Thursday, February 26, 2009

Children being tried as Adults

This morning a friend emailed me a link to a story about a teenager murdering his mother and injuring his father for taking away his XBox games.
You can read the article here: http://www.news.com.au/technology/story/0,28348,24908710-5014239,00.html

Ok, I have a problem with this – besides the obvious, (I am sending the link to my son to read, as he doesn’t believe these stupid games are an obsession) – why are children being tried as adults? Earlier this week, I read of the boy who killed his father’s pregnant girlfriend. He is ten and being tried as an adult.

Isn’t there a reason that the age of majority is 18 (or 21 in some countries) Wasn’t that made a law? Wasn’t it that children, yes children, under a certain age are unable to comprehend the finality of their actions, whether that be homicide, or stealing a toy car? Isn’t there different laws to deal with juveniles and their punishment for crimes, even as heinous as murder? I understand, yes this guy is 17, it’s close enough (though that still makes the law grey and not black and white), but a ten year old?

I know there is the emotional side of it, if a boy of ten can kill someone in cold blood then what type of adult would he become, (think Venables and Thompson of the James Bulger murder in the UK in -93) but still should a man be punished for life for what a child has done?

We have all done things as children that we look back at and think (politely) “oops shouldn’t have done that”, but had we been caught (doing something serious) do you think the person you are now should still be paying for that?
I just don’t understand trying children as adults, regardless of the crime.
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