File it under “Duh”

A few years ago a seven year old boy had felony charges brought against him for a fight that happened with another boy in first grade. He had punched the boy, then kicked, hit and scratched three other adults as they tried to get him under control.

Today he was found incompetent to stand trial – too young to understand the charges against him.

That’s the first Duh.

The boy is obviously troubled. Violence should absolutely not be tolerated, and intervention was absolutely necessary. Agreed. I’m totally on board. But charging a seven year old with a felony?

“This should have been a whole team of people trying to help a kid, but in reality it turned into an adversarial posture,” the prosecutor said.

That’s the second Duh. What did you think was going to happen? You could have gotten the kid – and the family – help without bringing these ridiculous charges. Help doesn’t need to be court-mandated. It just needs to be.

Children are malleable and capable of learning and should not be shackled with the felon label for life because of an incident such as this at age seven. No weapon. No blood. No permanent – or even semi-permanent injuries. I understand that there could have been. I understand that there could be a next time.

I don’t know at what age children should be held legally accountable for their actions. I just know it’s not seven.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “File it under “Duh””

  1. Kate Says:

    Oh, such good information to have… that means I have at least a few months left to get Emily to do my dirty work and be confident she won’t go to prison for it…

    Gah. The legal system is not a pretty thing. Crazy how it’s one of the best ones in the world, huh?

  2. One life lost, another ruined, and I’m out of hands. « Are You Going To Be This Way The Rest of The Time I Know You? Says:

    […] And I wonder if he deserves that chance.  I think of another case I commented on, involving a seven-year-old who was charged with a felony after a fight, and I wonder where he’s […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: