Probable life sentence for a 13yo in the USA (warning: potentially distressing news story)

(149 Posts)
VivaLeBeaver Mon 17-Sep-12 19:20:00

here (MNHQ: link to details of potentially distressing news story)

I know what he did was awful and he's obviously got issues, previous incidents of a sexual nature, killing a cat, etc. but I can't think that this is right. This sounds like a boy who's been badly let down, exposed to horrible stuff, etc. I really hate to think of him spending the rest of his life in prison. He's a child, he needs help. He needed help before it got to this stage.

Bloody hell, that's terrible!

Can you not put a warning on that link? It's fucking vile.

BobbiFleckman Mon 17-Sep-12 19:26:04

It's a horrific story. Born as a result of sexual assault, his mother was only 12. Found wandering the streets naked at 4am as a 2yr old, and returned to his grandma's cocaine filled apartment. Why tf that wasn't enough for social services to remove him, I don't know. He was then assaulted every which way. He has repeated what he's learned from adults around him
His mother waited for hours to call an ambulance for the dead child; it shouldn't be a murder / manslaughter charge at all because there shouldn't be a dead baby in it.

BobbiFleckman Mon 17-Sep-12 19:26:56

o crap I probably shouldn't have posted that then. Didn't see the link.

elfycat Mon 17-Sep-12 19:29:37

Bobbi you probably just summarised a ghastly story early on in the thread - giving the warning for potential readers. Might give the story a miss thanks to you. Thanks

Life sentence? What fucking good will that do? It's just a lazy solution to get a very troubled boy out of the way because it will take a mountain's worth of work to sort out his poor psyche.

Absolutely tragic.

And still the pro-lifers will say that babies conceived from abuse shouldn't be aborted. sad

flibbergibbet Mon 17-Sep-12 19:35:46

Poor kid. Reminds of the Mary Bell case, she suffered a very abusive upbringing similar to this boy. She was given support while serving her sentence in young offenders institution and a chance at rehabilitation. She went on to live a normal life, or as normal as can be when you are living a life as someone else. These poor kids are failed by all around them, it is heartbreaking to think he will abandoned to the system again. Having said that look at Jon Venables, he was given the same opportunities and reoffended upon his release. Such a difficult decision to make, wouldn't like to be on the jury in this case.

weblette Mon 17-Sep-12 19:41:43

Appalling story, how the hell did either boy ever have a chance of 'normal' life?

NellyJob Mon 17-Sep-12 19:44:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 17-Sep-12 19:45:34

Sorry, will report and ask for a warning to be put on thread title.

NellyJob Mon 17-Sep-12 19:46:13

have requested that be deleted.sorry.

flibbergibbet Mon 17-Sep-12 20:15:16

I was not aware of that nelly, sadly it does not surprise me. These poor kids really deserve better, it is heartbreaking to think of children brought up in these awful circumstances.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Sep-12 21:08:44

Evening. We've put a warning about the potentially distressing content of this news story in the thread title - and in your OP, VivaLaBeaver.

Thanks for alerting us.

edam Mon 17-Sep-12 21:09:14

WTF are they trying him as an adult? He's a child, ffs. A child who has been royally screwed up by the adults and authorities who were supposed to protect him. He needs years of therapy, not being treated as if he's a normal adult who is fully in control of his actions and ever stood a chance of knowing right from wrong.

SomebodySaveMe Mon 17-Sep-12 21:17:42

That poor boy never stood a chance. Why the fuck did social services (or US equivalent) not do something sooner? And as for the 'mother' I have no words.

cutegorilla Mon 17-Sep-12 21:27:00

Poor kid sad I wonder if it is really possible for him to be rehabilitated or if he is too damaged. That doesn't make him more adult or more guilty though.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 17-Sep-12 21:59:11

I sincerely hope that there is some huge public outrage for this. Something which makes the courts take notice. The photo of him in shackles is awful.

If this was happening in somewhere like Syria, Libya, etc there would be campaigns, amnesty involvement, newspapers saying how backwards/wrong it is.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Mon 17-Sep-12 21:59:46

And as for the 'mother' I have no words. Except according to the article she had a cocaine addicted mother, was having sex (statutory rape) at presumably 11 if she had him at 12. Generation after generation of damage.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 17-Sep-12 22:03:20

I do feel very sorry for the mother, having been raped and becoming pregnant at 11. I'm sure she had a terrible upbringing as well.

However at the age of 24 I do feel that she's an adult and should have got help sooner rather than be googling stuff. Dunno, suppose it depends how obvious the injuries were. Maybe she genuinely didn't think it was that bad???

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Mon 17-Sep-12 22:23:47

I don't know. The problem is I don't know their situation re medical care. I know people can get charged for ambulances and medical care in the US. We forget here that it is not free everywhere. Also, she must have wondered what would happen to her son when the babies injuries were discovered. Of course, she should have called 911 but did she know about head injuries, did she think her son would be taken, did she wonder how they were going to eat if she got medical bills?

On another thread someone said that their American friend said that if they were in an accident, they hoped they died because living with the bills would be too awful.

I hope that they at least keep the poor child somewhere safe. If he is once again abused in prison, how dreadful.

Morloth Tue 18-Sep-12 05:58:02

Those poor children.

All of them. Can someone so broken ever be healed and put back together when every experience they have had has been so negative from the very very beginning?

He shouldn't be charged and tried and sentenced as an adult, he isn't an adult.

That is all just so fucked up.

ComradeJing Tue 18-Sep-12 06:19:23

I feel for everyone in the family - the mother, the boy and the poor toddler. It doesn't look like any of them stood a chance.

Why on earth wasn't he removed by SS?

2beornot Tue 18-Sep-12 11:26:37

Wrong wrong wrong on so many levels. As a 4 year old he was found wandering the streets in the early hours of the morning and nothing was done?! He should be tried and treated as a child - I would not give up on him yet.

Lilka Tue 18-Sep-12 20:07:14

Poor lad sad (and the baby)

How possible it would be to get him to the point he could live a crime free 'as ordinary as possible' life, i don't know

But I am absolutely opposed to trying young teens and pre-teens as adults, and to giving them life sentences

Perhaps his best chance (and the appropriate way of dealing with serious crimes in children just above the age of criminal responsibility) stands with being inside a secure facility (not an adult prison) till at least 18, perhaps 21 or 25 is better, recieving intensive therapy/treatments and education. Then have a full assessment to determine if he would be a danger to the public and if not, released under supervision

There has to be a way of balancing the seriousness of murder and the further risk they may pose to the others if not treated...and the fact that they are children, whose brains won't be fully developed for years to come and whose bad backgrounds may have left them with a wrongly wired/underdeveloped brain in the first place. Who have likely already been failed and failed again, who desperately need intensive help

sad

maytheoddsbeeverinyourfavour Tue 18-Sep-12 20:24:05

He has been so terribly failed in every way

But he is clearly a risk to others, it wasn't the first thing he had done. He is so damaged that he needs to be kept away from society for a very long time and helped if possible, though I don't think he should be anywhere near an adult prison

Poor little soul, he never stood a chance sad

Extrospektiv Fri 21-Sep-12 11:47:27

You're capable of knowing the difference between good and evil at 13. There's no need to treat him as a "child". It may be defined as under 18 for normal purposes, but the people who make these laws know exactly what they're doing, they consulted psychiatric etc. experts, and they decided if a young person 12-17 commits a murder or another big-time felony that is a special case, so they get tried as an adult and serve a proper punishment. They will still get a lower sentence than a full adult 18+ would.

It's not as if they make these laws just because they hate adolescents... they know quite well their brains aren't as developed, less life experience etc. They still have to get justice. I agree they don't belong in an adult prison if they're minors, though. That needs to be sorted.

All this about "brain doesn't develop fully until 23-25" well it's sufficiently developed to make decisions, it doesn't have to be complete

This is why I believe in proper juvenile justice. (not because I'm a right wing bigot as some people think, which I ain't)
When I was at first year secondary school there were a core of 5 kids- just calling them by numbers here- who were always causing trouble and they weren't punished properly. I went to SMT because they were bullying me and a few of my friends just for being intelligent (and spots/glasses in some of the others, but mainly for being in top set and having >95% attendance). They were also consistently disruptive but instead of expelling them or clamping down they were practically ignored.

I later found out (2 quickly who I befriended and got on with afterwards, the others over the course of some years):
1-in care since age 4, mum died and dad incapable of looking after him on his own,
2-(left school year 8) went into care & changed school, massive sexual abuse from father
3-(left school year 9) went to mother's & changed school, sexual abuse from father
4-with gran on section-20 since 5 because father died in suspicious circs and mum had a massive mental breakdown, she was still in a psychiatric home when the girl was 19 when I last heard from her.
5-terrible upbringing all round, was in my form but rarely saw her as she was bottom set for everything, yet her dramas were well known- bulimia, OD's, attempted suicide, first sex at 12 with older teen boy, etc.- lived with grandad and everyone thought dad had abused her but she wouldn't say even to police

Basically Senior Management were exculpating people for their misbehaviour just because they'd had a very bad home life, how unfair is that for the other pupils in their classes and the ones they bully?

The headmistress sounded like a proper Owen Jones/ Camilla Batmanghelidid/ Will Hutton before these people were even writing their anti-responsibility trash. She was alright, well into the higher rate tax band, 5 bedroom house and her husband was a fucking professor. But we had to get through our GCSE and A levels and then onto work or university and the disruptors weren't helping. So she was a right hypocrite.

Pontificatin' about "compassion" and "inclusion" like a left-wing reactionary maniac- when class teachers were EXCLUDED from being able to run an uninterrupted lesson, the bright pupils were EXCLUDED from reaching their potential, and there's nothing compassionate about making other people suffer (it's the opposite.)

/conservative rant over. Next rant will be a left-wing one against exploitative interest charged by "pay weekly shop" and cash advances... because I'm not a politician. I think if you care about the poor, "left-wing" economic policy is obviously better but "right-wing" education policy where you learn a non-dumbed-down curriculum, take tough exams on it, and no-one is allowed to misbehave is better too. Otherwise it's the less well off that suffer coz the rich would still have advantages even if private schools were (per impossibile) all banned

slug Fri 21-Sep-12 12:16:17

Do you even have children Extro?

Extrospektiv Fri 21-Sep-12 12:38:00

5 (11, 9, 2 5yo twins & 3) I'm 32

What's wrong with that? Should I not?

Extrospektiv Fri 21-Sep-12 12:50:56

slug I know you're an anti-conservative super extremist from some of your past comments, so don't imply other people shouldn't have children because of their conservative views on SOME issues (see the Politics post 5 mins later in which I bash the Tories and the greedy elements of the free market).

"Progressives" were the supporters of eugenics 90 years ago... Not liberal enough? Believe in God and parental rights? The Ministry of Truth will stop you having kids! shock

slug Fri 21-Sep-12 13:28:29

<<falls over laughing>>

You should meet my BF, the Marxist. Compared to him I'm a rabid conservative.

I just find the lack of human compassion or understanding in your posts a bit frightening.

slug Fri 21-Sep-12 13:31:11

I love the idea that "progressive" is an insult.

It was progressives who brought in the legislation that allowed you to:

get an education
Vote
Get divorced
Prosecute your husband (or indeed any man) for rape
Own property

I'm assuming you're female and white. If you are black you could also possibly add:
Freed you from slavery

Extrospektiv Fri 21-Sep-12 15:35:49

Progressive is not an insult IN GENERAL. I refer to the Progressive ERA (between fin-de-siecle 1895-1910 and the roaring twenties/inter war years) because that's when Eugenics was advocated by people such as HG Wells and Margaret Sanger, along with "scientific" racism.

Why do you think I said "90 years ago" ? I do not believe people who call themselves progressives today support eugenics in general! But when you asked me if I had any children it made me suspicious- like "what's wrong with that?" as I said.

I'm progressive on women's issues, hence in the past couple weeks alone I've called out rape jokes, victim blaming lines, use of gender based language/slurs and anti woman stereotyping. Some people have got angry, one male FB friend even asked "does she need a tampon?" when I posted a reasonable feminist status on their Wall. I've drawn attention to anti-domestic violence campaigns and complained at the lack of FGM prosecutions. I'm anti-porn and anti-prostitution.

I'm progressive on race, I went "undercover" a couple weeks ago at a nationalist breakaway group's meeting invited by an old friend who didn't know I was against it (I'm quite involved in politics but not been in touch for a while) and gathered sufficient evidence to prove the "we're not racist, we just love Britain" line they were peddling was BS as usual. I am now warning others who were interested to avoid the racist group even if they like the man behind it.

I applauded the Wisconsin judge's decision last week to strike down the stupid anti-unions law Walker the ultra-farrightist tried to push.

I have been avoiding and striking out against the kneejerk reactions to the Cregan incident (3 big ones: "bring back the DP for him", "leave the EU/HR act" and "arm all police officers routinely") as I find them too right wing and authoritarian. Death penalty, cops armed to the teeth and even more surveillance with no judges to tell Parliament to back down? No thanks.

Look at my post on payday loans on Politics I sort of mentioned. I wrote that out of ... shock horror... compassion for the poor. Progressive AND empathic.

I am conservative on education because I believe it is in the interests of everyone including AND ESPECIALLY the less well off.

Would you take back your slander now?

slug Fri 21-Sep-12 16:14:53

Ah, the interwar years. When women got the vote and the right to keep any money they earned.

I find it hard to think calling your comments on education as "slander" as a)as this is an anonymous forum and as such your reputation cannot be sullied, and b) slander refers to the spoken word. I suspect the term you were reaching for there is 'libel' which, again, is impossible to do in an anonymous forum.

Just a point, I have worked in education for most of my professional life. I know all about the difficulty of running lessons uninterrupted. However, it's fairly obvious from your comments that the nuances of teaching students with complex backgrounds probably eludes you. But consider if you will a student who is in the UK as a refugee. The behaviours learnt in a Somalian refugee camp may be deeply ingrained, not the least because aggression and quick violence may have been the very behaviours that meant that student survived long enough to make it to the UK. I'm sure you will agree that these very behaviours make it almost impossible to function normally within a UK school, but what are the options? Do we just label these students as violent thugs and relegate them to isolation units where they never learn the appropriate way to function in the UK? Do we expel them and deprive them of the education that will lift them out of poverty and contribute to society? Or do we exercise compassion and understanding and address the issues? Nobody with any experience in this field thinks there are quick and easy answers. It takes time and money (in terms of resourcing) to right the wrongs that have been done to these children.

And, it should be obvious, these are often the poorest members of our society. The poor you claim to have compassion for, yet are prepared to fling on the scrapheap. I assume from your comments that you are religious. (if not, I apologise) If so, how to you reconcile your seeming lack of compassion for the damaged in society with "Whatever you do unto the least of my children you do unto me"?

pointythings Fri 21-Sep-12 19:14:33

Extro what good will it possibly do anyone to put this boy in an adult prison? You'd have to keep him there for life, at enormous expense. Yes, the kind of very intense intervention he needs will also be expensive - but compared to 60 - 70 years of custody it's probably better value for money.

I have enormous problems with this case - IMO the mother should get he longer sentence and the harsher treatment, she was 24.

And I second all of those who are asking where the hell were social services!

Extrospektiv Sat 22-Sep-12 13:26:43

@Pointy- I said quite clearly that "if he's a minor he shouldn't go to adult prison".

It should be closer to the UK system, when cases like Mary Bell, the Bulger killing, the Edlington brothers and "F" (the 11 year old who violently raped his teacher in a special school) have been tried in adult court and led to indeterminate detention ("life sentence"), but the child still went to a children's / juvenile secure unit and it was NOT a whole-life tariff.

Life sentence with parole after (say) 15 years yes. Whole life tariff like the Yorkshire Ripper's or quadruple murderer and cop-killer Dale Cregan will almost certainly get, no.

@Slug- I believe in treating people mostly the same in a mainstream school. If a child is so damaged they can't behave properly (in any way, whether a refugee given an automatic gun at 8 years old and amphetamine "candies" to make them want to fight and told to kill by some Kony-style warlord, or a British born child who suffers years of sustained abuse from almost every relative in the families where there is an unbroken multi- generational cycle) then put them in isolation units, yes. Because the majority deserve better than having to put up with their violence, aggression and threats every day at school out of concern for "inclusion".

Plus these are very extreme cases. None of the five children I mentioned in the post you objected to had been through a civil war or a whole familial cycle of horror- yes, they'd been abused and/or bereaved early on in life and their circumstances were sad but they could have behaved themselves and school ought to try harder to make them do so.

As I said, it's not compassionate to make other people suffer, and to repeatedly make allowances for damaged children even when they hurt others clearly does this.

Extrospektiv Sat 22-Sep-12 13:30:18

Ohh and the "slander" was saying I lacked human compassion and understanding, for challenging SMT exculpationists.

AmberLeaf Sat 22-Sep-12 13:35:53

Ive been following this case for several months after I saw a group in support of Christian on facebook.

No way should he be being tried as an adult.

Social services should be hanging their heads in shame after not removing that boy from his appallingly damaging home when he was found wandering the streets at 2 years old.

After that didn't happen he just didn't stand a chance.

Japple Sat 22-Sep-12 14:47:54

I agree with you,Lilka.But I do know that had I been assaulted and gotten
pregnant by a Madman; my parents and grandparents would have done every-
Thing they Could to get that baby aborted,Out of me.Most of the "seriel Killers"
over here Cannot be rehabed.They are "Too bent".And evertime they Do let
Them out, more people get killed.I read on a crimepage that for every extra-
Long neighborhood Block...there are at least 14 seriel-killer types.We had a
Pastor in the next block that was found out and imprisoned many years ago.
I pray that young children can be saved through rehabilitation.

tigercametotea Sat 22-Sep-12 15:19:18

I have been following this case. Neighbours and school say he was a quiet shy and well mannered kid. I find it hard to believe that he would be capable of doing this. Do they have concrete evidence that it was him and not his mother who committed the crime? She says she was never around during both occasions when the baby got hurt. She must have a good alibi?

