Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Trying Children as Adults Is Barbaric

September 11, 2002

I am stunned that anywhere in our country young children can be tried as adults and charged with first-degree murder with the only possible penalty being a life sentence without parole ("Teen Brothers Guilty of Beating Father to Death," Sept. 7). Yet this is just what happened in Florida to Alex and Derek King, now ages 13 and 14 but certainly younger when the crime occurred. It shames me as an American.

This sort of justice seems like something out of the Dark Ages, little removed from the lynchings in our past or the recent report from Nigeria of a woman being sentenced to death by stoning for adultery. At the same time, if the justice system ever manages to get some of our highflying corporate bandits to trial and conviction, we know that they certainly will face much lesser sentences.

Thankfully, in the case of Alex and Derek, the jury convicted them of a lesser offense, second-degree murder. It has been a long, twisted road of media sensationalism, political demagoguery and simplistic solutions that has gotten us to this deplorable place. We need to wake up and change the priorities of our criminal justice system. We are not barbarians.

Jonathan Hubbell

Laguna Niguel

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|