Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Young Murderer

CNN reports today on the case of the 8-year-old who killed his father and another man. There's not that much more in this story than what we already knew. Several people have questioned the motive and mental health of this young shooter. Ron Wood, one of the boy's public defenders, gives this little glimpse:

On Monday Wood said that so far, nobody had stepped up to take custody of the boy.

"We've got an 8-year-old client who is sitting in a detention facility who needs someone to take him home, and we haven't found that person," Wood told KPHO. "The stepmother didn't want to take custody of him. His mother hasn't taken custody of him.

"At this point in time, no one has come forward and indicated they're willing to take [him]."

It sounds pretty cold when the mother and step-mother won't come forward to help. I guess this young boy had some problems on the domestic scene. But, my question is to the capital punishment proponents. Does this defendant get a break because of his age? Yes or no? At what age do they stop getting that break? Does anyone get a break for childhood abuse?


  1. I won't lie, I'm not without emotion on this story, and I find it very difficult to condemn a young boy to death.

    Still I'm also skeptical that this child could ever be "cured" of whatever issues that lead to him becoming a cold-blooded murderer at such an early age.

    He is a child, yet he is not innocent.

    Still I suspect anybody could deem him as an "Adult" in his actions, so I can't imagine it to be moral or just to try him as one.

    As for "Trouble at home"...yeah not shit Mike, and 8-year-old Boy is a double murderer! Spending some time in Child care I've seen some severely messed up kids from some REALLY rotten home...an 8-year-old murderer is something I've never seen.

    I'd say "Some problems on the domestic scene." is the understatement of the century!

  2. Also just to bring in the gun discussion, I'll say that I would without hesitation or encouragement, or any change in my current lifestyle, take full posession of the .22 rifle used in this horrible act.

    Under my current knowlege I would under no (NONE) circumstances allow this boy into my home without a drastic change in my day-to-day life.

    Think about that.

  3. i'm not willing to write off this, or any other, eight-year-old. nor would i want him treated as an adult. at that age the mind is still fairly plastic, he's got a lot of personality changes left to do; with the right kind of raising i think he could still be "fixed", still be socialized into something like a functioning adult. sure, it'd take another decade of unusually skilled parenting, but i'm not willing to write it off as impossible.

    whether he'll actually get that out of whatever court-ordered foster home he'll end up in is, of course, a very different question. in actual practice, odds are depressingly good that he'll be let down and written off. that's a shame, and a failure of the system, but fixing that would mean pouring a lot more money into the social safety net than the damned republican party will allow us to.

    kids like this are the result of, not the cause for, a criminally insufficient welfare system. maybe if the dems can hold on to power for the next eight years, we can begin to change the basic assumptions that are currently stopping us from fixing that system.

  4. that is just chilling. i think of my 6 year old and think, could anything happen in his young life to turn him into that in the next 2 years?

  5. slyde, I could be wrong, but I'm guessing "Just about nothing".

    I suspect this poor kid was grown in rotten soil and fed a constant diet of violence and hate, and little else.

    Anything but that, and I might loose faith in humanity....

  6. Slyde, My boy is going on 5 and I think a lot about what kind of nurturing he's getting. When I was 5, my father was 26, a hard worker and hard drinker. I'm doing a better job than he did partly because I'm not in my twenties, not by a long shot.