To be fair he needs to be locked up for this cycle of abuse to discontinue or he may become an adult who sexually abuses his family and so on & so forth.
He must have lived an awful life but to beat his own 2 year old brother to death and sexually assualting a 5 year old -he needs to be punished and the way he has been brought up will haunt him forever making him a danger to society.
A 13 yo is old enough to understand not to do those things so i think the sentence is appropriate for what he did.

AmberLeaf Sat 22-Sep-12 18:14:06

Wasn't he 11 when it happened? hes been in custody for a while now.

He also didn't beat his brother to death, he injured him and his mother failed to get him medical attention which is why she is also on trial.

A 13 yo is old enough to understand not to do those things so i think the sentence is appropriate for what he did

The point is he has never understood not to do those things as it was all done to him too, that was his 'normal'

But Amber, if he thinks these things are 'normal' what is to stop him from continuing with his behaviour on release
The rest of society would be at risk so one 13 year old boy can be released, i do not think that is fair on societies children as a whole!

AmberLeaf Sat 22-Sep-12 18:30:11

He doesn't need prison, he needs extensive counselling and ongoing therapy, that is what would stop the cycle from continuing.

Prison will do nothing for this boy and TBH he is equally the victim in this.

As for the rest of society being at risk if he was released, well did anyone give a shit about him before this happened? shockingly those that were in a position to rescue this child did nothing there were lots of opportunities to rescue him and yet he still remained in a grossly abusive home.

Do you think he should be jailed indefinitely? or released at some point? what sort of man do you think an american prison will make of him?

He is a victim. He was left by those with the power to help him to fester in an abusive home, he didn't stand a chance.

nankypeevy Sat 22-Sep-12 18:30:54

America.

The pinnacle of the free world.

Where they'd like to deny women basic human rights, execute the mentally ill and don't care for their poor and sick.

And, now? Now they put children in chains.

Jesus wept.

Shagmundfreud Sat 22-Sep-12 18:32:23

I find it hard to get my head around how a supposedly civilised country can treat a child like this.

sad

That boy needs intensive therapy. Yes in a safe and controlled environment. But he needs help.

Extrospektiv Sat 22-Sep-12 21:10:09

Amber, he needs punishing and he is not a victim. Your exculpationism has no regard for basic morality.

The idea someone should not be punished because they are a "child" is fucking sick.

pointythings Sat 22-Sep-12 21:24:37

Extro he is a victim - of his upbringing, of the absolute failure of the authorities to remove him from his environment when they had the opportunity to do so. He has done a heinous thing, but he is not the only culpable person or group, just one of many.

As for punishment - he will lose his liberty. That is right, he should, because he is clearly not safe to be free. However, where do you draw the line between punishment for a crime and senseless vengeance? No-one is arguing that he should not be punished simply because he is a child, we are all suggesting a more nuanced approach which acknowledges the reasons why this boy has turned out the way he has.

I hope that he will not be sent to an adult prison, and that in a juvenile facility he will get the therapy he needs and also deserves. No-one benefits from just locking this boy up and throwing away the key. Lock him up without therapy and support and he will simply come out (if he ever does) much worse and much more dangerous. If that is OK with you then you should probably be arguing for a bullet to the back of the head as that would actually be kinder. sad. It is not OK with the rest of us.

AmberLeaf Sat 22-Sep-12 21:30:19

How can you say he is not a victim? seriously?

If you had regard for basic morality then you would see that he is a victim of gross lifelong (all 13 years of it) abuse.

The idea someone should not be punished because they are a "child" is fucking sick

What's fucking sick, is what this child endured for years despite authorities being aware of the situation.

Staggered that you don't think he is a victim confused

girliefriend Sat 22-Sep-12 21:41:03

America - shame on you, the services that failed him (and his mother and probably her mother as well) are entirely responsible for this depressingly predictable and tragic outcome sad sad sad

pointythings Sat 22-Sep-12 21:43:41

So glad it isn't just me who feels this way. My DH is American - he will never, never go back to live there. He'll cheer for them during the Olympics and be fucking glad he's living in Europe.

bestemor Sat 22-Sep-12 22:33:02

Extro, I wonder where your preoccupation with the idea of punishment comes from?

And that word "exculpationism - I've never come across it before; where did you learn that?

hmm

Extrospektiv Sun 23-Sep-12 00:12:28

"exculpationism"

I first coined it to refer to the activities of three people around 1998: Nick Davies, Camila Batmengheilijd and Polly Toynbee. The three were all middle-aged bourgeois professionals repeatedly writing from their comfortable positions that the bad things "underclass" young people do are not their fault and are instead the product of society and the system, plus serious child abuse in some cases.

Hence their beliefs in short sentences, "inclusion" rather than expulsion or pupil referral units, "progressive education", massive wealth redistribution and a massive welfare state, and an anti-parent "child protection" agenda (Climbie became the sacrificial lamb desecrated in order for them to push much of this through) of a secretive metropolitan elite of people working with children overriding parents and subverting their values- all in the best interests of the child, of course.

I thought that "young people's misbehaviour isn't their own fault" was code for "end all social conservatism" given the hard left wing nature of much of the writing and the fact Blair's first-term Gov't took it seriously.

Extrospektiv Sun 23-Sep-12 00:21:31

Oh and he definitely IS a victim of abuse and failure to protect him from it. I meant that he is not only a victim, he is also a murderer, and a nonce. I am not preoccupied with punishment. If you read my posts you will see I am pretty nuanced.

I was against putting him in an adult prison (because he's a minor) and against a whole-life sentence (because he's a minor)... but it's when people emphasise the word "child" and suggest he shouldn't be punished at all that I have a problem. I hope for his rehabilitation and re-entry into society as a less violent, corrupted and damaged individual by the age of 30 (I suggested a 15-year tariff would be fair.)

Sorry for sounding black and white, it was only because the implications of some of the liberals' comments shocked me, as if they were trying to deny personal responsibility. I hope I have clarified things now.

BonnieBumble Sun 23-Sep-12 00:29:14

What a fucked up world we live in. sad

I don't like the idea of a 13 year old child spending the rest of his life in prison, it is an horrific thought. However I think it is too late for this boy. He was failed by everyone as a child and society is also to blame for the crime he committed. He never stood a chance.

AmberLeaf Sun 23-Sep-12 03:50:47

Fuck me, too late at aged 11 sad

AmberLeaf Sun 23-Sep-12 03:51:25

Extrospektiv you do talk some shit.

monsterchild Sun 23-Sep-12 04:05:48

So I'm not in the jurisdiction where this happened, but where I do live, "tried as an adult" doesn't mean adult prison for a kid of this age. It means the sentence is longer than another 13yo, and that efforts at rehabilitation are not as extensive as for another juvenile offender.

It doesn't mean he's in with 45 yo convicts. He'll still be in with juvenile kids until he's 18. then he would be moved to the adult facility. FWIW.

i can tell you that the circumstance of this case are terrible, and he was dealt a bad hand, the entire family. But that's the nature of the system we have right now. Kids do fall through the cracks. Social services is over worked and they don't have the resources to properly help the kids who are actually in care, much less the ones who appear to have some kind of family.

It's a terrible crisis, but as kids don't vote, and the congress in at loggerheads over the 47% of Americans they see as entitled slackers (this family would fit into that category, I'm sure) it's not likely to change soon.

monsterchild Sun 23-Sep-12 04:09:49

I'll tell you a bigger tragedy, and one that will never, ever ever be in your newspapers. the tribal lands here are governed by the tribes, but crimes of a certain level are handled by the Federal government. The feds have NO juveile justice system AT ALL. this means that any crime committed in Indian Country by ANY tribal member, even if young, is handled as though the offender is an adult. ALL of them. NO exceptions.

there are a huge number of Indian kids serving adult sentences in federal prison.

nankypeevy Sun 23-Sep-12 10:16:40

Monster - WHAT?

My jaw is agape.

In fact, I've got a notion for bombing the USA to try and encourage the adoption of democracy as a splendid way of running their society.

nankypeevy Sun 23-Sep-12 10:19:08

Monster, don't worry, I'd not drop bombs on you.

I really don't understand this - I thought the Constitution states that everyone is equal? Is that everyone-unless-you-live-on-tribal-land-or-a-lost-soul?

Sheesh.

I'm so depressed.

No matter how he was bought up, he would be a danger if set free.
Doesn't anyone see that?
Surely the USA is just safe guarding its residents from harm, i don't blame them.

Unbelievable. And what's with him wearing the orange prison suit in the courtroom? Seems very prejudicial and making him seem like a convicted criminal.

FateLovesTheFearless Sun 23-Sep-12 11:13:16

just awful. That boy should not be being tried as an adult, he is 13 and his life appears to have been nothing but pain from the word go. Dont get me wrong, I dont think he should have no consequences and just be set free, but he is a young offender and needs help. He is only 13, surely its not too late to help the boy? Seems to me he has been let down by every adult in his life and authorities, they are partly to blame for what he did.

Nancy66 Sun 23-Sep-12 11:38:27

It's not too late to help the boy but the chances of him ever being a 'normal' human being are pretty much nil.

Early intervention is so important in cases of abuse because, tragically, once the child reaches around 8 years old so much damage has been done that it can't be reversed - especially in boys.

it's very very sad though. The poor kid never had a chance. How can you expect a child who has never been shown an ounce of love or care to grow up into a decent human being?

