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Mepham update and a question

The victims parents made the following statement today after the DA announced that he would seek to try the accused students as adults"

This is a statement from the victims and their families, released by their three attorneys.

"The following statement is a response from the victims of the Mepham High School hazing incident to the Wayne County DA's decision to treat all juveniles charged in the assaults as adults:

We have been informed today, after a telephone conference early this morning with the Wayne County DA, that he intends to prosecute as adults all three youths charged in this terrible assault. We would like to express our full support for the decision made and express our complete confidence in the judgement of Mr. Zimmer's office in making this decision.

We are pleased that these investigations are going forward and look toward the day when we can begin to try to put this horrible event behind us.

We are deeply saddened and disappointed that these events were allowed to take place at all. We also feel that the time is right for Bellmore-Merrick Central High School Disrict to shoulder their responsibility in this matter. The principal and coaches who had an opportunity to prevent this attack should acknowledge their responsibility."

Now, the question, which some people have already been debating in the preceding post. Do you think they should be tried as adults? Feel free to expand on your answer.

Comments

Personally, I think all criminals should be tried as adults. If a young child commits a crime, the first order of business should be to judge whether or not the child is fully responsible for his/her act or if the parents carry the responsibility. After that, a crime is a crime. Victims are no less injured because the criminal is underage, and I'm a strong supporter of the idea that crimes should be punished in direct relation to the damage that was caused to the victim.

Absolutely. Their crimes are horrendous and they are of an age that they definitely understand their actions and should have understood the potential consequences. They are competent to stand trial for these acts and should be held fully accountable.

absolutely and without question. the only reason to try anyone as a child is if they were too young to understand the consequences of their actions. these guys not only understood it, they revelled in it.

this is the perfect opportunity for eye-for-an-eye justice, in fact. i'd be fine with having them get sodomized with foreign and bizarre objects in front of a big group of "friends."

Here is where I get angry:If any ONE of these objects were used on a female,there would be such a hue and cry that it would be deafening.But since this was boy on boy there is what,an expectation that the victims should buck up and move on?I mean for Chrissake,a pinecone?Throw the book at the lot of them,

Keep in mind that the broomstick, pine cones and golf balls were dipped in mineral ice first.

Not the act of a child.

Fry 'em.

I can understand being a bit lenient with children for crimes of stupidity or irresponsiblity, like vandalism or shoplifting or drug use. Not that lenient, but a bit. They likely don't realize the implications of their actions in those circumstances.

With crimes of malice, though, which this cleary is, no leniency at all should apply. This is f---ing premeditated, carefully planned rape. No one can cry ignorance of the consequences.

No sentence the judge is capable of giving will be too high. Personally, I'd like to see them get 30 years, minimum, and I wouldn't cry much if they got executed.

And to add to the horror, afterward they intimidated all witnesses to their acts into silence to the point of hindering investigation.

These are not kids. They are animals and should be treated as such.

Yes, I do believe, unquestionably, and without any doubt what so ever; The administration of the school and the coaches should be tried as adults.

One of the school shootings some years back involved boys aged 12 and 9 (IIRC) and I don't remember if they were tried as adults or not. I actually had to stop watching the news for a while for my own mental health then. I can understand the concept of a child being held accountable for their actions, but putting children that young in jail with adults is a sickening thought. There could be no hope of rehabilitation. Those boys would be lost forever.

This is a different case though. These boys are older. I'm not sure where you draw the line to say "a 15 year old is more accountable for his actions than a 12 year old", but puberty is one (blurry) line that we could use. Even though in this case the crime is rape instead of murder, I can approve of jail time.

Another factor is the concept of juvenile courts only being allowed to hold an offender to the age of 21. That means that, contrary to common sense, a 12 year old can be punished more harshly than a 15 year old, by three additional years. The older the criminal is, the more incentive to move him to the adult court system in order to make sure that he doesn't get a slap on the wrist.

Perhaps instead of putting teenagers in the adult criminal system, we should try and redesign the juvenile justice system to handle serious crimes committed by children. I just wish I knew how to do it.

Perhaps instead of putting teenagers in the adult criminal system, we should try and redesign the juvenile justice system to handle serious crimes committed by children.

Sad as the necessity is, Shell, you really hit the nail on the head.

Try them as adults definitely, but for what end? They'll bargain thier way down to a punishment of community service.

My choice for punishment? Anyone remember the name Michael Faye?

Jon --

The guy who got caned in Singapore?

Not nearly a sufficient punishment for rapists. Caning is extremely painful, no doubt, but you recover and move on with your life. Rapists are different. Their lives should be destroyed.

The three "violators", as adults. If it had been a one-time thing without premeditation and without the threats afterwards, maybe not. But it wasn't.

The bystanders are harder; those who threatened others to keep quiet, probably at least threaten them with it, but it looks like they'll not be charged, even with conspiring after the fact?

The school staff are adults, so juvie is not an option. Well, legally they're adults, as are the parents.

Don't try them as adults.

Treat them like animals.

[suggested treatment removed by The Mrs., who says people won't be able to eat for weeks if they read that]

I can understand leniency for property crimes, or other non-violent crimes, but violent crimes like sexual assault should be tried in the adult system. This is assuming the minor can form intent, which is true for 16/17 year olds.

These men seem like bad seeds, and it is important to quarantine violent criminals like these for as long as possible. This can only be done through the adult system.

Bill O'Reilly went soft on crime tonight and felt they should be in the juvenile system, because he grew up in a neighboring community. That says a lot about O'Reilly, if you think about. The other commentator slammed him for being inconsistent.

This case is an odd Rorschach test for many tough on crime people.

I don't see why they should be prosecuted as juveniles. The whole point of the juvenile justice system is the understanding that children might not fully understand their crimes. However, it's pushing it to think that the perpetrators in this case did not understand what they were doing, especially if they had been on the receiving end of this treatment in their own "initiation" as younger football players.

As you can see, I'm unmoved by any sob stories that these young men were also victims of hazing; if true, all that means is that 1) the coaches and school officials are going to be in for a rough time with lawsuits (which is going to happen no matter what) and 2) the criminals knew the likely results of their actions. I'm tired of the "I've been abused, too" plea -- I wish more prosecutors would come back with "Then you really understand the impact of your crime."