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  1. #1
    BOUNCER is offline Retired Vet
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    When is a child an adult ?, should these kids be considered adult's ?.

    Could these 'children' be put on death row, or should they, whats your view.


    http://www.usatoday.com/hear.htm

    Bouncer

  2. #2
    ptbyjason Guest
    Oh wow, I haven't even heard about this story yet.

    This is such a hard decision to make.

    On one hand I know what they did was wrong and I think they knew they were doing something wrong. They planned to burn the house down to hide the evidence. They knew what they were doing before they did it. So with that thought process, they should be punished accordingly.

    On the other hand these kids are so young to be doing this (the youngest I have ever heard of) and odds are there was something else wrong that would cause them to do this.

    Final decision: I think they should be punished, but I don't think death row is the place for them.

  3. #3
    PaPaPumP's Avatar
    PaPaPumP is offline Retired Moderator
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    Ok, i just clicked on the link and it sent me to the sports section...the Bucaneers to be precise. That's for you PETEY.

  4. #4
    EXCESS's Avatar
    EXCESS is offline Retired Moderator
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    Yeah, its the Bucs-Ravens story. I guess USA Today changes the page quite often. Yes, I think Ray Lewis is old enough to be put on death row!

  5. #5
    TNT's Avatar
    TNT
    TNT is offline Retired Moderator
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    Cool Updated link for the story . . .

    The link provied by Bouncer is a temporary page on USA Today on which the stories change frequently.

    The permanent link for the story to which he refers is here.

    In addition to the above version of the story originally cited by Bouncer, there is an updated AP wire report, the full text of which reads:

    December 29, 15:50 ET

    FLA. YOUNGSTERS HELD IN KILLING

    By BILL KACZOR
    Associated Press Writer

    PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) A 12-year-old boy, accused with his brother of murdering their father, wrote that a convicted child molester encouraged him to become a homosexual and told him his father mentally abused him, according to court records.

    Alex King and 13-year-old brother Derek, both charged as adults, face automatic life in prison without parole if convicted of first-degree murder for allegedly beating their father to death with a baseball bat.

    Firefighters found the body of Terry Lee King, 40, in his burning home in Cantonment on Nov. 26.

    The child molester, Ricky Marvin Chavis, 40, is charged with being an accessory after the fact of murder. He is accused of hiding the boys from police at his Pensacola house after the killing.

    A prosecutor and investigator said at a bond hearing Friday that the boys confessed, claiming they were worried about being spanked for running away and that their father had gotten ``physical.''

    The investigator's sworn statement for a search warrant of Chavis' home adds details, citing a note found at the murder scene in which Alex wrote that his life was cloudy and confused and without goals, and that he was uncertain whether he wanted to be a teacher, governor or president until Chavis befriended him.

    ``Rick let me see what I didn't understand,'' Alex wrote, according to the statement. ``Life isn't about having a job. Life isn't about importance. Fame. My ultimate goal in life now is what his is. It is about sharing your life with someone elses. Before I met Rick I was straight but now I am gay.''

    Alex said in his confession that his father was mentally abusing him but that he did not know it until Chavis told him, Escambia County sheriff's investigator John Sanderson wrote in the search warrant affidavit.

    The boys' statements were sealed Friday by Circuit Judge Kim Skievaski, who also denied their requests for bail. A motion to unseal the statements is pending from the Pensacola News Journal and WEAR-TV.

    The boys face a March 11 trial date. No trial has been set yet for Chavis.

    Sanderson testified that Derek admitted hitting his father on the head about 10 times with a baseball bat while his father was asleep in a chair, and that Alex confessed the killing was his idea. The boys also admitted setting the fire to destroy evidence, Sanderson said.

    Alex's attorney, James Stokes, argued that the boys had been deceptive in their statements to investigators.

    Assistant State Attorney David Rimmer would not say if investigators suspect a broken aluminum bat found at Chavis' home was the murder weapon.

    Chavis, sentenced to six months in jail after he pleaded no contest to lewd and lascivious conduct with two boys in 1984, turned Alex and Derek in a day after the killing but gave conflicting statements, according to the search warrant statement.