AmberLeaf Sun 23-Sep-12 14:11:23

Pumpkin

Do you not see how the USA have failed this boy though?

Safeguarding their residents is piffle, what did they do to safeguard Christian?

Ilovemydog

Yes Ive thought that about the orange suit too.

Yes i see how they let him down, he should have been put in care long before what happened.
But the fact remains that he will never be safe enough let out into society where he would be a danger to the children of the public.

Jamie bulgers killers got let of too lightly and one of them has since been done for child pornography & they are both still deeply disturbed today. One of them has also been reported to have a wife & baby who knows nothing of his real identity-quite worrying.
Atleast the USA protects the public from criminals unlike here.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Sun 23-Sep-12 15:36:16

Poor kids. All of them. If they had all been looked after in the first place none of this would have happened. It's all very well saying "lock this kid up to protect others!" but who was protecting him when he was found wandering the streets at 2am and taken back to a drug den?! Not to mention all the rest of it. Did alarm bells ring at all for the people in charge?!

It was tragically too late to stop him killing his poor little brother but it breaks my heart to think of this kid being locked up for the rest of his life. He did wrong, sure, but he seems to have had no one in his life looking after him properly. Who's fault is that?!

This boy's life is already down the toilet. I personally think he can be rehabilated, given some time. But I bet the authorities simply pull the chain on him. Such a waste of so many lives.

monsterchild Sun 23-Sep-12 16:50:31

nanky don't worry, I'm sure you mean what I think which is many people need a giant slap upside the head!

the Constitution is a framework for laws. It implicitly meant "white men" when it was drafted. Now it means for "most people." Certainly the Native Americans here have been treated terribly. It was only after WWII that tribal members could even vote!
Every generation has to push and push to get minorities and others recognized as having those same rights as white men.

Kids don't vote, so they don't have a say in these types of laws, and in many states (not mine, happily) ex cons also can't vote, so I suspect many states don't have good representation in their elections on these types of issues. Especially because a startling number of people in prison are former foster children.

One other thing, crimes are handled by States, not the Federal Government, so the way this case is handled isn't representative for every state, just this one. Where I live, a child of this age is prohibited from being shackled in a court room.

nankypeevy Sun 23-Sep-12 22:58:34

It's a curiosity to me that so much about the States' laws and processes seem archaic.

It really is the white man is in charge.

Except for Barack, obviously.

What is the thinking behind each state making it's own laws? Is it because the geographical areas are so massive there's a cultural difference to accommodate?

I just can't get my head round Sensible, Naice People being happy to live with laws which deny folk who are dealt a shit hand from life a helping hand, basic human rights and justice.

monsterchild Sun 23-Sep-12 23:27:28

The US Constitution, that vaunted document, ensures that States get to make their own decisions about anything the feds haven't co-opted. The tenth amendment, actually. This was a major reason why the US Civil War happened.

The original colonies were all pretty different form one another, some being slave states, some having outlawed it. Also, people from different religions tended to settle together, creating different cultures within the colonies. And as the US grew, the different states kept attracting different types. So each state has it's own history and laws about non-federal stuff. (like marriage, property, crime, etc). For instance, in the SW, women could always own property and businesses. This wasn't the case in other states.

As for the old laws, well, they exist until they are over turned, right? so in Mass. it's still legal for a 12 year old to get married. They haven't had a reason to change it, and laws don't expire unless they explicitly say so. And there seems to be a zero-sum-game on letting others get a piece of the pie. It makes me a bit crazy.

So it's more like the EU than I think Europeans realize over here. I like to think of it more as a salad bowl than a melting pot. With a nice dressing of federal government on top.

monsterchild Sun 23-Sep-12 23:30:14

Also, most people her are very helpful and DO want everyone to get a hand up. really it's true! Why do you think Obama was elected in the first place?

And I think his being elected shows that, like all countries, the US is much more complex and dynamic than the stories you hear can show.

After all, we never hear good stuff on the news, only the drama and horror.

nankypeevy Sun 23-Sep-12 23:51:55

Absolutely. I hadn't thought about it like the EU, that makes perfect sense. When you are from a small country the distances involved in the USA are staggering. And, it makes sense, after all, we have a real cultural divide in the 40 miles that separate Glasgow from Edinburgh!

What we see in the press at the moment is the republican lunacy. Sigh.

Extrospektiv Mon 24-Sep-12 00:42:25

Oh ffs, DON'T use this case as yet another excuse to bash republicans.
And Amberleaf I don't talk shit, the 3 figures I named have plenty of publicly available writing to show that they do indeed believe the hard left bullshit which I speak of.

And people need safeguarding from murderers, Amber. Rambling on about "why did no-one safeguard Christian?" instead won't help anyone.

When you have people going to bat for 13 year old murdering nonces and 39-week abortion cheats, no wonder some people become hardcore right wing. The two equally crazy sides balance each other out as I sit in the middle as an anti-extremist getting told off by both.

hihohiho Mon 24-Sep-12 00:55:51

sad

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Mon 24-Sep-12 01:33:44

13 year old murdering nonces. Using the word 'nonce' about a child who has been abused and has gone on to abuse another child really doesn't sit well with me.

OhNoMyFoot Mon 24-Sep-12 04:59:23

I don't think you can feel sorry for the child without feeling sorry for the mother, isn't she just and older version of him? At what stage does how you spent your earlier years stop being the cause/reason/excuse? At what age do they suddenly have to have woken up one day and complete change into someone else?

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Mon 24-Sep-12 05:45:31

what an awful mess. it would be so good to see reviews and different procedures being put in place to save the next family of children ending up like that... but it worn happen will it? it will just be lets lock that child away as we broke him he can't be allowed out... and nothing will be done to help his mother, or his cousins, or other people like him. God, its depressing.

nankypeevy Mon 24-Sep-12 07:22:58

Extro I wasn't bashing republicans - I meant there's a bias in the UK press which only reports their more peculiar policies.

It's actually very hard to bash republicans.

It's their slime, makes em hard to keep a hold of.

pointythings Mon 24-Sep-12 18:09:10

MrsTerry - what you said. Anyone using the word 'nonce' to describe an abused 13yo is in my book a wingnut who has had a compassion bypass.

Extrospektiv Mon 24-Sep-12 18:23:01

pointy & mrsterrys- way out of line. Sexual abuser= nonce. End of. Age does not matter. I say that the word stud muffin on a toddler's top is not a problem and people think I'm not concerned enough about sexualisation of children. Here, we have an act of serious sexual abuse in a court, although committed by a minor he had a huge power imbalance in his favour over the victim. I can accept that if he had received better care he may not have turned out this way, and that he is a victim of violence in his own right (see my earlier post retracting the "not a victim" line I took in haste once I had read the article.) I do not like the way people are minimising his crime though.

I knew a 13 year old at school who sexually assaulted his younger (8-9 year old) sister. He was a fucking nonce, too. It is a street term. It is not a term to be defined by bien-pensant liberal professionals who think everyone should be let off until they're 16/18/even older. So if you don't like me using it, hard luck. I have compassion for the child he abused and the family and friends of his murder victim first and foremost. I do also have compassion for Christian but it must not become a sentimentality that clouds our judgment of his evil actions.

"Paedophile" refers to an adult and according to some definitions to older adolescents, and would be a sensationalist/inaccurate term to use here. Hence me not doing so

Oh, and if I was a wingnut I'd be at least approving of life sentence/adult prison placement if not complaining they don't use the death penalty for juveniles any more. I'm not a bloody wingnut. I know some otherwise perfectly decent and compassionate people who have told me they support executing the James Bulger killers, even though they were 10 years old at the time. To respond to murder with punishment is normal.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Mon 24-Sep-12 18:23:17

pointy I agree. You know what it reminds me of... when soldiers use words like gook or argie to describe the enemy. You don't want to have to empathise with someone, so you name them something belittling, then you can compartmentalise them and not care. If you call them the behaviour (i.e. nonce), their humanity is diminished enough that you can advocate locking them up without feeling guilty.

Life is much more complicated than some people would like to admit. This boy and his mother are both victims who need compassion and care AND perpetrators who need to be rehabilitated/punished/protected against. Most of the perpetrators I have met are victims too, often their crimes are much less serious than the crimes of their abusers. IMO we need to focus more on preventing abuse and less on punishing. Whatever prevents should be the first option. That may well be keeping someone away from children for the rest of their life if they are a very prolific child abuser. But this can be done humanely, with compassion.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Mon 24-Sep-12 18:25:26

Oh, and as far as I know nonce is a prison term, not a street term <rolls eyes>

pointythings Mon 24-Sep-12 18:32:05

So extro it's OK to use abusive terms about someone who has been sexually and physically abused all his life. Because it's a street term. What a nice person you are.

Well, guess what? Most of us don't live on the streets. We aren't liberals, we just have manners.

None of us here are advocating no punishment at all, we are just taking a slightly more nuanced stance than you.

And you're right, you aren't a wingnut. Wingnuts are useful things, you are just plain offensive.

MrsTerry I think we should now stop engaging with Extro. I completely agree with you, BTW.

