Vash wrote:It's logically obvious that the crimes that person are guilty of are participating in the endangerment of another, participating in the threatening of the police officer and robbery victim, theft, and perhaps attempted assault or murder (or collusion in the attempt). Even if that person had a gun and shot the police officer, that would be assault with a deadly weapon, or attempted murder, depending on the circumstances. How could this possibly be correct? The reason we have gradation of crimes in the first place is so that we don't impose cruel and unusual punishments. The punishment is supposed to fit the crime. Have we forgotten this entirely?
When you choose to commit a crime which has a significant chance of ending with someone's death, and someone dies, I don't think it's unreasonable to call it murder. That is the basis for the felony murder rule, and I think it's a legitimate one. Whether it should apply in this case? That's for a jury to decide.
So, his friend died, he is going to jail, and that's not enough?
You act like he's going to spend the rest of his life in prison, when a) he hasn't even been convicted of anything yet, and b) if he is convicted under the felony murder rule (which is far from certain), we don't know what the penalty will be.
Also, this may not apply to you, but why try non-adults as adults? Why even have different penalties in the first place then?
I really don't know enough about the differences between adult and juvenile justice to know what the pros and cons are of trying someone in the adult vs. the juvenile justice system. That said, 16 is close enough to legal adulthood that I don't find it unreasonable, as I suspect there's not a whole lot of difference between a 16-year-old committing an armed robbery and an 18-year-old committing an armed robbery.
So, how are we going to deter 16 year olds from having undeveloped brains that make stupid decisions? How is punishment going to modify the behavior of this 16 year old?
16-year-olds can be responsible for their actions. Some degree of leniency is reasonable, but I'm not sure if it should extend to armed robbery, particularly when the outcome was someone's death. As a 16-year-old, I was perfectly capable of telling right from wrong, and predicting likely outcomes of actions I chose to take. I may have been hotheaded enough to act rashly when put in difficult and emotional situations, and some degree of leniency would be reasonable if, say, I got into a fight because of that. But armed robbery requires choosing to obtain a firearm (which is illegal for a minor), choosing to find a victim, and choosing to threaten that victim, at gunpoint, for their money, all of which are done outside of any emotional situation that can cause a youth to lose control. At 16 years, I think it is reasonable to treat someone committing that crime the same way you would treat an adult, holding them fully responsible for all the consequences (including the felony murder rule, if the crime leads to someone's death).
Were I on the jury, I'm not sure whether I would find the kid guilty of murder under the felony murder rule. I would undoubtedly be more inclined to leniency on the basis of the accused's age. But I wouldn't rule it out solely on the basis of age either, and would want to hear testimony on both sides before making up my mind.
I'm looking forward to the day when the SNES emulator on my computer works by emulating the elementary particles in an actual, physical box with Nintendo stamped on the side.
"With math, all things are possible." —Rebecca Watson