Have we lost our collective minds?
"CHARLESTON, South Carolina (CNN) -- A judge sentenced a 15-year-old boy Tuesday to 30 years in prison for killing his grandparents after jurors rejected defense arguments that taking the antidepressant Zoloft drove the youth to kill.
The jury convicted Chris Pittman earlier Tuesday on two counts of murder in the 2001 slayings of his paternal grandparents, Joe and Joy Pittman.
In closing arguments Monday, prosecutor John Meadors belittled the defense's contention that Zoloft influenced Pittman, then 12, to carry out the shootings, calling such an argument a "smoke screen."
"The only issue is -- did he know the difference between right and wrong?" Meadors said.
"Shooting them in bed with a [.410-gauge shotgun]," he said, "that's malice, meanness, wickedness."
This is nothing less than malice, meanness, and wickedness--on the part of the prosecution!
The facts of the case are not in doubt. 12 year old Chris Pittman shotgunned his grandparents. He should have been adjudicated. As a twelve year old.
Instead, the prosecution chose first, to argue that he be held to the legal standard of a 14 year old under South Carolina law. The difference is that those under fourteen are presumed unable to form the intent to commit murder. This, of course, puts the burden on the prosecution.
Secondly, they pushed to try him as an adult. I find both of these moves nothing short of evil. As i remedy, I propose that anyone who is now or ever has been a prosecutor be rounded up and summarily executed. Oh, i know, there might be one or two in the bunch that aren't really pure evil, but, the overall effect for society will justify this extreme measure.
If this young man had had sex with one of his teachers, there would be no thought of holding a hearing to determine if he met the 14 year old standard of the ability to form consent. i would argue that there is as much or as little reason to consider this in each case.
Further, if this child had performed some heroic act, we would not be arguing that he should be treated as an adult. When a teenager, a couple of weeks ago, ran into a burning house and rescued an elderly woman, then flagged down a car to ask them to call 911, we did not hear that a hearing was to be held to consider if he should be afterwards treated as an adult. No one proposed hat he be allowed to grab a beer down at the pub, or enter into contracts, or be allowed to vote, even though he has demonstrated what could arguably be said to be just the behavior we hope to engender in adults.
Why is is that if you are 12, to be considered an adult, you must murder someone?
What purpose has this served? When this boy is released form jail at 42, will his sentence have served society?
Just to show you how outrageous this was, Nancy Grace, the most evil of prosecutors, who is proud that as a prosecutor she never lost a case (not that justice was done), even that good ol' girl Nancy Grace was disturbed. She had no problem with trying this pre-puberty boy as an adult, not particular disturbed by the verdict, but was disturbed that the judge didn't ignore the legal standards of the state to give him a lesser sentence than the two concurrent 30 year terms.
So, yo, Winston, psychoanalyze this:
I find it odd that we treat children who commit criminal acts as adults, for the purpose of punishing them, but we never reward courageous acts with adult recognition.
Anyone who has had an acquaintance with social learning knows that this is exactly the opposite of the correct approach.