    He initially told investigators an unknown woman called him Nov. 27 and told him where he could pick up the boys and that he took them home and called police. Later, he said he picked them up when they called from a convenience store immediately after the killing. He admitted hiding them in a bedroom when deputies went to his home that day, Sanderson wrote.

    The boys had been living with their father for several years. Their mother, Janet French, lives in the Lexington, Ky., area.


    (The original story cited by Bouncer did not cover the child molestation angle.)
    Last edited by TNT; 12-30-2001 at 01:08 AM.

  6. #6
    EXCESS's Avatar
    EXCESS is offline Retired Moderator
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    Thats messed up. It sounds like they were brainwashed by the child-molester. I'd have to know more before I gave my opinion on whether or not they should be treated as adults.

    BTW, how the hell do you break an aluminum bat?

  7. #7
    TNT's Avatar
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    Cool Hey, it's philosophy time!

    Okay, having provided the story link and the update, I am now prepared to pontificate. Hold on while I get into lotus position . . . there.

    First, it helps to know the basis of Florida's law with regard to juvenile offenders. You'll find it here.

    So, to answer Bouncer's original question, it appears unlikely that the boys would be put on death row. Florida has the death penalty (think Ted Bundy), but it is generally not applied to juveniles. However, when juveniles are tried as adults for murder, the common result is a life sentence.

    There is an interesting angle to this case. National headlines were made several months ago when a young black kid, 14-year-old Lionel Tate, was sentenced to life imprisonment after he was convicted of killing a 6-year-old playmate while imitating wrestling moves he'd seen on television. This occurred after his attorney had turned down a deal that would have resulted in his being sentenced as a juvenile. In the case of Alex and Derek King, we're talking about two young white kids, so it will be interesting to see if their case is handled differently, not to mention whether the influence of Ricky Chavis, the child molester, will be considered a mitigating circumstance. Keep in mind, however, that the Lionel Tate case did not involve premeditated murder, while the case of the King brothers indicates that there was premeditation.

    Florida is one of the leading states in which children who have committed a violent crime are charged as adults. All but two states have laws that allow this, but Florida seems to use it more than the otehr states. One factor in this is that the decision on whether to charge a child as an adult is made by the prosecutor, not the courts. Keeping in mind that most prosecutors are elected (or, if assistant prosecutors, they serve under an elected D.A.), and that public opinion generally takes a stand-tough position when it comes to violent crime, the temptation on the part of prosecutors will always be to try youthful offenders as adults. The result of such laws is that there is a lot of moral debate going on with regard to juveniles being tried as adults, especially youngsters who are first-time offenders (regardless of how violent the crime is).

    The key question in this case, as in any case involving offenders of any age, is the possibility of recidivism - the chance that someone who committed a given offense will do it again. We do not know the history of the King kids - whether they were violent by nature, whether they had a documented history of violent acts, or whether they were nice, gentle kids that happened to commit murder. We do know that once you place someone into the penal system, whether an adult or juvenile prison, they will easily become hardened for the sake of their own survival, thus increasing the chance that they will commit another crime if released. So even if the murder of their father was intended to be a one-shot deal, the fact that they are now in a juvenile detention facility will environnmentaly contribute to the chance that they would be violent upon release.

    So, will they be put on death row? Probably not. Society - at least in Florida - allows for the notion that you can sentence a juvenile to prison for life, but they do not yet accept the notion that you can execute a juvenile (or even an adult who committed a violent crime as a young juvenile).

    Should[ they be put on death row? IMO, no. If there is no precedent for this, it would create a slippery slope that is unlikely to be acceptable to society. We do not even need to get into the morality of capital punishment on this one (which, I'm sure, would open up a can of worms since we have a politically and geographically diverse membership on A.R.) since we're talking about such young kids. Fortunately, that is probably a moot point, since it is unlikely that a prosecutor will attempt to turn it into a capital case, knowing that even a conservative jury in Pensacola would be unlikely to convict if they know that it would result in execution of such young offenders.

    Now, if y'all will excuse me, this damn lotus position is getting uncomortable, and I need to go pump some iron to maintain my dumb weight jock image . . .

