View Poll Results: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

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  • Yes, this particular young man is a perfect example

    13 17.33%
  • No, never.

    39 52.00%
  • The justice system needs another alternative for extremely young, potentially dangerous offenders

    18 24.00%
  • Other, please explain

    5 6.67%
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Thread: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

  1. #401
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelzie View Post
    Okay, but what is that study based off of? What qualities do we was a society believe are present in an 18 year-old that we don't think are there in an 11 year-old? As far as I can tell, all the necessary criteria for declaring an adult competent to stand trial are present in a sixth grader. The only difference is that we want to hold on to our societal illusion that kids are wide eyed and innocent.
    Impulse control, for one. Another would be emotional stability and, for a third, ability to dispel a connection between morality and the influence of authority figures. I don't really think an 11 year old is capable of the last at all, especially when it comes to parental figures. If they see ugly behavior, violence, and criminality in the adults around them, then it stands to reason that the influence on them to behave in a criminal manner would mitigate their culpability. The law does make concession that the guardian is more responsible for the child's behavior than the child itself is.

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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelzie View Post
    Age is arbitrary though. I could say I think it should be 5 and that would mean just as much as you thinking it should be 21. We have to have a reason why we think it should be that age.

    Which is why I don't think it should be any age at all. Everyone develops at a different pace.

    Age is what we've got, Kelzie. That's why we have an adult system and a juvenile system. It's how we process offenders, based on their age.

    What you seem to be suggesting -that age shouldn't matter -seems to be a much more subjective way to handle the problem of offenders.


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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by missypea View Post
    Age is what we've got, Kelzie. That's why we have an adult system and a juvenile system. It's how we process offenders, based on their age.

    What you seem to be suggesting -that age shouldn't matter -seems to be a much more subjective way to handle the problem of offenders.
    It's not what I've got and it's not what our system's got. Else this kid would be tried as a child. I'm actually very supportive of the current system, which often involves a psychiatric evaluation to determine what they should be tried as.

    I do think all of those skanky bitches involved in that bullying case should be tried as adults, but you can't win them all.
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelzie View Post
    It's not what I've got and it's not what our system's got. Else this kid would be tried as a child. I'm actually very supportive of the current system, which often involves a psychiatric evaluation to determine what they should be tried as.
    When the emotional, politically driven kneejerk reaction dies down, I am 100% confident that the decision to try him as an adult will be overturned by a more level headed judge.

    I do think all of those skanky bitches involved in that bullying case should be tried as adults, but you can't win them all.
    Tried for what as an adult? They are certainly not culpable for the death of the disturbed girl who went and hung herself in the closet. Darwin blew his whistle and commanded that girl out of the gene pool. Why is it those girl's fault that she was too weak to handle school?

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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    Impulse control, for one. Another would be emotional stability and, for a third, ability to dispel a connection between morality and the influence of authority figures. I don't really think an 11 year old is capable of the last at all, especially when it comes to parental figures. If they see ugly behavior, violence, and criminality in the adults around them, then it stands to reason that the influence on them to behave in a criminal manner would mitigate their culpability. The law does make concession that the guardian is more responsible for the child's behavior than the child itself is.
    All the sixth graders I've known (see previous posts for a list) have enough impulse control and emotional stability to avoid doing things that they know are wrong...unless they want to do them. Isn't that the same as adults?

    As for the connection between morality and the influence of authority figures, that is and always has been a valid argument for deciding how much someone is punished. So I completely agree it should be taken into consideration during sentencing, the same as it is for adults who have grown up around violence. Unless of course a psychiatrist has decided this kid's exposure to violence has damaged him to the point where he can't make rational decisions, but that doesn't seem to be present here.
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    When the emotional, politically driven kneejerk reaction dies down, I am 100% confident that the decision to try him as an adult will be overturned by a more level headed judge.
    What emotional response? Most people here seem to think he should be tried as a child solely on the basis of emotion.

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    Tried for what as an adult? They are certainly not culpable for the death of the disturbed girl who went and hung herself in the closet. Darwin blew his whistle and commanded that girl out of the gene pool. Why is it those girl's fault that she was too weak to handle school?
    Certainly not murder. Bullying, harrassment, etc.
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelzie View Post
    What emotional response? Most people here seem to think he should be tried as a child solely on the basis of emotion.
    No, I am seeing that most people like an equitable and objective measure of applying the law without deviation on the sole count that "oh noes, the kid did something really, really bad so let's get him".



    Certainly not murder. Bullying, harrassment, etc.
    You know why bullying and harassing has never been criminal among kids? Because kids have poor impulse control and they are still developing ideas about social order, empathy, compassion, and individuality.

