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Nine-Year-Old Shot Father and Plead Against Mom's Wishes

Nine-Year-Old Shot Father and Plead Against Mom's Wishes

A nine-year-old Arizona boy who allegedly shot his father and his friend agreed to a plea bargain despite his mother's wishes. According to the report:

The boy had originally entered a plea of not guilty on charges of double homicide for allegedly shooting his father and another man, but the deal allowed him to plead guilty to one count of negligent murder of the other man. The boy's mother was reportedly against the deal and claimed her son was not old enough to understand the agreement.

The article said detention of the child will be at the court's discretion. As a parent, I'm amazed the state allows young children to decide their fate — do you agree with this practice?

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blueberryK blueberryK 6 years
it's absolutely ridiculous that he is even held liable. he's 9 years old. Such a gross human rights violation...
runningesq runningesq 6 years
I don't deal with children, but in the courtroom - even for less serious offenses, like DUIs/ thefts/ prostitution - the court makes very sure the Defendant understands what a plea is and what it means the defendant is giving up (jury trial, right to confront witnesses, right to make the State prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, etc.)I don't know the facts here, but it's v. possible that the plea was quite attractive.Maybe the mother didn't understand the consequences of NOT having her son take the plea?
runningesq runningesq 6 years
I don't deal with children, but in the courtroom - even for less serious offenses, like DUIs/ thefts/ prostitution - the court makes very sure the Defendant understands what a plea is and what it means the defendant is giving up (jury trial, right to confront witnesses, right to make the State prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, etc.) I don't know the facts here, but it's v. possible that the plea was quite attractive. Maybe the mother didn't understand the consequences of NOT having her son take the plea?
macgirl macgirl 6 years
I've heard bits and pieces of this story and I'm really curious to know why he shot them both. From the reports it didn't sound like it was accidental. I am a little shocked that they would allow a 9 year old to make that decision though. Is that standard practice or does the kid seem to really comprehend all of what he did and what he's pleading to?
Emberly Emberly 6 years
He's only 9 years old, I can't begin to believe he comprehends the choice in front of him better than his own mother. But then again, has anyone heard the lawyer's reasoning for pushing the plea bargain, maybe the rationale makes sense.
Chrstne Chrstne 6 years
In a way yes, in a way no. A young child, under the age of 16, I don't think should be able to decide. I don't think he fully understands what he did and why it is bad, so I don't think he understands the severity of the consequences. His mom should have a say, but I think it should be a joint decision of the courts and the mother because he is so young.A 16 year old is old enough to know killing someone is very wrong, and can understand if explained maybe a bit more clearly what his consequences are.
Chrstne Chrstne 6 years
In a way yes, in a way no. A young child, under the age of 16, I don't think should be able to decide. I don't think he fully understands what he did and why it is bad, so I don't think he understands the severity of the consequences. His mom should have a say, but I think it should be a joint decision of the courts and the mother because he is so young. A 16 year old is old enough to know killing someone is very wrong, and can understand if explained maybe a bit more clearly what his consequences are.
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