  8. #8
    EXCESS's Avatar
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    Whew, nice post TNT! It appears that you've outdone us once again.

    I think that people will be quick to judge this case based on their first impressions. The system is quick to give up on children and life in prison is an easy way to forget about them. I'd still have to know more before I gave a definite opinion, but I feel that these children should be given every opportunity to change for the better. That being said, I don't condemn children being treated as adults in particular situations.

  9. #9
    BOUNCER is offline Retired Vet
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    TNT do you do devorce and personal injury too ?

    Whew what a reply. I remember the case of the wrestling kids, it made the news here in Ireland even, however this one hasn't as yet.

    There was a case in Liverpool, England 8 years ago when two children, both 9 took a 3 year old child from a shopping mall, beat him up and put his lifeless body on some train tracks to be cut in half. Despite calls by the british to be tried as adults they were convicted in a childs court and put into care !. They were released into society last month under a storm of protest. I have never heard of a child being charged as an adult either here in Ireland or the UK.

    Regards

    Bouncer

  10. #10
    TNT's Avatar
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    Cool Moi? L'il ol' moi?

    Originally posted by Bouncer AKA bouncer
    TNT do you do devorce and personal injury too ?
    Afraid not . . . I'm not a lawyer. (I always feel like I'm doing Richard Nixon's "Checkers" speech when I say that . . . "I am not a crook." Lawyer, crook . . . some would argue that they're the same thing anyway.)

    There was a case in Liverpool, England 8 years ago when two children, both 9 took a 3 year old child from a shopping mall, beat him up and put his lifeless body on some train tracks to be cut in half. Despite calls by the british to be tried as adults they were convicted in a childs court and put into care !. They were released into society last month under a storm of protest. I have never heard of a child being charged as an adult either here in Ireland or the UK.
    I remember the Liverpool case - the kids even had to be given new identities and their destination was never disclosed - there was a feeling that some nut would try to get revenge on them.

    The whole situation regarding trying juveniles as adults is a potential Pandora's box in the law, which is why so many states here in the U.S. have created exemptions. (One of many paradoxes, like the fact that the U.S. is one of the few civilized countries in the world that has capital punishment in the first place.)

    One of the difficulties in law is that legislatures often pass statutes without considering the full ramifications of their actions. Consider, for example, the so-called "Christian Science exemption" to health care, in which parents do not have to have their children treated for life-threatening medical conditions if they choose to opt for prayer instead based on their religious convictions. Legal? Yes, but if the kid dies, then the parents can still be charged with manslaughter (although not with negligence) - a paradoxical law that the legislatures did not consider the ramifications of when they passed it.

    I believe the Florida law is also paradoxical in this sense. Legislative bodies have consistently voted that juveniles should be treated differently than adults when it came to crime - they can have their records cleared when they turn 18, they can be sent to juvenile facilities instead of adult prisons, etc. But legislatures did not consider one particular crime: murder. Because when the original laws were passed, kids did not go around killing people as they do today. We didn't have nine-year-olds leaving three-year-olds on train tracks to be run over, we didn't have high school students taking out their teachers and peers (such as at Columbine), we didn't have the same level of heinous crimes we see on the whole today. So we now see legislatures trying to backtrack and establish laws under which kids can be prosecuted as adults.

    I question whether the Florida law would be found constitutional if challenged in the U.S. courts - not due to any particular moral factor, but because the law is overbroad: It leaves too much discretion to an individual (namely, the prosecutor in each case, who can subjectively and selectivey decide to prosecute a juvenile in adult court, as opposed to a court itself, which must base its decision solely on the rules of law). Certainly, as more cases of this nature are heard in adult courts in Florida, we may eventually find out.

  11. #11
    Tobey is offline Retired IRON CHEF Mod
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    That's really sad

    What happened to the day's of simple play ground tossles? I would not be so quick to judge these children just yet. I do believe that they are old enough to know the difference between right and wrong but it seems that for these kids to be pushed to the brink of murder, they at least deserve an indepth investigation as to what drove them to commit such hineous acts of violence. I mean how many 12 year old psycopaths are there floating around? Really is sad though. Here are 2 kids with their whole life in front of them. What is our world coming to?
    IC

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