the skills necessary to be able not to kill somebody.
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby Radical_Initiator » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:15 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I don't think the "would we emancipate this minor" test is a particularly good one. The skills necessary for living ones life by oneself are not the same as the skills necessary to be able not to kill somebody.


The only skill actually necessary to be able not to kill someone is the ability to recognize "This is a bad thing. Don't do this." Should we be trying 6-year-olds for capital murder?
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:35 pm UTC

Radical_Initiator wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:I don't think the "would we emancipate this minor" test is a particularly good one. The skills necessary for living ones life by oneself are not the same as the skills necessary to be able not to kill somebody.


The only skill actually necessary to be able not to kill someone is the ability to recognize "This is a bad thing. Don't do this." Should we be trying 6-year-olds for capital murder?


There is another skill necessary: impulse control. 6-year-olds lack the impulse control that, say, a 16 year old does. Now, a 16 year old still has very little impulse control, but that point it should be sufficient not to kill people. A 12-year-old, if he's mentally damaged in particular, probably shouldn't be tried as an adult. A 12 year old without mental illness, I'm not sure.
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby Solt » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:29 pm UTC

zmatt wrote:He has mental problems and the murder should be placed on the person who abused him and caused this mess. You can't expect a kid (and that is what he is) to be able to rationalize and think things through. he was likely transferring the frustration and anger at said abuser to the baby. The kid needs help and deserves a shot at being normal. If we just throw him in prison for 20 years it's essentially saying "too bad you were abused and messed up and don't understand your actions. we have to ruin your life now."


I hope you realize that this is the philosophy of the American justice system in general. Here, we believe in punishment over rehabilitation.

IF we accept that this is the overreaching philosophy, I see nothing at all wrong with charging this kid as an adult. He has circumstances in his life that lead him to this behavior. So do most criminals. And don't argue that he couldn't have known better, plenty of 12 year olds know better. We're not going to start letting adults off for rape and murder if they just show that they were abused as a child or somehow traumatized, so I don't see a reason to give the kid special treatment. The fact is they committed those crimes and justice here is punishment oriented, not rehab oriented. In any case this kid is probably a danger to society and if he didn't get arrested and imprisoned for this, there's a good chance that he would have done something to someone further down the line. If not for the justice system, he probably wouldn't get any help at all.

Now, if you want to argue whether it is better to rehabilitate vs. punish in general, that's certainly an open question, but I don't see anything wrong happening here given the status quo. I do believe in the possibility of rehabilitation, but I'd be skeptical about proving its efficacy. Much safer to lock them up than to put them in the hands of an army of psychiatrists who may or may not know what they are doing. I'm sure the best ones know exactly what they are doing, but changing the philosophy of American justice would require hiring a huge number.
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby dedalus » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:50 pm UTC

Solt wrote: plenty of 12 year olds know better.

Citation needed. I'm pretty sure that even during my younger teenage years I would have been quite happy killing someone at plenty of points in time, and the reason I didn't wasn't because of any morality, but simply because I knew I wouldn't get away with it.

It's not a case of '12 year olds can say that it is wrong to kill someone else'. It's '12 year olds understand all the consequences of taking another life, to all parties involved'. And they don't. Most 12 year olds haven't lost someone close to them, or had something happen with dire consequences that will stick with them for the rest of their lives. They do not get the idea that 'there are things that I do that won't be fixed up by my parents in a week or so'. Hell, half the time I don't even know if I've gotten that idea through my head yet.

And yeah, punitive justice system is craptastic.
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby Box Boy » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:10 am UTC

I personally blame the cupcake parties incredibly hardline conservative agenda for this sorry state of affairs, and the liberal pancake movement's overly hands-off approach to the welfare of children for the initial crime!
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:17 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I don't think the "would we emancipate this minor" test is a particularly good one. The skills necessary for living ones life by oneself are not the same as the skills necessary to be able not to kill somebody.


This isn't about capacity to kill. This is about capacity to act like an adult. Belial is saying that, in order for a minor to be "charged as an adult", it should be necessary to demonstrate that the person is mentally/socially/emotionally competent to be considered an adult. Otherwise, you should be charged as a minor, regardless of the severity of the crime.

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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby sourmìlk » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:07 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:I don't think the "would we emancipate this minor" test is a particularly good one. The skills necessary for living ones life by oneself are not the same as the skills necessary to be able not to kill somebody.


This isn't about capacity to kill. This is about capacity to act like an adult. Belial is saying that, in order for a minor to be "charged as an adult", it should be necessary to demonstrate that the person is mentally/socially/emotionally competent to be considered an adult. Otherwise, you should be charged as a minor, regardless of the severity of the crime.


