Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Second chances for violent teenage criminals

This article raises interesting questions and tells a relevant story about the circumstances under which it may be appropriate to give a young person a real chance at rehabilitation after they commit a heinously violent crime. I'm inclined to think that circumstances could move me to fall on either side, but it also seems to be something of a crap shoot. I suppose the testimony of expert psychologists and criminologists, as well as the details of individual cases, could go a long way to providing a basis on which I would be comfortable making a decision one way or the other. However, it just seems impossible to reliably predict the future behavior of a child. I certainly wouldn't have wanted anyone determining the outcome of the rest of my life based on a single emotionally-charged action of my life as a 13-year-old. It really highlights the grave importance of having thoughtful judges.

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