CRF Blog

Young Souls, Dark Deeds

by Bill Hayes

The New York Times’ Room for Debate lets various knowledgeable contributors discuss news events and other timely issues. One recent debate covered: Is it sometimes proper to charge even pre-teens as adults or is it unjust not to treat them as juveniles?

Four Michigan boys were playing last week when a 12-year-old fatally stabbed a 9-year-old, witnesses said. The older boy called 911 and reportedly said: “I just stabbed someone. Come and get me. I want to die.” He has been charged as an adult with murder. In a Milwaukee suburb two 12-year-old girls face adult assault charges for stabbing a friend in a case bizarrely tied to an Internet figure.

Is it sometimes proper to charge even pre-teens as adults or is it unjust not to treat them as juveniles? [more]