Every so often a story appears which raises questions concerning the American approach to dealing with crime. Ironically, in the 18th and 19th centuries, the United States of America was regarded as a leader in crime and prison reform. Yesterday, in a California court, a judge found a ten year old boy guilty of premeditated murder. His father was a prominent Nazi sympathizer who beat the boy and constantly abused him. As defense attorney Matthew Hardy noted, his client was raised in a violent family where use of weapons and threats to kill people were normal ways of reacting when threatened. He shot his father at point-blank range while asleep. He told police that he didn’t think he would get punished because he saw an episode of “Criminal Minds” where an abused boy was not sent to jail.
Ten year old children who commit violent acts need to be placed in a loving caring community who provide resources to assist the boy to attain normal feelings. No nation in western Europe would have had this trial. It was a travesty.