I wrote last month about a 12yo boy who was being charged as an adult for killing his father’s pregnant girlfriend. The kid was eleven at the time. I said at the time that he should be charged as a juvenile, because what’s the point of having a juvenile system if you can toss it aside when it makes you uncomfortable.
Well, the judge in PA who is overseeing the case doesn’t agree with that, not surprisingly. Said judge has ruled that the case can be tried in adult court where the kid faces a possible life sentence.
How quaintly barbaric.
Why not just try him as a kid, since, you know, he is. He was eleven when he supposedly pulled the trigger, and twelve now. If he were found guilty in juvenile court he’d probably stay in prison until he was 18 or 21 (depending), and then be released with an extensive amount of court ordered probation and monitoring. It’s possible he might even be able to rebuild his life and become a contributing member of society.
But tried in adult court? No, in that case he’d probably spend the next twenty or thirty years behind bars and eventually be released to be a burden on society for the next sixty years or so. This serves no purpose and is astonishingly wasteful.
The one bright spot here is that this makes a perfect situation for the kid’s lawyers to file an appeal down the line. Of course if that happens and the appeal is upheld, then it’s possible the kid might skate with no real consequences at all. Yes, in trying to punish the kid as much as possible and wreak as much revenge as we can, we might actually end up with only a year or two while the appeals sort themselves out.
Like I said before, either we have a juvenile system or we don’t. Trying a kid as an adult because we really don’t like what the kid allegedly did is not right, not proper and doesn’t serve justice or society.