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1 First As Tragedy, Then As Farce  Oct 14, 2014 2:42:57pm

We are obviously living in The Stupid Ages when a 10 year-old can be held criminally responsible as an adult, but if a 25 year-old English teacher has consensual sex with her 17 year old student, she goes to jail until the cows come home because in the eyes of the law she might as well have raped a 5 year-old.

2 sagehen  Oct 14, 2014 4:37:37pm

He might really need to be locked up, for everybody else’s safety… but the thought of putting him in an adult prison is pretty awful.

3 calochortus  Oct 14, 2014 5:33:18pm

A ten year old with alleged “emotional issues” sounds like someone who doesn’t need to be charged as an adult. How could this child possibly have any resemblance to an adult doing the same thing.
As Sagehen says, he may need to be kept from harming people, but just imprisoning a ten year old killer doesn’t sound like a good way to deal with him.

4 lostlakehiker  Oct 14, 2014 6:49:08pm

It is entirely possible that a ten year old can be mortally dangerous. That reform can be a long shot.

Most ten year olds aren’t like that. But most ten year olds aren’t killers.

Turn it around. There have been exceptionally good, effective, capable, intelligent ten year olds. Musical prodigies. Chess prodigies. Inventors. There’s only one source documenting the claim, but it still seems likely: Jesus was a child prodigy as well as a very consequential adult.

A child of ten can be more intelligent than almost all adults. Fleeter of foot, faster in the water. Children aged ten can be (and have been) put to use as soldiers [can be is not the same as should be!] and some of them have been good shots and able to hang in there and not go to pieces when facing hostile fire.

All this serves to remind us that children are not merely children, but to some extent, already young adults, with abilities and wills of their own. Sadly, in some cases, they exceed in cruelty and cunning.

This should not be forgotten when the law goes to decide how best to balance the project of winning them around to the good side against the need to secure the lives of those who cannot avoid their company.


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