Try 15-year-old as an Adult??

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by iJohnHenry, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #1
    This story is too sad, but still interesting on several levels.

    When I heard of about this killing, I, like everyone else, was incensed.

    But, the suspect, as a result of his actions, is paralysed from the neck down.

    Do we try him as an Adult, and perhaps put him away for 10 - 20 years, and care for him all that time?

    Do we try him as a Juvenile, and expunge his record when he becomes 18? We would still have to care for him during that time.

    Do we allow differal of either sentence, pending his ability to function again, and let his family look after him until that happens, if ever? (Remember, Universal Health Care here)

    Opinions?

    Oh, Const. Garrett Styles dying words are heard over his mic, as he was pinned under the vehicle. If you can stomach something like that Youtube it. I won't post a link out of respect.
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #2
    I had to look up why a 15 year old would be charged in an auto accident resulting in death of an officer. Here is the story.

    In the US I believe the boy could be charged as an adult but the crime would likely be manslaughter. I almost see where they get first degree though because the boy took off after being stopped. However, here, first degree murder may not fly but the court system has surprised us before. I think the injuries suffered by the boy play a part in how he should be tried and in my opinion, they should not try him as an adult. Unless they're looking for the death penalty here, there seems to be little reason to lock him up in a cell. I almost think prisoners would have it easier than this kid will have it for the rest of his life.

    I don't think this kid should be cared for by anyone other than his family. However, I believe that the state should be taking care of the officer's family and if that means the boy's family takes the hit then so be it. Although you cannot guarantee that your child is not going to pull a stunt like this in the middle of the night (the joy ride not the murder), the boy is a minor and his parents are financially responsible for him. It is unfortunate that this kid made a selfish and stupid decision one night that has taken a life, ruined his life and two families' lives.

    It is sad, the anger inside of me says to let the ****er fry. However, making him live with this decision for the rest of his life is probably best. One thing I like to think about is, if tried as a minor, what are the chances of him doing this again or something else? In this case, I'm pretty sure slim to none.
     
  3. macquariumguy macrumors 6502a

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  4. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #4
    He could be charged with murder in most jurisdictions if they can prove intent.Unless his family is very rich they won't be able to care for him it'll be too expensive,unless the state steps in he'll very likely die of starvation if nothing else,not a result I feel most humans would be OK with, as for electrocuting him,a quadriplegic who is under age, I don't think that would fly even in Texas or Saudi.
     
  5. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #5
    Tough case. The boy made a tragic mistake. I dislike the idea of trying kids as adults. They're not adults and their brains simply aren't able to process right and wrong. This kid is beyond therapy but he's still a kid and should be tried as one.
     
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #6
    Right, they would have to prove intent and based solely on twisted media, I see no intent. I see involuntary manslaughter here. He was criminally negligent but I don't see how he intended to kill. I don't think anyone knew that rushing off like that would have resulted in a death. However, they could possibly stick him with voluntary manslaughter because he stopped then went when the officer's arm was apparently in the car. Hard call but then again, this is not the US justice system and I'm not a lawyer ... here or there.
     
  7. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #7
    So when you turn 18, your brain magically is able to process right and wrong? Sorry, this contributes to the lack of personal responsibility that permeates our society. I'd be for changing laws to try anyone 15 and up as adults. Maybe teens wouldn't be so quick to turn to crime if they knew they'd be punished and not coddled in some revolving door juvenile system.
     
  8. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    #8
    I agree 18 IS an arbitrary age (and based on precedent, is not always followed when charging an offender). However, brain maturation occurs into the 20's. A juvenile does not process information in the same way as an adult. Do you remember when you thought you were invincible and you were the smartest person in a house ruled by your idiotic parents. Your perspective changed in your mid 20's.

    As for the crime, I would more favor manslaughter (? panicked), unless the occupants of the van heard the driver state he was going to kill the officer. As for incarceration, the offender already has a life sentence. He will be a burden to society for the rest of his life.
     
  9. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #9
    I'm also against trying minors as adults, especially when the case is like the once cited in this thread, where a snap judgement leads to tragedy.

    Here's why.

    Excerpt from the National Institute of Mental Health [source] ...

    While this work suggests a wave of brain white matter development that flows from front to back, animal, functional brain imaging and postmortem studies have suggested that gray matter maturation flows in the opposite direction, with the frontal lobes not fully maturing until young adulthood. To confirm this in living humans, the UCLA researchers compared MRI scans of young adults, 23-30, with those of teens, 12-16. They looked for signs of myelin, which would imply more mature, efficient connections, within gray matter. As expected, areas of the frontal lobe showed the largest differences between young adults and teens. This increased myelination in the adult frontal cortex likely relates to the maturation of cognitive processing and other "executive" functions. Parietal and temporal areas mediating spatial, sensory, auditory and language functions appeared largely mature in the teen brain. The observed late maturation of the frontal lobe conspicuously coincides with the typical age-of-onset of schizophrenia—late teens, early twenties—which, as noted earlier, is characterized by impaired "executive" functioning.