Well first, the phrase "regardless of the severity of the crime" is worrying: unless somebody's granting somebody a right, cover-all rules aren't a great idea.

That said, I think we need to answer this question: why do we charge children and adults differently? Once we answer that, then we can decide whether or not a given person is tried as either an adult or child.
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby dedalus » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:15 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Well first, the phrase "regardless of the severity of the crime" is worrying: unless somebody's granting somebody a right, cover-all rules aren't a great idea.

Yeah, that's pretty much it. We give 12 year olds the right to not be laden with the responsibility of being expected to understand all the consequences of their actions. Maybe you guys do it differently in cupcake kingdom, but yeah. Actually, clearly we're not doing it here either...
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby sourmìlk » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:17 am UTC

dedalus wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:Well first, the phrase "regardless of the severity of the crime" is worrying: unless somebody's granting somebody a right, cover-all rules aren't a great idea.

Yeah, that's pretty much it. We give 12 year olds the right to not be laden with the responsibility of being expected to understand all the consequences of their actions. Maybe you guys do it differently in cupcake kingdom, but yeah. Actually, clearly we're not doing it here either...


That might be a right we should put on twelve year olds, universally. But for a 16 year old, for example, while that might be a useful right for certain charges (like maybe pettier ones), for stuff like murder I don't think it should apply. A 16 year old should have sufficient impulse control and moral sense to not commit murder, but that might not necessarily apply or shoplifting.
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:27 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:I don't think the "would we emancipate this minor" test is a particularly good one. The skills necessary for living ones life by oneself are not the same as the skills necessary to be able not to kill somebody.


This isn't about capacity to kill. This is about capacity to act like an adult. Belial is saying that, in order for a minor to be "charged as an adult", it should be necessary to demonstrate that the person is mentally/socially/emotionally competent to be considered an adult. Otherwise, you should be charged as a minor, regardless of the severity of the crime.


Well first, the phrase "regardless of the severity of the crime" is worrying: unless somebody's granting somebody a right, cover-all rules aren't a great idea.

That said, I think we need to answer this question: why do we charge children and adults differently? Once we answer that, then we can decide whether or not a given person is tried as either an adult or child.


It's not "regardless of the severity of the crime" as a cover-all, it's unless a minor can be shown to be functionally equivalent to an adult, they should be treated as a minor. The point is not to have it that the government can arbitrarily ignore the laws designed to protect children when prosecuting criminal cases when it is convenient to do so. Anyway, age-related catch-all rules get used all the time. You think that a sixteen-year-old is going to have any luck arguing that she should considered an adult by the court in regard to her underage drinking charge?

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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby sourmìlk » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:35 am UTC

There isn't an entire trial set up to examine each minor who wants to buy a drink. Cover-all rules are fine if you can't actually look at each case individually.
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby Chuff » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:37 am UTC

Box Boy wrote:I personally blame the cupcake parties incredibly hardline conservative agenda for this sorry state of affairs, and the liberal pancake movement's overly hands-off approach to the welfare of children for the initial crime!

What the hell does the cupcake party have to do with anything? I'm willing to give you the biscuit party's involvement; they, at least, can be found in the can. But the cupcake lobby? I thought we went over this already: the cupcake lobby has extremely limited interest in domestic affairs. They wouldn't be dealing with this sort of issue.
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby dedalus » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:43 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:There isn't an entire trial set up to examine each minor who wants to buy a drink. Cover-all rules are fine if you can't actually look at each case individually.

The point is that if you want to treat children like adults and say they have enough capability to be responsible for murder, they also have the capability to be responsible for drinking and driving (not necessarily at the same time).

The juvenile justice system is built under the principles that people need to be forced to give special leniency to the fact that someone is not old enough to be fully responsible for themselves. What's happened here is that it's become a case of 'we'll give the special leniency... unless we don't feel like it.' Which means you might as well completely remove the juvenile justice system, and try everyone as an adult. Rules shouldn't be breakable on the grounds of 'because I feel like it', even if 'I' happens to be a judge.
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby buddy431 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:54 am UTC

dedalus wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:There isn't an entire trial set up to examine each minor who wants to buy a drink. Cover-all rules are fine if you can't actually look at each case individually.

The point is that if you want to treat children like adults and say they have enough capability to be responsible for murder, they also have the capability to be responsible for drinking and driving (not necessarily at the same time).

The juvenile justice system is built under the principles that people need to be forced to give special leniency to the fact that someone is not old enough to be fully responsible for themselves. What's happened here is that it's become a case of 'we'll give the special leniency... unless we don't feel like it.' Which means you might as well completely remove the juvenile justice system, and try everyone as an adult. Rules shouldn't be breakable on the grounds of 'because I feel like it', even if 'I' happens to be a judge.


