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CRF Blog » Blog Archive » Young Souls, Dark Deeds

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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]