Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Children Are Not Adults

Twenty-nine states, including Wisconsin, have laws that require anyone older than 10 years of age who is charged with homicide to be treated as an adult. I disagree with this, believing that juveniles should face juvenile justice.

Wisconsin is relevant because of the 12-year-old girls who stabbed their friend in Waukesha recently. Maybe you've heard about it; I guess it's sensational enough to be on the national news. Here's today's AP story about it from the Star Tribune:

And a close-up of the secondary headline:

See... how can anyone who wants to impress a fictional character be treated as an adult? How can she aid in her own defense, let alone understand the consequences of her actions?

What does justice mean in this country?


Gina said...

I was very surprised to hear on the news last evening that they would be charged as adults. That usually happens only when there's been a murder (not attempted) and the child is closer to majority, say, 16 or 17. The crime these two 12-year-old girls committed was truly horrible, and the fact that they were influenced by a fictional character demands counseling. They need to understand the ramifications and consequences and I'm not certain they do at this point. They also need to establish if the two girls would be competent to stand trial as adults, and from what I've heard, I'd say they weren't. I hope reason and common sense prevail in Waukesha, but I fear it will not.

Ms Sparrow said...

I was also shocked that they were being charged as adults. One or both of the girls is mentally ill which I would think makes their ages moot.