Extrospektiv Mon 24-Sep-12 18:39:28

"street term"= slang/colloquial NOT= "living on the streets"
as you well know.

No need to be a smart-arse because someone has the temerity to accurately describe a perverted murderer who happens to still be in puberty.

But I'm out on this one. I thought my compromise (parole after 15 years, no transfer to adult prison before age 18) was fair enough and would certainly see less than that as being liberal. I vehemently disapprove of the way you speak about me and the offender so there's no point in me continuing this.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Mon 24-Sep-12 18:41:22

pointy I have had this argument conversation many times with people. I don't think people are comfortable with the idea of looking at all aspects of the case before passing judgement. I think I know why. I have worked for many years with victims of abuse, perpetrators of abuse and all those people who are both. It is extremely difficult to hear their histories. I don't like thinking about it, even when it is essential. It is much easier to say, "evil" or "scum" or "not human" then you can go on with your day and not fit this horrible stuff in your brain. However, if we want abuse to reduce, we need to understand why it happens, what can be done to prevent it, what treatment, punishment, rehabilitation and justice MEAN.

Ultimately, I want abuse to end. If I thought this could be accomplished most easily by locking people away for long periods in max security, I might be for that. I think we have proved that this does not work. Possibly trying to work out what does work is liberal and progressive, it might just be sensible.

domesticgodless Mon 24-Sep-12 18:49:45

Extro you are a truly frightening individual.

I think you'd be at home in America.

No worries though, soon we'll have the same sick system here. Our welfare reform orphans can roam the streets until they're old enough to commit crime. Then at huge cost we can bang them up until they grow old.

pointythings Mon 24-Sep-12 18:56:01

MrsTerry I agree with your analysis. Extro seems to have problems with the fact that the rest of us are describing this lad as someone who is a human being - far more comfortable to think of them as 'other' or 'monster'. No-one on her has actually described him as a poor ickle angel, but all we get is vitriol...

It's in people's nature to want things to be simple, though - that's why you get mobs. On all sides of the political spectrum.

Extrospektiv Mon 24-Sep-12 19:00:06

I have seen people (including me) being told they should go to America for various things before on this forum, a * being me in favour:

Supporting Mitt Romney(*)
Disapproval of homosexual marriage(undecided)
Being pro-life for unborn babies(*) and/or pro-death penalty(no)
Supporting a tax system closer to libertarianism(no, I'm pro welfare)
For abolishing the NHS(no)
Opposing "metropolitan elite liberalism" (my phrase, *)
Opposing teachers who keep secrets for pupils about their sexual relationships and/or refer them to family planning services without their parents being informed (*)

That displays the wild intolerance of certain members of this site. Some people assume if you don't have the majority opinion in your country, you should exile yourself? What the fucking fuck, is this a dictatorship or what?

Conservatives can be just as "at home" in Britain as left-wingers, thank you very much. To believe otherwise is viewpoint discrimination and bigotry. There is room for everyone here.

monsterchild Mon 24-Sep-12 22:18:02

Extro, you're welcome here in the US. We like folks with opinions and I think you've been quite rational. Being conservative isn't a crime, and there's lots of good in your posts (I think, as a liberal US-ian).

We need differing view points to keep an even keel. I'm sure Britain does too!

This case is complex, tragic and disturbing. I don't think that your view has been out of line, I think you have good arguements as do other posters. It's too easy to claim it's the Man's fault when there are so many things going on.

I at least, appreciate your posts.

AmberLeaf Mon 24-Sep-12 23:24:54

Do you teach Extro?

Jess christ you are fucking dangerous.

AmberLeaf Mon 24-Sep-12 23:25:16

oh and nonce is a prison term not a street term.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Mon 24-Sep-12 23:46:39

I think not having decided about gay marriage gets you off my Christmas list anyway. Whether two people, who love each other and are adults and consent should be allowed to marry just because they are men, no women, no sorry men and women can both marry... why can't a man marry a man or a woman? Seems to me that the only time I should have an opinion about someone getting married is if my DH tried bigamy. Otherwise, live and let live.

slug Tue 25-Sep-12 11:13:24

Dehumanising (English spelling) for Electro. The Nazis were fond of it (invokes Godwin's law)

Extrospektiv Tue 25-Sep-12 11:37:01

It's not inhumane to call someone a name like "nonce" on an anonymous internet forum when they have done something very bad. Some of the anti-responsibility comments are closer to being genuinely dehumanising.

you are fucking dangerous shock
AmberLeaf how can you POSSIBLY say that? What did I say? That I want children to be harmed? No, only that if they are old enough to commit a serious crime they should be treated accordingly (and not as severely as an adult who did the same thing.)

Calling me a risk sounds over-the-top to me.

Why has the subject changed completely-gay marriages?, what has that got to do with this it bears no comparision to the boy in question whatsoever!!!

Anyway the boy is a nonce, he raped a 5 year old and he also killed his brother so that also makes him a murderer whether people like to hear it, they are the facts.

Extrospektiv Tue 25-Sep-12 11:41:08

Good to see someone who understands pumpkin

Because someone told me to move to America for my moderately conservative view on the subject.

I was highlighting other things that leftist MNers have responded to in the recent past with "go to America" and the bigotry of this nonsense.

slug Tue 25-Sep-12 11:49:54

Try reading the link again Extrospektiv and try and see what people on this thread have been trying to get across to you.

Extrospektiv Tue 25-Sep-12 11:59:47

Still, Amberleaf's comments implied I was a risk around children. Which apart from being false and deeply offensive, followed from nothing I said.

domesticgodless Tue 25-Sep-12 13:18:27

It's hardly bigotry to suggest you move to where the Republicans hold sway. You support them after all which makes you way to the right of most British Conservatives as far as I can tell.

I really don't care where you live tbh (although it's disturbing how deeply far right views have penetrated Britain) and how on earth could I have any influence on it anyway?

How very odd to scream 'bigotry' when someone makes a comment like that. Unless you think America's an awful place what's wrong with suggesting you might like it there better than this liberal hellhole where we believe in treatment rather than punishment for horribly abused 13 year old children?

And the word you and pumpkin use is just repulsive when applied to someone who's suffered as he has. It's slang, not a technical term, and meant to insult and write off the person targeted.
I guess you're both using it because you can't call him a 'paedo' because you are confused as to whether a child can be one of those. Bah.

domesticgodless Tue 25-Sep-12 13:20:12

I wouldn't want you spewing right wing hate around my children tbh but luckily no chance of that. If you're a teacher as someone upthread suggested and might influence the opinions of any of your pupils that's a serious concern but not one that could get you out of the post unless you got careless.

monsterchild Tue 25-Sep-12 13:30:16

So I'm genuinely curious, what changes for an 18 yo who grew up like this, without ever being accused of a crime? Perhaps even having done this level of harm, but at 18, rather than 13? Without the state having intervened to help, or, more likely, having grown up in care?

how much rehabilitation is given to him?

This honestly is a question, as a huge number of incarcerated individuals were in care as children.

domesticgodless Tue 25-Sep-12 13:37:35

Well not enough monsterchild. Something like 50-60% (sociologists/penologists please correct my figures if poss!) of offenders in prison have DIAGNOSED mental health problems. The suicide rate is huge. If you read about what happens to kids in care and then coming out of it when they're basically thrown out thoroughly institutionalised and then expected to become 'responsible citizens' overnight then a lot of juvenile crime becomes more explicable. (And btw before rightwingers start fuming that doesn't mean it isn't wrong or damaging. But a punishment based regime clearly doesn't work, as in the USA where there is a revolving door of prison/poverty/prison for a large number of young men).

Extrospektiv Tue 25-Sep-12 13:45:52

Perhaps the word godless in your handle indicates the source of your extreme left wing beliefs. I do NOT ever spew "right wing hate", in fact turn up at an anti-BNP event in the right part of the country and you might see me there. I am just as much against far-right extremists as I am against left wingers.

Better if children are influenced by my moderate views than by the SMT I had, with their intersectional exculpationism (see before, this is a combination of blaming "child protection issues", "society", poverty and race for young people's bad behaviour instead of blaming the bullies and misbehavers, leading naturally to an antipunishment fanaticism.) Add their extreme support for abortion rights, their idea that only left wingers can be compassionate, fulminant dislike of private/grammar schools and belief that it's acceptable to let 13 year old pupils tell you about their sex lives in extenso without informing parents of anything they say.

There are a lot of teachers on this forum who I wouldn't want my kids around due to them holding those sort of views.

I am very clear that a 13yo cannot correctly be called a paedo, did I not say that upthread? I can't speak for pumpkin but that insults her intelligence too.

domesticgodless Tue 25-Sep-12 13:51:41

So he can be called a 'nonce' correctly can he? what utter rubbish.

'Extreme' left winger is sheer rubbish btw and nothing I have said on here gives you grounds to make that assumption about me. I went to a grammar school btw, great place. I believe in the inculcation of personal responsibility but not the crazed obsession with it which dominates politics today.

It is quite clear that this boy is the product of his upbringing. Perhaps an invulnerable saint would have risen above it; but he is being punished for not being that. This is unfair and a frankly stupid way to run a country.

