Sunday, November 30, 2008

8-Year-Old Shooter to be Offered a Plea

Yahoo News reports that the prosecutors have offered a plea deal to the 8-year-old boy charged with murder in the shooting deaths of his father and another man. We've discussed this case recently and when the shooting first happened. One thing everyone seemed to agree upon was that the police didn't handle it exactly right. What about the lawyers?

County Attorney Criss Candelaria wrote that he has "tendered a plea offer to the juvenile's attorneys that would resolve all the charges in the juvenile court contingent on the results of the mental health evaluations."

The defense attorney Benjamin Brewer expressed concern that the prosecutors may be intending to drop charges now that could be resurrected later in adult court when the boy is older. Candelaria denied this, insisting that if the boy is found incompetent because of his age, he wouldn't fit the definition of a mentally disordered person and no treatment would be available.

"Such a result denies the victims and public of any sense of justice for these heinous murders," Candelaria wrote.

And, according to Candeleria, such a result would also deny the boy much needed psychological help, although I don't see how. If the kid is found incompetent to stand trial, does it really matter if the incompetence is due to age? Would that deny his getting medical or psychiatric help?

As far as his mental state goes, the following piece of the puzzle came out:

Police reports say the boy told a state Child Protective Services worker that his 1,000th spanking would be his last.

My liberal bleeding heart goes out to a little boy who says something like that. How about yours? My liberal bleeding heart goes out to all the other boys just like him who don't get around to committing their crimes until they're about ten years older than this precocious kid. How about yours? Doesn't this case illustrate the need for considering an abusive childhood as mitigating the culpability, in the name of justice?

What's your opinion?


  1. There has been so much bullshit spewed about this story that I won't be bothering with the press about it anymore.

    I personally think from the (partial) video I saw that the men were killed by outside assailants, but even that is pure speculation. I leave the rest in the hands of the court system and law enforcement.

  2. i agree with you 100 percent....

  3. If the parents were abusive, it seems that problem has been resolved.

  4. Tom, I really missed you around here. So many times I get a good laugh from you comment only to stop and wonder if maybe you were serious.

  5. We aim to please. Literally. Precision optics help too.