LtNOWIS wrote:The kid's got a number of prior offenses and was already facing prosecution for more at the time. It's not a single bad decision.
Like it would need to be a single bad decision for what I said to be relevant. What difference would that possibly make?
sourmìlk wrote:Not only that, but it's demeaning to the victim to call this a "stupid decision." It wasn't, it was a crime. Yes, I know that 16 year olds generally do not have fully developed morality or intelligence, but they should have the necessary moral sense and intelligence to know that armed robbery is a bad thing.
It may be demeaning to say "stupid" if taken literally, but that's not how I meant it. What I do mean literally is that 16-year-olds actually don't have the social judgment of 17-year-olds, who don't have the social judgment of 18-year-olds, etc. till about 26. There's no point in punishing people for no effect, not as a deterrent, for making bad choices that got them into situations where they commit crime. It won't do anything. It won't have an effect. We can do things that have no effect, but why? Just why? Same goes for punishing the mentally ill.
skeptical scientist wrote: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.
Then let's throw out assault as a crime altogether. Everything is murder.
The point is that the risk was lower, and the result was not what we consider murder. It's not murder.
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.
It's very unlikely that he'll get off on armed robbery. I am acting like it is certain because it is. I am not acting like he will spend the rest of his life in prison. Nor does that need to be true for punishment to be sufficient.
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.
There's actually a HUGE difference. In fact, there's a big difference between an 18-year-old and a 20-year-old committing an armed robbery (not as big as 16 to 18, but still big), but I won't get into that too much. 18 is already a low limit for leniency.
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.
You don't get it. The point of punishment is either deterrence or modifying someone's behavior. That is questionable in this case. There is no point. You can hold people "responsible" arbitrarily, which is what you seem to be implying in the first statement (in quotations, because it really just means worthy of punishment how most people use it). There's no point. No meaningful effect.
As a 16-year-old, I was perfectly ... to someone's death).
What story of a 16-year old criminal have you heard that has gone like: "So, I was in Honors Geometry class at my private high school. One day, I decided I needed a little extra spending money. So, I started asking around for criminal elements, and found myself a gun. Yesterday I was in Honors Geometry class, but now it's time to rob someone." You create laws and standards for punishment based on the people you are applying it to, not the people you aren't. That is, if you want to have any effect.
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.
That's just striking a moderate stance.