Godless? yeah fair enough, I'm an atheist. I wonder how one can be an 'extreme' pro-choicer? Are there degrees of it? I wonder how pro-choice I could be before you'd judge me to be moderate? :D

Extrospektiv Tue 25-Sep-12 14:06:44

"Nonce" is not a term defined by medical standards, it can be used by individuals to describe anyone they believe to be sexually perverse.

So you're the one with the utter rubbish. I know atheists pretty much everywhere on the political spectrum, but those who make a point of it (eg by using it as a handle) tend to subscribe to groups like the British Humanist Association who are deeply liberal and anti-family.

Extreme pro choicers are ones who want no real restrictions on abortion and think a woman's whim should outweigh the right to life at all times in pregnancy, and that all abortions should be state funded with taxpayers, fathers and parents of minors having no choice. As opposed to those who identify as pro choice but think that foetal/maternal compromise, rape etc are justification for abortion and it shouldn't just be "on-demand", who are more likely to support defunding BPAS, bringing in parental notification, 12/16-week limits, etc. I don't want to start an abortion debate as this is irrelevant to the thread- just my definition.

slug Tue 25-Sep-12 15:23:41

Wow, just wow.

Having lived in the USA for a while, the Democrats, in my experience anyway, hold political views that map more or less onto UKIP's stand. By definition, the Republicans are to the right of that. It's probably true to say that Europe in general is far more liberal and left leaning than the USA, so to an American, anyone in Europe comes across as, to use Extrospektiv's terms, "deeply liberal, anti family, extreme pro-choice, godless, anti-conservative super extremists". Apart from the fact that I never understand how the term anti-family can be defined, I don't, nor do any of the Europeans I know, consider any of these to be an insult. I can, however, see how someone who grew up or was socialised in a country where a belief in God, Guns and Flag is the mainstream, would react with anger and fear when presented with a society whose values contradict everything they have brought up to believe is right and proper.

However, this does not take away from the fact that us godless Europeans have a different view of society to that in the USA. At least here governments and society acknowledge that, to quote a trite old phrase "it takes a village to raise a child" and when society abdicates this responsibility then they should do what they can to redress the balance. To simply blame the damaged child and not take any responsibility is simply victim blaming and benefits nobody in the long run.

Personally, I prefer the pinko liberal European mindset. The USA scared the beejezuz out of me. (too many guns for my liking)

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Tue 25-Sep-12 15:37:07

"Nonce" is not a term defined by medical standards, it can be used by individuals to describe anyone they believe to be sexually perverse. So can plenty of words that are emotive, disgusting and repugnant. I just chose not to use them. Just so we are clear it cannot be used to describe anyone sexually perverse. It is specifically a prison term to talk about men who were segregated because other prisoners were a risk to them. Normally because of child sex offences. It is prison slang and I bet I've spent more time in prisons and around offenders than you, so if anyone gets to use it, surely it should be me. I have discouraged it's use in the offenders I have worked with mainly because it allows them to be violent to these people. Dehumanising as someone said upthread.

monsterchild Tue 25-Sep-12 16:23:35

slug, while I totally agree that in general Europe is more left than the US, it depresses me that you think that "to an American" we all think alike and share the same views.

I've lived in Europe and come across some conservative folks, and some extremely right wing folks there, in more than one country. It's just that the voters tend to vote more liberal. (which personally I think is great!)
There are things that scare me about the UK and other European countries that you maybe would not blink an eye at or even consider a very big problem.
And more children are killed in swimming pools than by guns. (not that I am a gun supporter, but pools are about 100 times more dangerous to children than guns).

slug Tue 25-Sep-12 17:04:12

Arrggh!! Typed reply then lost it when Mumsnet went offline

Point taken monsterchild. 'To many Americans' might be a better line, though my Chilean colleague gets annoyed when I use the term America as she, rightly, points out that the USA is only a part of America.

My view of this has been informed by living and working in the States where I got used to being regarded as a 'godless commie' (to quote a colleague) when spouting the sort of beliefs that are mainstream in Europe. And I do acknowledge that conservatism has a strong hold in Europe but I would argue that the sort of laws that get a serious look in in some States would be looked at in horror over here, the assault on women's bodily autonomy that is going on at the moment for example. The idea that women should be allowed to die rather than have an abortion just does not wash with countries with large socialized medicine systems. (And yes, I know, that law didn't happen in the end, but only because it was vetoed after it passed)

The swimming pool analogy is a bit misleading isn't it? Add adults to the statistics and guns are far deadlier. My objection to guns is personal. I simply can't understand (and I come from a farming background) why anyone who does not need one for their work should own a deadly device. The less fatal objects in people's possession the better. But the guns issue is just a personal aside.

domesticgodless Tue 25-Sep-12 17:29:46

The punitive opinions of pro-lifers really interest me. I think they must see the fetus as innocent until birth.

How else does one explain their willingness to imprison and execute neglected abused children? Children who might well have been unwanted in the first place. (This is not a comment about the specific situation for this child which we cannot know).

domesticgodless Tue 25-Sep-12 17:31:26

thanks btw MrsTerry for correcting Extro's appalling use of that term.

domesticgodless Tue 25-Sep-12 17:33:03

slug, I think 'anti family' should be read as 'not afraid of/ likely to become violent towards homosexuals and single parents'

pointythings Tue 25-Sep-12 18:50:08

Wow, just when I thought you couldn't depress me any further, Extro... Mind you, at least you've come properly out of the woodwork now. You may not be politically right wing, but socially you are certainly on the very conservative end of the spectrum. No such thing as collective responsibility - I suppose you believe that everyone who is poor is poor through their own fecklessness and lack of will too?

Thanks to everyone who has held the line today.
Honestly, why is it necessary to call people abusive names? Even when they have done awful things? The fact that it may make us feel better and separate from people who have committed dreadful acts is not an argument.

domesticgodless Tue 25-Sep-12 19:51:29

Extro scares me but doesn't depress me.

Mind you that is probably because she reminds me how lucky I am not to live in a country where extreme right wing views are consistently given a mainstream platform. Thank god for european liberalism.

Extrospektiv Tue 25-Sep-12 19:56:59

Yes, I am socially conservative.

But being anti-most wars, anti-death penalty, anti-cutting welfare, anti-populist assaults on immigration and immigrants, caring about the poor and not just the elite, and in fact pro-rehabilitation of more offenders and less use of imprisonment overall (just not supporting those with very liberal views on murder and serious sexual abuse in this thread) I cannot be pigeonholed into "right-wing".

And I believe like most sensible people in a balance between personal and social responsibility. The absolute-individualist Tea Party/Ayn Rand line strikes me as sociopathic and genuinely devoid of compassion. I most definitely DO NOT subscribe to the self-serving doctrine of the rich that anyone who is not well-off is that way by their own fault, nor that only "absolute poverty" matters (the right-wing excuse for cutting benefits because "people aren't starving to death on the streets like they did in Victorian times/ are in Somalia" and totally ignoring quality of life in a modern society), nor that the State has no responsibility to help the poor.

I hate the demonisation of "benefit scroungers" and the coalition approach to welfare which is clearly hurting women and the disabled hardest. So no, you cannot call me far-right wing. Apart from the fact such terms used in Britain and Europe have for all of the past 80 years had connotations of racist/xenophobic movements which I am 100% opposed to.

CuriousMama Tue 25-Sep-12 19:58:12

sad This is so very wrong.

Extrospektiv Tue 25-Sep-12 20:04:03

domestic: "become violent"= another libel. I would prefer if everyone grew up with a happily married mother and father. Sometimes things don't work out that way. That doesn't mean I or any genuine social conservative (who holds a strong moral line and respect for the human person) would get violent against single parents or non-heterosexuals.

Anti-family is more reserved in my view for those who promote an "anything goes" approach to life and ignore tradition. Those (not all) lefties who tend to believe in a big Government but then "each to their own" beyond that, so removing other levels of organisation, families, religious organisations, local communities.

domesticgodless Tue 25-Sep-12 20:06:50

libel against whom, Extro? Calm down. The remark is (partly) ironic and answered slug's query about what anti-family might mean in right wing discourse.

Lambethlil Tue 25-Sep-12 20:07:48

Good news here

Case dismissed for those who, quite sensibly avoid links.

Interestingly interest in the case has completely vanished; the hard work and really difficult questions start now for the poor child.

Extrospektiv Tue 25-Sep-12 20:09:23

For me, mainstream European/British opinion is too supportive of sexual revolution (I would prefer if more people abstained until marriage and stayed married for life, or if they find this too difficult, at least restrict sex to loving relationships), abortion on demand, atheism/secularism, minimal parental rights, and too biased towards social responsibility at the expense of personal responsibility.

I'd like to see western Europe shift towards American values on those matters, but absolutely NOT to the extreme represented by Todd Akin, Michelle Bachmann, Tea Partiers and their pro-war pro-execution anti-poor "Christian" (prosperity gospel-ist) Right.

And I am 100% British btw. I don't believe in what I do because of the culture I grew up in/am part of (although none of us can entirely transcend our culture) but because of extensive reflection, a lot of reading on politics/sociology/religion etc. and just as importantly, my life experiences.

domesticgodless Tue 25-Sep-12 20:10:10

yes of course btw lefties have NO families. None whatever :D They want to destroy the lot of em. Crusty anarchists who all live up trees or in tents.

