"I knew I had to kill him so he would stop hurting my mother"

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by nbs2, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #1
    A 12 year old boy killed a man who was choking his mother.

    This brings into question the validity of the use of lethal force to protect a third party as a defense. Personally, I'm all for use of such force. But, should charges be filed? Or based on police confirmation of combativeness when they arrived, should charges not be filed?

    The account doesn't appear to merit charging the boy as an adult, but for the sake of due process, the boy should be charged and then (as far as the in court evidence and testimony demonstrates) found not guilty based on his defense of his mother.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020

    brn2ski00

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    #2
    You never know how you would react until you are put in that situation. From the sounds of it, I think that the boy only wanted to stop the man -- not kill him. Killing him was a mistake, but one, that may have been just.
     
  3. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #3
    i think it's ridiculous they are even considering charging him.
    but i do hope they give him counseling.
     
  4. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020

    brn2ski00

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    #4
    Yes, he will need counseling similar to what a cop would receive after capping some thug...
     
  5. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #5
    Feel sorry for that lad, that's something which is gonna trouble him massively later on in life. He didn't know exactly what he was doing, and IMO what he did was right, even if it accidently went OTT.
     
  6. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #6
    Why is it ridiculous? Clearly from the POV of the boy and mother, it is, but what says that the events didn't unfold the way they say it did? Their story "feels" honest to me, and the man's combativeness after the police arrived certainly doesn't do him any favors, but due process is due process.

    This isn't an issue of punishing a child for protecting his mother, but ensuring that there is no doubt of his innocence.

    But, yes counseling will be needed and should be provided.
     
  7. Queso macrumors G4

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    #7
    The police have to investigate thoroughly and charges must be filed. It isn't the job of the police to decide guilt or innocence, especially when a death has occurred. I'm sure if it is as described the court will see that, but due process must be followed.
     
  8. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #8
    Investigation, absolutely. Charges, less so. If events happened as described, then the mother will have injuries consistent with the story, for one. Equivocal evidence is generally held in favor of the suspect. If the people cannot conclude that they have an unequivocal case then a jury cannot clarify anything for them, and the accused would be put into jeopardy by an effectively capricious process. No charges should be filed in such a case.

    In the "things to investigate more thoroughly" column are the fact the mother seemed to be trying to suggest the victim was possessed by the devil (check the victim for drug use?), and the fact that this is the second time a son has covered for the violent death of a male acquaintance of hers. Bad luck happens, and the story could certainly have happened as described, but if there is anything that makes me initially suspicious in the article, that's it.
     
  9. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #9
    Investigate- but from the looks of it, no charges should be filed. Come on- you're gonna put a kid through that for trying to protect his mom? No way- no f***ing way. What are you gonna charge the kid with? Murder? Are you kidding me?
     
  10. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #10
    Huh? What kind of legal standard is "no doubt of his innocence"? I thought the standard was "guilt beyond a reasonable doubt", not the other way around. Are you suggesting this child in some way must prove his innocence?

    Regarding this story, if events played out as described, and no evidence comes to light to suggest that this woman or her child are lying, I see no reason charges should be brought. I was trained that proportional violence in defense of yourself or someone else from imminent bodily harm is one of the few times violence is acceptable.
     
  11. Hawkeye411 macrumors 68000

    Hawkeye411

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  12. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #12
    The child has admitted to striking the blow that killed the man. His mother confirms the same. It is beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed the act that led to a man losing his life. The boy needs to demonstrate with sufficient evidence that he was acting in defense of his mother. Are you suggesting that this child who admitted to striking the killer blow is innocent because he says he was?

    The law exists to protect those who are victims of crime. On its face, a boy killed a man. A lack of evidence that the boy and his mother are lying doesn't change that.

    Certainly the D.A. can do something to try and accommodate the boy if he/she believe the claim (i.e. charge as a juvenile), but to not bring charges at all would suggest that the D.A. has presumed the guilt of the dead man in assaulting the mother. Tell me, why are you so ready and willing to presume guilt on the unsympathetic?
     