    No creature reverts to it's natural, primal and sadistic state with such alacrity and glee as a child out of the supervision of an adult. That's just part of dealing with children. They are, at their core, egocentric, sociopathic, and amoral until they are socialized properly.

    You've read Lord of the Flies, right? You know why that book remains relevant? Because it rings true about the nature of children.
    Last edited by jallman; 04-11-10 at 02:58 PM.

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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Kelzie, when I made the distinction between legal consequences, and human consequences, I was referring to the differences between recognising that one has done something wrong, and will be punished, and recognising the effects of what one has done upon other human beings.

    You may be lucky enough to have gone past that, but I am still at the age where I am punished by legal adults and those who have power over me. But I am 16, not 11, so if I do something which physically or emotionally harms another human being, my cognisance of that wrong is not limited to the fact that I will be punished. I am also aware of the human consequences of what I have done. I know that there is a moral dimension, which may adversely affect others, to my actions.

    I am not at all sure that I had the same awareness, to the same degree, when I was 11. In the intervening five years, I have changed totally - intellectually, physically, emotionally, and in terms of empathy with others. I could easily have committed a similar crime (for dissimilar reasons) to that committed by this boy, at that age. And I thank the fates that I live in a society where there is no possibility that a modern Judge Jeffreys could flout the law, so as to have me tried as an adult at 11.
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    No, I am seeing that most people like an equitable and objective measure of applying the law without deviation on the sole count that "oh noes, the kid did something really, really bad so let's get him".
    Using age as the determing factor is extremely subjective. It has nothing to do with a desire to "get someone." He did something wrong knowlingly. He should be treated no different than any else who did the same thing with the same mental characteristics. If he knows what he did was wrong, if he knows he will be punished for it and if he can understand the legal system, he should be treated like an adult who knows the same. That's objective.

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    You know why bullying and harassing has never been criminal among kids? Because kids have poor impulse control and they are still developing ideas about social order, empathy, compassion, and individuality.

    No creature reverts to it's natural, primal and sadistic state with such alacrity and glee as a child out of the supervision of an adult. That's just part of dealing with children. They are, at their core, egocentric, sociopathic, and amoral until they are socialized properly.

    You're read Lord of the Flies, right? You know why that book remains relevant? Because it rings true about the nature of children.
    Not to get into a book discussion with you, but Lord of the Flies was an allegory for human, adult nature and society at large. Children were used to show that it was human nature, not just natural to children.

    I don't know what kind of kid you were but I played very nicely with my sister, whether my mom was watching or not. I agree that most bullying shouldn't be prosecuted because it's not in the real world. But when it crosses over to harrassment, it needs to be. You can't harrass someone and get away with it when you're adult, you shouldn't be able to when you're a kid.
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    Re: Should an 11 year old ever be tried as an adult?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post
    Kelzie, when I made the distinction between legal consequences, and human consequences, I was referring to the differences between recognising that one has done something wrong, and will be punished, and recognising the effects of what one has done upon other human beings.

    You may be lucky enough to have gone past that, but I am still at the age where I am punished by legal adults and those who have power over me. But I am 16, not 11, so if I do something which physically or emotionally harms another human being, my cognisance of that wrong is not limited to the fact that I will be punished. I am also aware of the human consequences of what I have done. I know that there is a moral dimension, which may adversely affect others, to my actions.

    I am not at all sure that I had the same awareness, to the same degree, when I was 11. In the intervening five years, I have changed totally - intellectually, physically, emotionally, and in terms of empathy with others. I could easily have committed a similar crime (for dissimilar reasons) to that committed by this boy, at that age. And I thank the fates that I live in a society where there is no possibility that a modern Judge Jeffreys could flout the law, so as to have me tried as an adult at 11.
    I am sure that if someone had an honest discussion with the boy before he killed his stepmother, he would know what dying means to her. He could have told you the effect it would have on his father and on her family. He could have told you want dying means to his unborn sibling and the loss of a life that never got a chance.

    Is he as aware of the morality surrounding murder as he will be at 16? Of course not. Just like an 18 year-old doesn't have the same moral maturity as a 25 year-old. And yet (most) of us are comfortably trying an 18 year-old as an adult. The fact that he is still going to develop is not a factor in deciding what court to try him in. As previously mentioned, the brain continues developing until the age of 25.

    And I don't know you, but you seem shockingly mature and intelligent for a 16 year-old. I highly doubt you would have murdered someone five years ago.
    be humble for you are made of earth; be noble for you are made of stars

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