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Juvenile Criminals

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NEWS
March 11, 1993 | From Associated Press
Two 17-year-old girls have been sentenced for torturing and butchering an elderly woman, less than three weeks after a pair of 10-year-olds were charged with murdering a toddler. Again, a troubled nation is asking, how could this happen? Edna Phillips, 70, was throttled with her dog's leash and stabbed or slashed 86 times. The mental images of the crime have shocked the nation just as the video pictures of little James Bulger being led to his death did last month.
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OPINION
December 8, 2010
Sara Kruzan was 16 when she lured her former pimp into a motel room, shot and killed him and took his money. The terrible crime was committed in Riverside County by a girl who had been sexually molested and physically abused since her earliest days, raised by an addicted mother, gang-raped at 13 and at the same age sent into the streets to make a living as a prostitute by the man she would eventually kill. But teenagers change. Today, at 32, Kruzan is a model prisoner in the honor dorm at Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 7, 1999 | MATEA GOLD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
For Drew Birtness, the last straw came when he realized he was arresting the grandchildren of suspects he had picked up years ago. The Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy had been working the streets of East Los Angeles for 21 years, long enough to be hardened by the shootings and deaths and gangs--but also long enough to try something new. "I was tired of picking up kids' bodies off the street," he said.
NATIONAL
May 17, 2010 | By David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times
The Supreme Court for the first time on Monday put a strict constitutional limit on prison terms, ruling it is cruel and unusual punishment to send a young criminal to prison for life with no chance for parole for a crime that does not involve murder. The ruling is the second in recent years to greatly expand the constitutional protections for juveniles. And once again, the justices in the majority said they agreed with international critics who say the United States is out of step when it comes to treatment for the young.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 10, 2000 | SUE FOX, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Hours before he was killed, Nick Markowitz thought he was finally going home. It had been a strange, often scary two-day odyssey since a group of young men had snatched him off the street in his West Hills neighborhood and carted him up the coast to Santa Barbara, according to testimony before a Santa Barbara County grand jury released last week.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 15, 2001 | DAVID HERMANN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The case of a 16-year-old girl accused of torturing and beating an elderly woman to death last July will return to adult court, a San Bernardino Juvenile Court judge ruled Thursday. "She has no compassion, no empathy, no morality or decency," Judge John P. Wade said, explaining why he determined that Christy Phillips, who was 15 at the time of the crime, is unfit to be tried in Juvenile Court.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 10, 1995 | TIMOTHY WILLIAMS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The county's top prosecutor and other elected officials shared a podium with youthful offenders Friday to oppose state budget cuts that could cripple the state's youth camp system, particularly in Los Angeles County. The hearing, held at Camp Karl Holton, a juvenile probation camp in the Angeles National Forest north of San Fernando, was called by Assemblywoman Paula L. Boland (R-Granada Hills) in response to Gov.
NEWS
September 6, 1992 | DAN MORAIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Like a lot of 17-year-olds, Robert Davis was a handful for his mother and stepfather. It's not that he did anything terribly wrong, but he could not do much right either. He argued with his parents, he skipped school, he ran off. This spring, he found himself in the state-run China Springs Youth Camp. There, in April, he heard the news. In San Quentin Prison, the television reporter intoned, a murderer named Robert Alton Harris was about to be executed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 1991 | VICKI TORRES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
An evening of drinking and drugs descended into a grisly, lethal confrontation that ended in the shooting deaths of three young women in Pasadena, court documents filed in the case reveal. Filed in Pasadena Municipal Court in support of murder charges brought against two suspects, the documents are reports of investigations conducted by detectives at the murder scene and their interviews of witnesses and suspects.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 1993 | THUAN LE and RENE LYNCH, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Sen Nguyen lived a mother's nightmare. Her 13-year-old daughter, Phuong Nguyen, was near death this week after two bullets allegedly fired by a reputed gang member at the Westminster Mall struck her in the back. "Doctors kept telling me at first there might not be any hope for her, and I was afraid every time the phone rang," Nguyen said Friday. "But I came in to see her (Thursday afternoon), and she opened her eyes to look at me. That's when I knew she will live."