In fact you are quite clearly confusing the political left with anarchy. Two entirely different things.

I am rather fond of my own family and wouldn't wish to see it abolished :D or anyone else's for that matter. And I'd love to have a community, only it's rather hard in Tory Britain.

domesticgodless Tue 25-Sep-12 20:11:37

Oh and I wouldn't like to see religious organisations abolished either. Have you heard of left wing Christians? They exist, I was born to a couple of them.

Extrospektiv Tue 25-Sep-12 20:15:00

Libel against me because I was the one who used anti-family and then you gave a definition of it that involved violence and suggested homophobic bigotry and hatred for single parents, which is very different to a simple peaceful belief that married two-parent families are best.

It may be ironic, but so was much of the right-wing extremist trash that preceded the Gabrielle Giffords, Tucson shooting and the left-wing US and some European commentators still blamed the conservative media for it as if their crosshairs, anti-Obama comments, etc. were to be taken literally. Most of them were not from politicians but provocateurs like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity who use utterly extreme rhetoric to get listeners on talk radio, because that's what sells. It's more entertainment than their heartfelt beliefs half the time.

Lambethlil Tue 25-Sep-12 20:15:43

Sorry, reread my linked thread- not dismissed, but charges changed.

But as you were hmm

Extrospektiv Tue 25-Sep-12 20:17:47

No, I'm not confusing the left with anarchy. I know the difference quite well and I do not stereotype liberals.

And I am perfectly familiar with the religious left- from Catholic super-liberal Michael Moore to Jim Wallis' Sojourners (who I partially support due to their pro-aiding the poor, pro-peace ideology) and the Children's Defense Fund (support some but not all their beliefs), the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (absolutely opposed- this is my life/family/sexuality views), the Interfaith Alliance (mixture of good and bad) and the United Church of Christ/Quakers/many United Reformed Churches in Britain.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Tue 25-Sep-12 20:31:28

Does that mean that gay people can't ever have sex? Because if you are undecided about gay marriage and think people should wait until they get married to have sex, that means gay people never get to have sex. Or, have to wait until you have decided.

I am pro-family. So much so that I would like anyone who wants one to have one. Gay parents to have one, unmarried people, infertile people. Just not people who don't want them. You may be against sexual revolution but some of the most open, sexually liberal societies have the highest average age of losing virginity, the lowest unwanted pregnancies and abortions. From the Economist, "Laws that restrict abortion did not seem to lower the number of procedures. On the contrary, restrictive laws were associated with higher rates."

domesticgodless Tue 25-Sep-12 20:33:10

er, no sorry Extro. Libel is a hysterical thing to suggest here (not that I care that much... sue me) and I think you know it. The remark was a reply to slug's query about what 'anti-family' might mean in the context you mentioned and was partly black humour. You're not the only right winger in the world, and at the very extreme end they commit horrible violence against 'sinners'. How else do you explain the killings of doctors in the US who practice abortion?

I know perfectly well that not all right wingers are violent. Ffs. Your hysterical reaction is intended to close down debate, but it won't.

domesticgodless Tue 25-Sep-12 20:34:33

you don't stereotype liberals... but you KNOW they are all out to destroy the family and church?

ok I'm off now, I'm getting sucked into your bundle of contradictions.

pointythings Tue 25-Sep-12 20:46:25

I'm a lefty liberal atheist. I have a family and fully intend to stay married for life.

I would also like homosexual people to be allowed to have a family and stay married for life. The way they do in many countries, my native Holland being one of them. And as far as I have noticed the fabric of society hasn't noticeably disintegrated over there. Extro don't you find it odd that the countries in the world which have the most 'progressive' attitudes towards sexual mores also have lower teenage pregnancy and abortion rates and higher ages for first intercourse than countries which have 'good old-fashioned' values?

Extrospektiv Tue 25-Sep-12 20:49:17

I don't want to close down debate. People are perfectly welcome to disapprove of pro-family ideas, just not to imply that those who hold them are more likely to hurt other people (a criminal act and a sin) for not living by the norms of the traditional family, which is untrue.

I believe the acts of homosexual sex are wrong and my political views on marriage has no relation to it as gay marriage before God is impossible, and only a marriage recognised by God can grant the moral right to have sex- civil marriage just grants rights under secular laws.(between men OR women, some pro-gay marriage people think it's just an immature icky reaction to a penis going into an anus, and I accept that many of the worst genuine homophobes focus entirely on men and anuses and "sodomites" in their rhetoric, but not people like me who just have a conscientious belief in the complimentarity of male and female.)

This is a view held by over half the practising Christians in this country, nearly all Muslims worldwide, and a lot of other faiths and traditions. It is not extreme. It is just not secular.

Extrospektiv Tue 25-Sep-12 20:52:32

No domestic, not ALL liberals, some (extremist and/or activist ones). The ones who think traditional religion has no place in the 21st century and that being strongly religious is "outdated" and we should just "move with the times" to secularism and social liberalism. Or that those living in Europe need to "move to America" or even worse "Iran/Saudi Arabia".

I don't care about the "times" or being on the "wrong side of history", I care about my faith and being on the RIGHT side of God's truths.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Tue 25-Sep-12 20:58:30

I believe the acts of homosexual sex are wrong. Then don't have sex with someone of the same gender as you. I hate coriander but since it doesn't hurt anyone, I don't have an opinion on other people eating it. It's no one's business unless someone is not consenting or unable to give consent.

I think everyone has pointed out that we are not disapproving of pro-family ideas. I have a family. I am the product of a family. I like families. I just choose not to restrict their definition to what I do.

I find the religious thing utterly strange. I can't make myself believe, I haven't chosen to be an atheist. These things just happen. I won't adhere to a set of rules that are there because of something I don't think exists.

pointythings Tue 25-Sep-12 21:11:52

Your God, Extro, and your interpretations. There are, fortunately, a lot more flavours of Christianity.

And like it or not, society's laws have to cater to everyone, irrespective of their beliefs and lack thereof. Some people interpret this as 'Christians being marginalised/persecuted' when in fact it's the traditional preferential treatment of the religious being removed to create a level playing field. No-one is stopping you from believing what you want, but you will be prevented from imposing the consequences of those beliefs on those who do not share them.

BTW the proposed law change is about civil marriage for gay couples. DH and I had a registry office wedding, because I am an atheist. Would you consider us to be not married?

I would strenuously oppose any attempt by politicians to force religious organisations to conduct ceremonies for gay couples. However, I would very much support a change in the law to allow those religious organisations and even individuals who wished to conduct a religious wedding for a gay couple to do so.

Extrospektiv Tue 25-Sep-12 21:21:03

And like it or not, society's laws have to cater to everyone, irrespective of their beliefs and lack thereof.

I wholeheartedly agree, Pointy. I do NOT believe followers of any religion should be treated as superior by the civil law or that religion should dictate the civil law. I would hate to live in a theocracy.

Extrospektiv Tue 25-Sep-12 21:29:49

BTW- I consider any man and woman to be married before God if they undergo a civil wedding, a religious wedding (in any faith- provided they are monogamous, where laws/religions allow polygamy only the first wedding is valid before God and any further one is sin.) Or even if two people who wish to spend the rest of their lives together as a couple make wholly informal vows before witnesses and/or privately. For example, if a woman's interpretation of feminism included the rejection of marriage as a social or legal institution because they saw it as inextricably patriarchal, she and a man she wanted to share her life with would be classed as spiritually married and thus not in sin if they were having sex. (not everyone believes this- some say it must be a formal ceremony)

Basically- I think it's OK to have sex within a monogamous mixed-sex relationship with the intention of permanent union ceremonially expressed. Universal, equally possible within any country, jurisdiction, culture or tradition.

Homosexual marriages can only be recognised by civil law and/or particular religious institutions; I do not believe that God recognises them, and homosexual sex acts are sin in themselves (separate to fornication= sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman) so it would make no difference.

domesticgodless Tue 25-Sep-12 21:57:44

Woah. Strange that someone obviously intelligent is so hung up on the fixed idea of 'sin'.

I always think that has more to do with people's own psychological hang ups than anything else. If Jesus were around today he'd be protesting against the bankers. Not telling people who they could sleep with,

pointythings Tue 25-Sep-12 22:03:31

I have enormous problems with the concept of sin. To my mind, matters of right and wrong are about whether harm is done, and the idea of sin just seems to bypass that completely. I wish that particular brands of the faithful - but mostly Evangelical Christians - would put half the energy that they put into worrying about matters of the bedchamber into dealing with the real problems of hunger, war, abuse and poverty instead.

Just as an aside to throw into the mix - if abortions were easier to get in the US, the boy that this thread is all about might have been aborted, and none of this would have happened. Would that have been a good thing or a bad thing? Discuss.

monsterchild Tue 25-Sep-12 22:17:47

slug you are correct when adding in adults and guns. I'm with you on the gun issue, BTW, I have a BIL who is enamored with guns, and it's amazing to me that he owns so many. He likely won't become a statistic, but personally, a good baseball bat is as effective for self-protection as any weapon. And you can let the kids play with it, too!

pointy I think that is an exercise in delusion. We have no idea what the mother's ideals are about abortion, and whether the father of the child would have allowed her to get one.