Umm... Judges do that all the time, in all sorts of matters. There's a reason why most people on this forum don't like mandatory sentencing guidelines and such. I'm not saying I agree with the decision to try this kid as an adult, but do you really want to force judges to treat every case equally, even when their not? That's when you get silly things like putting people away for 25 to life for shoplifting golf clubs.
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby dedalus » Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:22 am UTC

Uhh, there's a difference between 'every case should be treated absolutely equally' and 'if there's a rule, a judge shouldn't be able to circumvent it as they wish'. Legislative branch versus Judicial branch and all that. I'm all for a judge being able to sentence as they see fit, but there are some circumstances where I think they need to be kept in check. Like, when you've got an utter shit of a kid who is a murderous asshole up in front of you and doesn't seem to be recanting any time soon, it's kind of hard to not hit him with the full force of the law. I'm not saying that a judge can't avoid doing that, but there needs to be a safety net as well.
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby Qaanol » Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:05 am UTC

Belial wrote:I think the benchmark for when a court system can try a child "as an adult" should be "if this kid had come to us the week before committing the crime, holding a petition for emancipated minor status, would we have granted it?"

If no, then fuck you, I don't care if he nuked arizona, use the juvenile justice system that exists specifically for this purpose and stop being wankers.

And I've yet to hear of an american court that emancipates mentally unstable 12 year olds.

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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby Vash » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:48 am UTC

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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby Belial » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:07 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:That said, I think we need to answer this question: why do we charge children and adults differently? Once we answer that, then we can decide whether or not a given person is tried as either an adult or child.


Just for one, because if we're unwilling to give them all the rights and privileges of adulthood, it's absolute bullshit to impose all the downsides. The danger of jumping into the future-destroying meatgrinder that is the adult justice system is one of the extremely significant downsides.

It's bullshit to say, out of one side of your mouth, that someone is too young to have the right to go where they want (and can be forcibly returned to their parents if they try), or make medical decisions without parental consent, or otherwise control their own lives in really basic ways; while saying out of the other side that they're fully responsible for their actions and will reap the full consequences, which in this case is a fully destroyed future.

Hell, fuck, if I remember correctly florida has parental consent laws on abortion. So you're old enough to be fully responsible and answerable for murder, but not to make basic reproductive decisions?

Yeah, no, fuck that. It's one or the other.
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby sourmìlk » Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:06 pm UTC

I don't see why it's one or the other. "Not committing murder" is a task that requires a lot less responsibility than driving or doing one's taxes or paying one's bills.
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:18 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I don't see why it's one or the other. "Not committing murder" is a task that requires a lot less responsibility than driving or doing one's taxes or paying one's bills.


Let's try this another way.

Most (probably all) juvenile criminal justice laws are set up to deal with minors who are charged with murder and other serious crimes. They're designed to be neutral with respect to the offense, and still carry penalties proportional to the crime committed, have the same rules of evidence, and whatnot. Why do you feel that these laws are insufficient to deal with this particular issue?

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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby sourmìlk » Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:32 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:I don't see why it's one or the other. "Not committing murder" is a task that requires a lot less responsibility than driving or doing one's taxes or paying one's bills.


Let's try this another way.

Most (probably all) juvenile criminal justice laws are set up to deal with minors who are charged with murder and other serious crimes. They're designed to be neutral with respect to the offense, and still carry penalties proportional to the crime committed, have the same rules of evidence, and whatnot. Why do you feel that these laws are insufficient to deal with this particular issue?


With this particular issue I suppose it's fine, my point is that being a legal an adult or being qualified to become an emancipated minor shouldn't be the only criteria by which one can be tried as an adult.
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Re: 12-year old boy charged with first degree murder

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:40 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:I don't see why it's one or the other. "Not committing murder" is a task that requires a lot less responsibility than driving or doing one's taxes or paying one's bills.


Let's try this another way.

Most (probably all) juvenile criminal justice laws are set up to deal with minors who are charged with murder and other serious crimes. They're designed to be neutral with respect to the offense, and still carry penalties proportional to the crime committed, have the same rules of evidence, and whatnot. Why do you feel that these laws are insufficient to deal with this particular issue?


With this particular issue I suppose it's fine, my point is that being a legal an adult or being qualified to become an emancipated minor shouldn't be the only criteria by which one can be tried as an adult.


I'm not sure how to parse this statement. It seems to me that you're saying "Using juvenile courts is fine for dealing with minors charged with murder, but they should be charged as adults anyway". Why do you feel that juvenile courts are insufficient to deal with murder cases if a minor is being charged?


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