Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Thought as a Child - Charged as an Adult

When I read in the first paragraph that police had arrested two juveniles in connection with a home invasion in Chester, I immediately wondered how much further I’d have to read to learn that they were charged as adults. Not long.

That’s what they do around here every chance they get, charge juveniles as adults.

Most of you say that’s what those kids deserved. They created a heinous crime, they should have known better, they have to do the time. 
  • ‘Heinous Crime’ – Can’t juvenile court handle heinous crimes?
  • ‘Known Better’ – If you’re driving around in the stolen car just blocks away from the scene of the crime it’s obvious you’re as dumb as dishwater. You have mental issues.
  • ‘Have to do the time’ – Juvenile court gives out time. When teens are charged as adults for their first offense, they are marked for life. Not much left to do but to continue as a criminal or in jail for the rest of their lives. That’s the trend.

When I write posts about charging kids as adults no one comments. I know the DA’s office reads this blog and when you don’t comment it confirms that you’re okay with it. They will continue to lock up every kid in adult jails every chance he gets.

Before charging a kid as an adult, I’d like these steps to be taken: 
  • Go to their home and see how they’re living?
  • Determine family income?
  • Identify who is raising the child (2 parents, 1 parent, guardian, no one)?
  • What’s his grade point average?
  • What’s her medical records reveal?
  • What did they have for breakfast, lunch and dinner the day of the crime? 

If you find a kid living in a run down home with no one working or providing income, who has a dysfunctional or missing parent, who doesn’t go to school or is far below proficient standards, who has never been to the doctor, dentist, eye doctor or psychologist, and doesn’t eat a hot meal at least once a day, you obviously have a sick kid on your hands who has not had the opportunity for normal development and should be given the opportunity to be saved before they’re charged as an adult.

Should kids who create heinous crimes be punished? Yes, but not punished for life as will be the case when they’re tried as adults.

Our kids are crying for help. Becoming labeled as a child felon with no opportunity to learn and grow into an adult and make decisions based on that growth is a crime in itself.

When I was a child, I spoke, understood and thought as a child…” but was charged as an adult.


  1. OMG....Those questions are very important and should be the standard when a child commits a crime..

  2. Well said Stefan, but some peopleseem as if they just dont care. The questions you posted makes alot of sense because those things could contribute to the kids behaviour. Alot of kids are basically rasing themselves and their siblings to in this City. Its wrong that these kids are being marked for life. If they commit the crime as a juvenile they should be charged as a juvenile as long as its not a henious or severe crime. Then Chester rather send all the cases out media instead of try and take care of their own.

    1. The vague definitions of heinous and severe is the problem.

      Instead of charging kids as adults from the jump and making attorneys argue to get them in juvie (which never works), why not charge them as the juvies they are and make the prosecution argue to get them charged as adults? Instead of having kids rot in the adult jails, they would fester in the juvie system. Neither is nice but putting kids with adults for months before a hearing is cruel.

      Money is the other issue. Being charged as an adult means higher bail and more hours charged to attorneys.

      As long as no one steps up to advocate for our problem children, they'll be sent away as adults almost every time.

    2. This is a good idea, although generally speaking, I disapprove of ever charging kids as adults.

      Kids are simply not adults. Their brains are not fully developed, they lack maturity and experience, and the whole notion of trying kids as adults is hypocritical. Just because we want revenge, it does not change the facts.

      I say it is hypocritical because we deny adult privileges to kids based on the notion that kids cannot be responsible with those privileges for precisely the reasons I mention above, (brain development, immaturity, inexperience etc.) but yet we turn around and say they should pay for crimes as adults just because their behavior infuriates us. Total hypocrisy and unjust.

  3. I shudder to think how stupid I was as an adolescent. Sure, I knew some things were "wrong" but for many offenses, I did not know WHY they were wrong. "Wrong" was something adults determined just to control kids. That's what I thought anyway.

    When my friends and I were 12 years old, we got it in our heads to buy some eggs and "egg" someone's car. No particular reason, we just thought it would be fun. We didn't care whose car we egged either. We went into a local grocery store, bought some eggs, even told the clerk why we were buying the eggs, and then we proceeded to go outside and egg the very car that belonged to the clerk from whom we bought the eggs. See what I mean by stupid!

    The grocery store clerk had no problem finding where I lived. I was well known in the neighborhood as were my friends. I thought my dad would take a belt to my butt when he found out what I had done. Instead, he just made me pay for the damage.

    Kids can't be expected to "know better". How can they? Childhood and adolescence is the time you LEARN to know better. We don't come into the world knowing right from wrong. We aren't born understanding the consequences of our actions. At 12 years of age, you don't know that egging a car can ruin the paint job. You also don't understand how hard a person must work to earn the $500 for a new paint job. All these things are learned from experience, and childhood and adolescence is the time we gain that experience.

    I think charging children as adults is reprehensible, and to me it just proves that even adults can be stupid and irrational in some of their judgments. If adults aren't perfect, we certainly can't expect perfection from kids.