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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.

SauvignonBlanche Mon 17-Sep-12 19:23:00

Bloody hell, that's terrible!

bulletwithbutterflywings Mon 17-Sep-12 19:23:56

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

AnnieLobeseder Mon 17-Sep-12 19:32:17

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


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