  13. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #13
    If the D.A. can find no evidence inconsistent with the claim of defense to present to a jury, then the jury will not magically find some he missed.

    The dead man is not facing a trial. The job of the D.A. is to prove a case against those who are.
     
  14. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #14
    No, the DA needs to demonstrate that the child was not acting in self defense if the DA wants to bring charges. I'm pretty sure no burden of proof of innocence rests on the child.

    No, on it's face, a man assaulted a woman and was killed in the process of halting the assault.

    LOL... trying out your Tough Lawyer routine, are we? Now you're just twisting words around. I stipulated throughout my statement that we're basing our assumptions on the story being told standing up to scrutiny. I know you ignored that part in your zeal to "lawyer me up", but it's really a pretty important part.
    You know, that part. :rolleyes:
     
  15. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #15
    Since there is prima facie evidence that the boy killed the man, the police must arrest him. If the DA decides that no charges should be brought, fair enough. If charges are brought, it is up to the DA to decide on the charges and prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Why make it any more complicated than that?
     
  16. aquajet macrumors 68020

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    #16
    Because it's probably more wise to try the boy just for the sake of trying him regardless of whether or not there is sufficient evidence. We need to make absolutely sure, even if the answer is obvious. Besides, it's not as if a trial will take any resources or will subject the boy to any more trauma.
     
  17. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #17
    Sorry, I forgot. Lawyers have a living to earn, too.
     
  18. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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  19. Prof. macrumors 601

    Prof.

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    #19
    If someone was attacking any member of my family or one of my friends to the point where he/she may die; you bet your ass I'd kill that person. I wouldn't give it a second thought. If you hurt any of my loved ones, if the situation calls for it, I will kill you.

    Don't worry about me tho, I'm a nice person. Honest. :)

    I think everyone here would agree that if they saw someone attacking a loved one of theirs, they would have no problem killing the attacker. Self-defense.

    Now, in this situation, the boy was protecting his mother and IMO he shouldn't be charged of anything.
     
  20. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

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    #20
    The fact that he's a minor makes it slightly more trivial..However, it doesn't matter why he did it, he still did it...

    If a friend was trying to commit suicide, and you had to assault them to stop them..you still have the face the consequences. If something is worth doing, it's worth receiving the consequences. You kill the man to save your mother, which is a reasonable thing to do, especially for a 12-year-old who doesn't know how to react well, then you face the punishment.
     
  21. Prof. macrumors 601

    Prof.

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    #21
    A jury or a judge isn't going to send a 12-year-old to jail and ruin the rest of his life. Most likely the kid will be put on probation and sent to rehab. Plus, correct me if I am wrong but won't his record be expunged once he turns 18?
     
  22. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

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    #22
    If this was directed at me..I said the fact that he's underaged makes it slightly more trivial. I do believe you need to be punished for crimes you commit, no matter what the reason..however the reason should have an influence on the punishment, and so should the circumstances. I did not lay out what I thought the punishment should be, because frankly, I have nothing to do with this case.
     
  23. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #23
    His legal record might, but in this day and age of the all pervasive medium known as the internet, it'll follow him forever. Yes, I know, he's a minor and his name can't legally be printed but his mother's was along with the name of the deceased. It wouldn't take a lot to figure out who this kid is.

    We're already seeing people being denied employment because of a less than perfect credit score, grade school GPA, health records, etc. This will haunt him for the rest of his life.
     
  24. Prof. macrumors 601

    Prof.

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    #24
    Yes. But this was a form of self defense so I don't see ppl holding it against him.
     
  25. aquajet macrumors 68020

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    #25
    So in other words, are you saying that if the boy entered his gradeschool classroom and decided to slit his teacher's throat for no good reason, it's all the same?

    First you say it's a reasonable thing to do, then you suggest this boy didn't react well and should face punishment. Do you need to rephrase that?

    What punishment should the boy get? Why should he get it if his action was "reasonable"?
     

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