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13-Year-Old Boy Gets 15 Years For Murder — Fair Sentence?

A 13-year-old Texas boy accepted a plea deal yesterday for a 15-year sentence following the stabbing murder of his friend earlier this summer. The boy charged in the murder will be eligible for parole in three years. The judge in the case says that he agreed to the relatively light sentence for the murder (which could have been up to 40 years) because he thought the boy had a good chance to change.

The judge said:

I think this young man has a chance to be rehabilitated. I’m actually pulling for him. All these cases are difficult. These are kids. Some of these kids are good kids, some are rotten kids, but they’re all kids, and all these cases that come through here are difficult. You have to weigh them and evaluate them, but that’s true for judges in any situation.

The charges in the incident stemmed from the boy stabbing his 14-year-old friend in the heart. His mother is understandably distraught, but his defense attorney says, "She’s upset, but she’s accepted it and come to terms with what’s going on.”

Was the judge right to value the prospect of rehabilitation in a criminal so young? Or does it speak to the underlying "rottenness" of the child to have committed a crime so young?

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bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 7 years
If the judge thinks at 13 he has a chance to be rehabilitated ( which may be true) then jail is not the place for him...because many people don't get rehabilitated in jail they sometimes become better criminals and are exposed to things that make it hard for them to reenter society. I agree with Roarman some other type of facility would have been more appropriate if rehabilitation was the justification for the light sentence. And after 3 years in jail I hope he doesn't get Parole for the sake of the victims family and society as a whole :|
Roarman Roarman 7 years
After reading the article, maybe jail is not the place for him. Maybe some type of psychiatric facility geared to helping him. In prison he will be just another prisoner. He obviously has emotional problems. It seems he comes from an unstable home life. What was he doing out at 12:30 in the morning? He was only 12.
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
i'm kind of torn about this whole thing. yes i think that it makes sense that he was given 15 vs. 40 since he is young and could change if he's rehabilitated in the right way - but again, he did know what he was doing right? (i don't really know the details of the case). it's just hard cause you want to think that kids can change, but you also have to teach them to be responsible for their actions once they are a certain age and in today's society - 13 is certainly old enough to know what you're doing and deal with the consequences.
kathili kathili 7 years
We really don't know all the circumstances surrounding the murder, so I think we should be careful to make any conclusions regarding the boy's character.
kastarte2 kastarte2 7 years
This is a sad situation and, like others, I am torn over what to think too. Part of me wants to believe that a child of only 12 years of age has to be able to be rehabilitated. On the other hand, if he gets out in only three short years after committing a murder, that would be unjust and unwise. The boy is clearly troubled and it will take much longer than that.
milosmommy milosmommy 7 years
anytime :)
milosmommy milosmommy 7 years
anytime :)
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
Thanks I really do appreciate the encouragement.
milosmommy milosmommy 7 years
I agree with everyone else on Hypno you really have a calling and in the area you live in (which is the east bay correct?) they need someone like you more than ever.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 7 years
Wow, Hypno - you are so fortunate to have such great role models in your life! It would be wonderful for you to become such a role model for a child who needs one!
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 7 years
Wow that is impressive and awesome about your sister. I REALLY hope you do it and soon!! :cheer:
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 7 years
Wow that is impressive and awesome about your sister. I REALLY hope you do it and soon!! :cheer:
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
But anyway I think that under these circumstances most of us can agree that rehabilitation would not be in vein and that this child can turn his life around.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
Actually teaching has crossed my mind. I'm definitely due for a career change. My sister went back to college and got her degree at 50 while working full time, taking care of the grand kids, a sick husband, and prison ministry. I said girl you better slow down before you fall down. She said I don't have time, LOL. She has really inspired me to go back to college myself.
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 7 years
hypno ~ I hope you at least consider volunteer work some day. To make a difference in one child's life could be very addicting ;) I had an english teacher in high school once who on the first day said "I want you to know I'm not here because I want to be, I am here because I have to be to make a living!" :rant: I never went back. Great teachers are too few. I think you would find kids in a juvenile prison much more open to another way of life.Although, I personally don't feel the same for a boy who has committed murder at 12.
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 7 years
hypno ~ I hope you at least consider volunteer work some day. To make a difference in one child's life could be very addicting ;) I had an english teacher in high school once who on the first day said "I want you to know I'm not here because I want to be, I am here because I have to be to make a living!" :rant: I never went back. Great teachers are too few. I think you would find kids in a juvenile prison much more open to another way of life. Although, I personally don't feel the same for a boy who has committed murder at 12.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
I was actually thinking more along the lines of advocacy. It's hands off enough so that I don't lose myself in grief and will allow me the opportunity to b!+(# at a few politicians ;-)>
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
I was actually thinking more along the lines of advocacy. It's hands off enough so that I don't lose myself in grief and will allow me the opportunity to b!+(# at a few politicians ;-)>
HeidiMD HeidiMD 7 years
I applaud the judge's consideration of the mitigating circumstances (his age) and his faith that this boy can change, but I think that this just reinforces that you really can get away with murder in this country. I didn't research this case anymore than simply reading this and voting, so I can't say for sure whether or not I completely agree with the sentence, but I'm leaning towards no. However, I am in total support of rehabilitation and counseling programs for the incarcerated. I just don't know if you can ever really be rehabilitated after taking a life.
HeidiMD HeidiMD 7 years
I applaud the judge's consideration of the mitigating circumstances (his age) and his faith that this boy can change, but I think that this just reinforces that you really can get away with murder in this country. I didn't research this case anymore than simply reading this and voting, so I can't say for sure whether or not I completely agree with the sentence, but I'm leaning towards no. However, I am in total support of rehabilitation and counseling programs for the incarcerated. I just don't know if you can ever really be rehabilitated after taking a life.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
That is very sweet and I guess I do have a lot to offer but I simply do not have the emotional fortitude for such a career. My compassion I fear would get the best of my emotions.
amybdk amybdk 7 years
I third that thought. Hypno.... you're fantastic.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 7 years
I second that thought, Jazz.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 7 years
I second that thought, Jazz.
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 7 years
Sorry in advance to wander off the subject, but hypno if you're not already in counseling working with youth or teaching, you may be missing your calling. You have such an optimistic outlook that your faith alone could help a lot of troubled teens.
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