I know that many women in this situation have children because of DV, and being kept pregnant is a form of control. So the availability of a clinic really may not have made a big difference, because really, it's not so hard to get an abortion in the States, no matter what you may believe.

And I also try not to use "America" too much, as it does indeed include everyone in the Western Hemisphere, and we certainly have our differences.

I agree Lambethlil that the real works begins now for this child and his family. Hopefully support will be forthcoming and he can get what he needs to be successful!

pointythings Tue 25-Sep-12 22:22:40

Agreed, monsterchild - I was merely trying - probably in vain - to make Extro realise the dangers of moral absolutes. You are more than likely right that more liberal abortion rights would have made no difference in this particular case.

And one of the big MagLites is great for personal protection and lights your way, too. We have one in the kitchen and hope only ever to use it for the latter.

I stand by what I said about the focus of many Evangelicals, though - what a waste of energy.

Extrospektiv Tue 25-Sep-12 22:23:04

Wrong. And basing morality purely on the "harm principle" is a secular humanist construct which, as a religious believer, is a no-no. If that was the case it would be OK to blaspheme God or fail to worship Him, because it didn't harm anyone (God being above harm by human actions.) God has given us certain rules to follow and one of them requires sex to be restricted to a monogamous relationship between a man and woman, who become as one flesh. If we disobey God's rules, we sin.

An atheist's view on what Jesus would or wouldn't do is usually going to be dead wrong. Especially when you get the disgusting, and blasphemous, caricature of Him as a hippie who would have supported free love had he lived in a different time. He is the Messiah, sent by God Himself, and His statements represent eternal truths.

Christians actually do a lot more against hunger, war, abuse and poverty than against sexual immorality IME. (Perhaps it's not going to a fundamentalist church- and the majority of churches aren't fundie.)

Jesus is against some greedy bankers and other super-rich people (the Temple money lenders of this day) AND the sexually immoral, i.e. those who don't follow His standards. There is not the slightest contradiction between the two.

Except if you can only think in political stereotypes, and think "well the Right oppose sexual immorality, and the Left oppose corrupt and extreme forms of capitalism (with the very far-left opposing all capitalism), therefore it's one or the other". And that's a blinkered way to see things.

Killing an unborn child is wrong. And we can't know which children will grow up to do evil, so it would probably run on probability- with those whose genes predispose them to violence, etc. , the children of the poor and vulnerable being aborted to "stop their bad life before it starts."
In other words, eugenics, and totally unacceptable. We can work towards a society where there are less of the circumstances which promote crime- more early intervention, more decisive action on poverty, etc. But killing those who are going to grow up in bad homes or are genetically unlucky as foetuses isn't the way forward.

pointythings Wed 26-Sep-12 18:10:19

Well, this is where you and I part company on morality then, Extro, because I am in favour of the repeal of all blasphemy laws, everywhere. Look how they're used in Pakistan - and let's not forget that it wasn't all that long ago that homosexuals could be imprisoned.

There are debates to be had on abortion - I am pro-choice but would strongly favour prevention and good sex education as more effective (as evidenced by the many countries with sexually progressive cultures as I quoted above) I would like to know whether are you against abortion in cases of rape, incest and the like, and how you feel about the case of the 9-year-old who was raped and impregnated by her father, then excommunicated by the Catholic Church for having a termination of the pregnancy that would probably have killed her? I realise that this is an extreme case, but it serves to illustrate that life is complex, and that acts of enormous evil are committed in the name of religious morality.

No-one has the right to not be offended. Clearly you come at morality from a virtually exclusively religious perspective, which means that this whole debate is a case of never the twain shall meet. Given the treatment of homosexuals in many countries in the world in the name of religion, and the horrors perpetuated against women in many countries in the name of religion, forgive me for thinking that secular morality has a lot going for it. I do not by the way include countries like communist China and Russia among these - I realise they are often used as an example of 'look what awful things happen without religion!'. Both Mao and Stalin crated cults of personality, much as the Kim dynasty has done in North Korea, and that is merely replacing one form of faith 'morality' with another. Comparing these regimes to secular morality as practised in much of Western Europe is like comparing apples and pears, and is a straw man argument besides.

Lastly I would still like to know why you have felt it necessary to be so vituperatively unpleasant about the boy whose case started this thread. We get that you feel he is evil and beyond redemption, but terms like 'dangerous criminal', 'beyond saving' etc. would have sufficed. Name-calling is just plain unnecessary, except perhaps to make you feel better.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Wed 26-Sep-12 23:32:06

Wrong. And basing morality purely on the "harm principle" is a secular humanist construct which, as a religious believer, is a no-no. If that was the case it would be OK to blaspheme God or fail to worship Him, because it didn't harm anyone (God being above harm by human actions.) God has given us certain rules to follow and one of them requires sex to be restricted to a monogamous relationship between a man and woman, who become as one flesh. If we disobey God's rules, we sin.

No, you sin. Because I don't believe and therefore your rules do not apply to me. This is the problem with religion. I'm not forcing you to take you Lord's name in vain. However, you can't tell me that something I do is a sin because that is a meaningless construct to me. The irony is that pointy, others and I have been trying to talk about this boy as a human, weak and troubled and doing dreadful crimes where you, a Christian, write him off as a 'nonce'. What happened to forgiveness and all that?

domesticgodless Thu 27-Sep-12 10:11:54

exactly Terry. That's the most disturbing thing about extro's posts. The banging morality combined with utter lack of compassion. Sure isn't Christianity as I know it.

domesticgodless Thu 27-Sep-12 10:15:25

oh and before Extro comes striding in saying I'm 'godless' and therefore cannot speak a word about 'her' religion: I grew up in a religious family which I love and respect. I also respect their religion and many of its principles. Just not the ones that condemn people for acts (particularly but not always sexual acts) which have nothing to do with anyone else.

Extrospektiv Thu 27-Sep-12 13:27:20

Do NOT accuse me of failing to believe in forgiveness or compassion or "writing anyone off". I would not have said 15 years' detention had I believed he was beyond rehabilitation. I have some American friends and acquaintances I speak to online- mostly sane non-fanatical Republicans but a few from the hardline fringe- and one (a Tea Partier from Mississippi, believes Obama's a Muslim Marxist, is terrified of him declaring Martial Law, but thinks the next Republican government should declare Martial Law to override civil rights rules and expel all Muslim-Americans, and execute abortion doctors even if what they did was legal at the time in the same way Nazis were killed at Nuremberg for doing things that were within the laws they had helped Hitler to make- the works as far as right wing fanaticism goes) said that Fernandez should be "taken out, because I'm sick of paying for evil people to live in prisons."

I said "WTF? I'm against any death penalty except possibly for a dictator who's killed thousands or millions of his own people or a terrorist who killed millions by dropping a nuclear bomb on a major world city, but for a 13 year old?" She responded "12 is the age of accountability. He's beyond help. Execute him." She knows that the legal minimum age for death sentences is 18, but believes the president should just overrule that and have him killed anyway. She said "Bush technically broke the constitution non stop fighting the Jihad evil...no-one stopped him, and avenging 9/11 was more important than following pieces of paper. It's the same here."

That's what "right wing hate", "far right extremist", "no compassion", "dangerous", "unforgiving", "banging" and all the other things I've been called on this thread look like. Perhaps seeing real right-wing extremism might stop you calling me out on my NON-EXISTENT version.

I believe God can forgive even the most hardened sinner, eg. Jeffrey Dahmer (only God can know if that was a real conversion or not, but as he was never getting out or getting a low security joint, and he knew it, he didn't have the reason to lie.)

Dahmer also had a bad childhood but did much more monstrous things than even Fernandez, and did them well into his adult years. So of course I'm not writing him off- the difference is I believe Fernandez shouldstill have a life ahead of him as a free and productive member of society, once he has served enough time for punishment and if the appropriate experts believe he is safe to be released.

To me, a man who gets a one year stretch for downloading CP is a "nonce" too- and that doesn't mean he's the worst person ever, it doesn't mean I hate him or think he's something less than human: it could be a weak and lonely man struggling against sexual temptation for children all his life who knows why the child porn/abusive images industry is so wrong but succumbs after a personal tragedy. It certainly doesn't mean he's not saved or not savable- Christians have committed murder, most of them will have repented by the time their death if they are genuine believers, and a lot of them very soon after the fact they've killed someone sets in. So someone could be a Christian forgiven by God and be a sexual offender, too.

To call someone a nonce to me is just a description, like rapist or pervert or child abuser. Sure it's harsh but given the effects that sexual violence has on its victims and even those it touches indirectly I find it fair.

slug Thu 27-Sep-12 13:59:38

Can we have a 'totally failing to see the point' emoticon Mumsnet Towers?

domesticgodless Fri 28-Sep-12 14:49:14

What you just said about the American extremists is frankly terrifying, Extro. I don't know how you can bear to talk to those people.

domesticgodless Fri 28-Sep-12 14:49:39

But by no means have you justified your use of the vile word 'nonce'l

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