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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Should young (accused) murderers be tried as adults?

A person allegedly shoots a woman who is eight months pregnant, in the back of the head with a 20-gauge shotgun.

He then supposedly goes to school after dropping the spent cartridge outside, leaving the victim's four year old daughter to discover her mother's body.

This is a heinous muder.

But the suspect is an eleven year old schoolboy.

And if he is tried as an adult, he could spend virtually the rest of his life in prison.

Should seriousness of the crime determine how suspects are treated? Or should it be their age and mental capacity?

The latest brain research shows people don't tend to fully develop self-control until their mid- to late-twenties. If he did it, this kid probably knew what he was doing was wrong; the relevant question is whether he really understood it and could stop his behavior?

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