    Or these excerpts from the U.S. Department of health and Human Services [source] ...


    Maturation of the Prefrontal Cortex

    The prefrontal cortex, the part of the frontal lobes lying just behind the forehead, is often referred to as the “CEO of the brain.” This brain region is responsible for cognitive analysis and abstract thought, and the moderation of “correct” behavior in social situations. The prefrontal cortex takes in information from all of the senses and orchestrates thoughts and actions to achieve specific goals.

    The prefrontal cortex is one of the last regions of the brain to reach maturation. This delay may help to explain why some adolescents act the way they do.

    This brain region gives an individual the capacity to exercise “good judgment” when presented with difficult life situations. Brain research indicating that brain development is not complete until near the age of 25, refers specifically to the development of the prefrontal cortex.
     
  10. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #10
    A 5 year old could tell you it's wrong to run from the police in a stolen vehicle. The kid may have been too dumb to gauge the consequences, but he certainly knew what he was doing was wrong.

    At this point he got what he deserves. I hope he enjoys being paralyzed the rest of his life and luckily he won't reproduce.
     
  11. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #11
    I don't think he should be tried as an adult, he's a teenager and made a stupid mistake, but not one he's likely to repeat.
     
  12. iJohnHenry thread starter macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #12
    Interesting observations so far, but nothing yet addressing the "why"

    1. the malfunctioning 'modern' family unit
    2. two working parents and latch-key kids
    3. a more permissive society
    4. the prohibition on reasonable corporal punishment, by do-good social engineers?

    I might think of some others, when I next return. ;)
     
  13. Heilage macrumors 68030

    Heilage

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    #13
    Doesn't "first-degree" constitute an predetermined intent to murder? How can that be the case here, and how could that possibly be proven?
     
  14. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #14
    What the heck does that mean?

    There are millions of families out there, so they seem to be "functioning" just fine.

    Please explain how they're not living up to your expectations.
     
  15. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #15
    They need to evaluate these on a case-by-case basis, IMO.

    Most 15-year-olds definitely know right from wrong, but some don't. Most are aware of the consequences of their actions. Some 18-year-olds don't fit this description; some 12-year-olds do. I don't think there should be a hard and fast line drawn on this.
     
  16. iJohnHenry thread starter macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #16
    Decades ago, in my 20's, there used to be.

    It was called the Age Of Reason, and, for normally developed children, this was deemed to be ~8 years of age.

    This number has climbed steadily in the intervening years.

    Last I remember reading, it was 12.

    This leads me to believe that there is a failure somewhere in the 'system'.


    And, as usual, citizenZen reacts with umbrage. :p
     
  17. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #17
    Killing an identified officer is first degree murder in Canada. Rightfully so IMO.
     
  18. Heilage macrumors 68030

    Heilage

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    #18
    What. That doesn't even make any sense, who the victim is doesn't apply or subtract any predetermination to the act, and shouldn't open the door up for any sentence that would not be available if the victim was a hobo.
     
  19. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #19
    And you didn't answer the question.

    You'll throw out bombs ... but you won't back them up.

    Oh well, I guess it's back to corny one-liners for you.
     
  20. cleanup macrumors 68030

    cleanup

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    #20
    Need more information on the kid's intent. At worst, when he hit the gas he was trying to simply prevent the officer from taking the keys. He didn't figure the Constable would get tangled up and be dragged by the car. Of course, afterward, it's either a case of the kid was freaking out and didn't know what to do (kept accelerating and eventually rolled the car), or he had the intent to continue dragging the officer and injure/kill him. That's the only situation in which I could see this being pushed to a murder conviction.

    Also, if he were tried as an adult, it would net him 25 years with no parole. There's no capital punishment in Canada.
     
  21. iJohnHenry thread starter macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #21
    Amen.

    It makes sense, if your goal is to protect the police.

    Stop, and you still have a problem, but it's not murder.
     
  22. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

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    #22
    I don't know what the law in Canada is regarding killing a cop, but I agree with your comment. I would be interested, based upon your comment, where you fall regarding "hate crimes." It's not synonymous with what you and ZA were discussing, but there are some crossover elements.
     
  23. Heilage macrumors 68030

    Heilage

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    #23
    Sounds like a stupid excuse to kill people who make mistakes, if you ask me. And while I do approve of protecting the police force, I don't like the principle of applying premeditation based on the social status of the victim. You should rather call it what it is, a murdered state official.


    Either way, the kid will suffer for the rest of his life. He got what was coming to him.
     
  24. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    I have a hard time trying teens as adults when as a society we absolve them of all other responsibilites. They can't vote. They can't drink. They can't smoke. They can't drive a car. They can't sign a contract. They can't marry. They can't open their own checking account. They can't drop out of school. They can't even get a job in some cases. How can we expect them to be able to make decisions about life and death as an adult?
     
  25. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #25
    I believe it is 10 years without parole for kids tried as adults. Either way it won't really matter. This kids life is over, I'd rather be dead than paralyzed from the neck down.
     

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