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KickButtMama
OT- Charged as adults?
March 17 at 6:23 PM

 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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http://bcove.me/8uygzegr

 

When should children be charged as adults?
  • Only group members can vote in this poll.
  1. 72% - When the crime is a serious felony (assualt, murder, etc)
  2. 13% - When the child is over the age 16
  3. 2% - When the victim's families request it
  4. 10% - Never, they are kids

Replies

  • snowangel1979
    March 17 at 6:33 PM
    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.
  • hwblyf
    by hwblyf
    March 17 at 6:40 PM

    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?

  • kirbymom
    March 17 at 8:00 PM
    I saw this! It's horrible and tragic!
    Why aren't the parents stepping up and taking some responsibility for these girls' actions abd behaviour?
  • kirbymom
    March 17 at 8:09 PM
    I agree with on the case by case pov.

    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.
  • kirbymom
    March 17 at 8:29 PM
    If our young men and women can go and "DECIDE" to die for our country, then they can also "DECIDE" to make other "adult" type "DECISIONS".

    Sorry. Rant over.


    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?

  • hwblyf
    by hwblyf
    March 17 at 9:42 PM

    I think I've missed your point.  I'm a little tired.

    At 12 you can't join any military action and decide that you're willing to lay down your life.  At 15 you can't, either.  Decisions that affect the rest of your life are easily made, unmade with great difficulty.  I can understand the anger and frustration with children who can do these things.  But should a life be thrown away, or should we try to salvage that person?  If we don't wish to save/redeem/rehabilitate/recondition, why do we have prison?  Death is far kinder than imprisonment, and it takes all questions off the table.  I saw a made for tv movie similar to this, where the parents defended (in this case) the boys who did this to a mentally retarded young lady.  The parents sat there and said the girl without mental capacity to understand what her attackers were really doing to her wanted it and was ruining their boys' lives.  I weep for the mistakes made.  But I think there's a point where we're presented with children going down the wrong path, and we can make a difference.  At that point, if we throw a child into jail, we condemn them to that kind of life, that path is now made of cement.  I think if we look at the legal age of consent for everything else, we'll see it's not maleable.  Why is it in the case of crime?  Why are we not looking more heavily at these KIDS and wondering how we can change them?

    Quoting kirbymom: If our young men and women can go and "DECIDE" to die for our country, then they can also "DECIDE" to make other "adult" type "DECISIONS". Sorry. Rant over.
    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?


  • AutymsMommy
    March 17 at 10:03 PM

    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.

  • AutymsMommy
    March 17 at 10:06 PM

    Just for the sake of discussion...

    I was a horrid teen - from a wonderful family; SAH step mom, nice clothing, upper middle class existence, business owner daddy, involved parents who tucked me into bed at night (sure, there was a bit of dysfunction, but every family has that). There is nothing my parents did to make me act out the way I did (including teenage arrests, suspensions, expulsion, and ultimately teenage pregnancy). They weren't responsible at that point. They couldn't make me stop - I lied and they knew nothing about half of it until it was too late.

    Quoting kirbymom: I saw this! It's horrible and tragic! Why aren't the parents stepping up and taking some responsibility for these girls' actions abd behaviour?


  • AutymsMommy
    March 17 at 10:07 PM

    A child cannot join the military - or maybe I misunderstand what you're saying.

    Quoting kirbymom: If our young men and women can go and "DECIDE" to die for our country, then they can also "DECIDE" to make other "adult" type "DECISIONS". Sorry. Rant over.
    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
    March 17 at 11:00 PM

    It was actually the younger girls mom who found the videos and brought them to the attention of the authorities at their school. So I do think this parent was trying to be accountable and looking to make amends. 

    Quoting kirbymom: I saw this! It's horrible and tragic! Why aren't the parents stepping up and taking some responsibility for these girls' actions abd behaviour?


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