Judge says teen who filmed himself raping a girl deserves leniency

Rasselas

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All this is not particularly distinct from treating him as an adult in the first place.
Except the juvenile justice system differentiates the ways defendants are treated and how they are sentenced, no? There is a different philosophy of punishment vs rehabilitation in the juvenile system, no?

Not "simply because." He took responsibility for what he did, indeed bragged about it, and in fact published the video. The fact that he referred to what he did as "rape" indicates he was mature enough to know the difference between right and wrong. It just did not occur to him that he would get caught.
I think you'd need to know more about his overall psychology and attitudes regarding antisocial behavior in order to tell.

Maybe. I believe some states may even require this as part of determining whether to try him as an adult, whereas in others it is non-discretionary. But rehabilitation is not the only issue. He still caused an enormous amount of harm, and represents a danger to society.
I agree, but I'm not sure he has to be an on going threat, one that can only be thwarted by continued incarceration or the fatigue of age. I have no idea about this particular individual, but simply looking at his criminal behavior, recoiling from it, and responding with righteous indignation to treat him as if he were an adult isn't enough consideration to be ethical.
 
Jul 2011
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A few people (including myself) have either played the Devil's Advocate, or attempted to address this matter dispassionately, but none have excused the boy's behaviour. Rape is a very serious crime which, depending upon the circumstances and the level of violence employed, can cause long term psychological trauma to the victim. Whether such trauma (or simply embarrassment) is being suffered by the girl, is, given the delay in her reaction, open to question. This, however, does not excuse the boy's behaviour to any degree whatsoever (always assuming he knew consent was being withheld), nor does it excuse his disgraceful bragging about the act. His actions should merit the fullest punishment the law allows.

My only, constant, objection would be to his being tried as an adult in a court of law. And any system of justice which tries a child as an adult, yet allows a Navy SEAL to commit the brutal murder of a helpless, adolescent prisoner of war in front of witnesses, and emerge unscathed - cannot earn my respect.
 
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Ian Jeffrey

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(always assuming he knew consent was being withheld)
He does not have to know this. She was incapable of consent ... for that matter, was incapable of even walking. He had no reason to think she had consented, which is what he needed - and he blew any such claim out of the water by positively asserting he had raped her.
[A]ny system of justice which tries a child as an adult, yet allows a Navy SEAL to commit the brutal murder of a helpless, adolescent prisoner of war in front of witnesses, and emerge unscathed - cannot earn my respect.
Fair enough, but you are technically talking about two different systems: a civilian system and a military system. The latter system sometimes has issues the civilian system does not have. (I am also not sufficiently familiar with the inside facts of the Navy SEAL's case to really comment on it directly ... brain only has so much RAM, and work allows only so much time.)
 
Sep 2014
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Trying a juvenile as an adult has rather specific statutory criteria. People having "strong feelings" about the case would not be one of them. In fact, in some states such a prosecution is mandatory rather than discretionary. (I could not find the applicable NJ statutes, however, with a cursory search.)
It's a multipronged test. Of course the threshold question is whether an eligible crime has been charged and those crimes are those which necessarily evoke strong feelings. Juvenile offenses are actually heard in family -- yes, a chancery court ! And I don't hear about juveniles being treated as adults particularly often. In rare circumstances juveniles will WANT to go to adult court. Nevertheless typically it's the prosecutor of course and to get that the prosecutor has to file for a 'waiver' to get the case out of family. When the judge in the family court is making the waiver determination he or she has to consider various factors, weigh them and make the judicial determination accordingly. If you are curious as to what those factors are I'll look them up but there's like 10 of them....


My only, constant, objection would be to his being tried as an adult in a court of law. And any system of justice which tries a child as an adult, yet allows a Navy SEAL to commit the brutal murder of a helpless, adolescent prisoner of war in front of witnesses, and emerge unscathed - cannot earn my respect.
Yeah, whatever. Look, NJ courts are not federal courts, or military courts and indeed, the government went after Gallagher, the government simply lost the trial. The government alleged that Gallagher stabbed the prisoner thus killing him. Looks like homicide to me. But Scott testified that HE killed the prisoner, that the prisoner would have survived the stabbing. You still have an aggravated assault, but the question is whether the government could prove, BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT that GALLAGHER'S assault was the proximate cause of the prisoner's death. So they could not convict on that.

Nothing there to indict -- the system. Ridiculous comment.
 
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Ian Jeffrey

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It's a multipronged test. Of course the threshold question is whether an eligible crime has been charged and those crimes are those which necessarily evoke strong feelings. Juvenile offenses are actually heard in family -- yes, a chancery court ! And I don't hear about juveniles being treated as adults particularly often. In rare circumstances juveniles will WANT to go to adult court. Nevertheless typically it's the prosecutor of course and to get that the prosecutor has to file for a 'waiver' to get the case out of family. When the judge in the family court is making the waiver determination he or she has to consider various factors, weigh them and make the judicial determination accordingly. If you are curious as to what those factors are I'll look them up but there's like 10 of them....
If you could identify the statute, that would be cool. I found Oregon's, for example, but in Oregon charging as an adult for certain offenses is statutorily required and is non-discretionary (at least, the way I read it - granted, through a cursory examination).
 
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The Man

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I have read that some regions in Russia still have old Soviet laws on "parental responsibility" for children and for crimes they commit.

Among other things, not only does it mean that parents must pay financial compensation to victims of crimes committed by their underage offspring (this is the case countrywide over there); but in the case of serious and violent crimes, like homicide, in those particular regions (in Siberia mostly), committed by a child under the age of 14, one of his or her parents may actually have to serve the prison time in their kid's place (usually the dad)!

Some more enlightened people in Moscow or St. Petersburg, of course, see this as archaic barbarism of the remote provinces.

But more conservative citizens want it re-implemented everywhere.

Then, they say, parents will start giving a damn again where their kids are hanging around and with whom and what the hell they are doing out there...
 
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Frankly all this justification is about to make me puke. As for "Finding someone Guilty" ,I am a strickler for the rules. Have sat on jury before. BUT , if someone if really guilty and the evidence PROVES it , the Sentence should fit the crime.This punk should be in a Mens prison. I don't want him "Rehabilitated". I want him to get a taste if his own medicine. I will not get graphic here.
 

Ian Jeffrey

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Frankly all this justification is about to make me puke.
Knock yourself out. In fact, while you are at it, go ahead & knock yourself out.
I want him to get a taste if his own medicine. I will not get graphic here.
Your statement is graphic enough - and not at all justified under any circumstances whatsoever. :eek: That is disgusting and should make anyone want to puke. :vomit:
 
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Jul 2011
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He does not have to know this. She was incapable of consent ... for that matter, was incapable of even walking. He had no reason to think she had consented, which is what he needed - and he blew any such claim out of the water by positively asserting he had raped her.

Fair enough, but you are technically talking about two different systems: a civilian system and a military system. The latter system sometimes has issues the civilian system does not have. (I am also not sufficiently familiar with the inside facts of the Navy SEAL's case to really comment on it directly ... brain only has so much RAM, and work allows only so much time.)
I understand and largely agree with what you have written - particularly with regard to consent (I was commenting generally in that instance). However, it is the systems (whether they be courts martial or civil) about which I am critical in respect to children being tried as adults, and obvious murderers escaping sanction. I am not attempting to insult you, or any other Americans, in respect of your systems of justice, but I would be very concerned were our system to encompass the same things (not that ours even approaches perfection,) and it is up to all of us to publicly criticise those aspects of our civilisations which are simply not civilised - but particularly so with people whose professional standing enables those complaints to be more audible.