Saturday, November 8, 2008

Child Prodigy?

Arizona law generally holds that a child lacks competency to be held responsible
for a homicide. However, ..., “We think an exception can be made based on the facts and circumstances … This is precedent-setting.

We're going to charge an 8-year-old with two counts of homicide."

I'm very interested to see what comes of this story. How grisly could this event have been for someone to announce they're probably charging an 8 year old? Not that any murder or accidental death isn't grisly and tragic, but this must've really been... above and beyond.

Most curious, what do you do with this child? Prison? Juvie? Treat him like Rhoda Penmark and just try to put him down like a dog? Because I'm thinking that to, again, announce this to the world... something bad must've really happened here.


More likely, and unsurprising, the police are being accused of railroading an 8 year old:

"They became very accusing early on in the interview," Brewer said. "Two
officers with guns at their side, it's very scary for anybody, for sure an
8-year-old kid."

A judge has ordered a psychological evaluation of the child,
who was being held at the Apache County juvenile detention
center. Prosecutors aren't sure where the case is headed, Carlyon
said. "There's a ton of factors to be considered and weighed, including the
juvenile's age," he said. "The counterbalance against that, the acts that he
apparently committed."
Carlyon said the boy had no record of complaints with Arizona Child Protective Services. "He had no record of any kind, not even a disciplinary record at school," he said. "He has never been in trouble before."

They're also talking... premeditation:

Under Arizona law, a juvenile under 8 years old is treated as a dependent child.
Charges can be filed against anyone 8 or older, which Melnick argued are
warranted in this case. He said the child didn't act on the "spur of the
moment," though he didn't elaborate on what the motive might have
Defense attorney Mike Piccarreta, who is not involved in the case, said
that each case has to be considered on its own merits but that it would be hard
for him to comprehend that an 8-year-old has the mental capacity to understand
the act of murder and its implications.
"If they actually prosecute the guy, it's a legal minefield," he said. "And, two, society has to make a decision as to whether they want to start using the criminal justice system to deal with 8-year-olds. That doesn't mean you don't have a troubled kid."

I look forward to seeing where this is going. I guess I jumped to a conclusion and went all "Bad Seed," when maybe it was someone pushing back against abuse. That said, we're still talking about an 8 year old who may have committed... premeditated murder?

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