OPINION
January 14, 2010
The United States is the only nation in which someone can be locked up forever, with no chance for parole, for a crime committed in his or her youth. The Supreme Court is expected in coming days or weeks to rule on whether states may continue this costly, foolish and cruel practice of extinguishing a youth's hope and chances at redemption, even in cases in which no one died. California has 250 people in this position -- condemned to stay in prison until they die for crimes they committed at ages as young as 14; only Pennsylvania and Florida have more.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 14, 2007 | From Times Staff Reports
The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to hire 197 more probation staffers to oversee juvenile offenders. The move is the latest in the troubled department's effort to meet federal requirements to improve conditions for adolescent inmates. The 102 new employees at county probation camps and 95 new workers at juvenile halls will cost about $14.3 million annually.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 2007 | Tami Abdollah, Times Staff Writer
The last of nine black youths sentenced in the Long Beach hate-crime case was placed on probation Tuesday, even as she continued to proclaim her innocence. Allyson Stone, 18, was convicted two weeks ago of felony assault with a hate-crime enhancement for joining in the mob beating of three white women on Halloween night. The eight other youths convicted in the case were sentenced Friday and Monday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 2007 | Joe Mozingo, Times Staff Writer
Four girls convicted in the Long Beach hate-crime trial were sentenced to probation and house arrest Monday, as a judge ignored a prosecutor's pleas for three of them to be confined in a youth camp. Judge Gibson Lee has now given the same sentence to eight of the nine black youths convicted of beating three young white women on Halloween night. The remaining girl, a college student who was 17 at the time of the attack, is scheduled to be sentenced this morning.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 15, 2006 | Peter Y. Hong, Times Staff Writer
Prosecutors filed murder charges Tuesday against two men and a teenager accused of fatally shooting two employees -- a single mother and a soon-to-retire 74-year-old -- at a Carson gas station earlier this month. Julio Perez, 22, Adam Loza, 23, and Eric Elmo Sanford, all of Los Angeles, face two counts each of murder and two counts each of attempted robbery for their alleged roles in the Nov. 4 slayings. They will be arraigned Nov. 30 at Los Angeles County Superior Court in Compton.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 20, 2006 | Susannah Rosenblatt, Times Staff Writer
San Bernardino County juvenile offenders with learning, behavioral and emotional disabilities will now receive treatment in custody and after their release, according to a settlement approved Monday in federal court. The class-action lawsuit, brought on behalf of six juveniles in county custody with mental health difficulties, alleged violations of state and federal disability rights laws.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 10, 2000 | SUE FOX, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Hours before he was killed, Nick Markowitz thought he was finally going home. It had been a strange, often scary two-day odyssey since a group of young men snatched him off the street in his sleepy West Hills neighborhood and carted him up the coast to Santa Barbara, according to testimony before a grand jury in Santa Barbara County.
NEWS
January 10, 1993 | CATHERINE GEWERTZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The 17 years of Stuart A. Tay's life could not have been more strikingly different than his last day alive. The bespectacled honors student with a renaissance range of talent lay crumpled in a muddy back yard grave in Buena Park on a chilly New Year's Eve, his reputation soon to be tarnished by whispers of a robbery plan gone sour and a love triangle involving his accused killer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 13, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Three juvenile inmates temporarily escaped custody Saturday, slipping away from county Probation Department guards while being transported between two probation camps in the San Gabriel Valley, officials said. The boys used a key to unlock their handcuffs in the back of a van and then bolted when guards opened the doors at Camp Glenn Rockey, an official said. One was caught shortly afterward; the other two were apprehended Sunday.
NATIONAL
May 20, 2006 | Jon Burstein, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Tears ran down Lionel Tate's chubby cheeks when the 14-year-old left a Broward County courtroom in handcuffs as the youngest American ever sentenced to life in prison. Five years later, having squandered two chances at freedom, the lean-faced Tate calmly walked out of the same courtroom Thursday after being sentenced to 30 years in prison for violating his probation for the murder of first-grader Tiffany Eunick.
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