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Not trying murderers in criminal court because of their age

Cindy Glass
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Your turn


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Michael Ernest
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I thought "age" was becoming less of an issue and "ability to form intent" was was coming to the forefront, at least in the industrialized states.
Robert Paris
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Why is it that when a 10 year old murders someone they're an adult, but if a 10 year old asks to be left home alone for a weekend, they're a child? Which one of those decisions is really the more mature decision?
Shura Balaganov
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I am not familiar with how it works here in US as far as what age criminals go where.. But in Russia there are a few cutoff ages...Like I think before 12 you are not trialed, but your parent might...Between 12 and 16 you will be trialed and might be sent to "facility" for kids, although I believe your parents may still be trialed instead...After 16 anyone is trialed like adult.
I hope I remembered ages correctly...
And someone finally should cut this over-protection law crap (refer to not being able to leave kids at home alone)... :roll:
Shura
[ August 21, 2002: Message edited by: Shura Balaganov ]

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Mapraputa Is
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And someone finally should cut this over-protection law crap (refer to not being able to leave kids at home alone)...
Is it right that here you cannot legally leave kids under 12 home alone?
Then what all this talk about equal rights for women is about?
<this thread needs some more bragging>BTW, I stayed home alone whole day since I was 6
</this thread needs some more bragging>
[ August 21, 2002: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]

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Rufus BugleWeed
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Leaving youngsters alone is crime called child endangerment. You don't have a problem until one of the kids causes a big problem.
I think I knew at an early age ( <18 ) that murder was wrong and what the penalties were. I can't speak for everyone. So I guess young murders should pay the price.
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
[b]Is it right that here you cannot legally leave kids under 12 home alone?

It's generally considered neglect. The exact age varies depending on the state. There is also a minimum age at which one child can be left in charge of another, as in one sibling looking after the other while the parents are out. I'm fairly certain it's also neglect to leaev a kid with an adult who can't care for them.
I ran a medical call one time at 3am for a woman with an "unknown medical condition". The dispatcher said the call was placed by her 9 year-old grandson. Keep in mind it's 3am, what the hell is a 9yr old doing up to notice his grandmother is ill? We get there and it's a little, "single-wide" trailer. The kid's on the couch in the living room watching TV (it's 3am!), the place is absolutely trashed, more than a week's worth of dishes in the kitchen, cockroaches running all over the place, it wreaks of cat urine, and there's even a hole in the floor. We find grandma in the back, she looks like she stroked out but isn't giving us permission to work on her. In the meantime we ask the kid where his mom is. "I don't know, out of state I think." We ask him where his father is? "Don't know, Dundalk maybe." Kid tells us he lives here with his grandmother, he's up because he usually doesn't go to sleep until about 5am, and that he usually doesn't go to school. Come to find out grandma is a big time diabetic and grandkid ends up taking care of her more than she takes care of him. And this kind of stuff isn't just limited to the low-rent trailer park types, it's all over the place.
So while these laws don't always prevent things like this from happening, they are at least in place for when cases of neglect come to the attention of the authorities so that they can do something that is in the child's best interest. When a kid under 12 is routinely being left home alone, that often points to other problems.
Jason Menard
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Murderers, regardless of age or mental capability, need to be removed from society. I do believe that in the case of children, incarceration should be more for rehabilitation purposes than punitive.
Mapraputa Is
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It's generally considered neglect.
Perhaps we are talking about different things. If both parents work and a kid is left home 5 days a week, say, since 9 till 5 - is this considered neglect?
Shubhrajit Chatterjee
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Both parents working ... and the kid is alone at home ... it is HELL...
This situation must, must, must never arise ... just imagine what the kid learns from TV,etc...
So we should be prepared to do any the following things:
1. The kid should be looked after by a nanny.
OR
2. (As it happens in India) The kid should be looked after by a grandparent.
If neither is possible, one of the parents should consider taking a part time job, so as to stay with the kid.
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
It's generally considered neglect.
Perhaps we are talking about different things. If both parents work and a kid is left home 5 days a week, say, since 9 till 5 - is this considered neglect?


Shubhrajit
Shura Balaganov
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I remember hating it when my parents were home all the time. I'd rather be alone...can't recall what age I was then though... :roll:
I also had to take public transportation to/from school since 9; it was pretty intimidating first couple of times, but now I know that new school was a lot better... of course we lived in a city, where you knew your neighbors...
maybe that's why kids go to college at 16-17 in russia, not at 18-20... child endangement my arse, over-protectiveness is worse. Again, I mean two far opposite sides of the subject, but I would hate to explain this to a "straight" police officer...
Shura
[ August 22, 2002: Message edited by: Shura Balaganov ]
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
If both parents work and a kid is left home 5 days a week, say, since 9 till 5 - is this considered neglect?

Depending on the laws of your state, and if the child is below a certain age, very likely it is considered neglect (or something similar depending on your state's legal term for it).
Shura Balaganov
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Map, let me rephrase: If parents work 8 hour days, and kid is in school untill 2 in the afternoon, is it OK that kid would stay home by him(her)self from 2 to 4(5) until parents are home? I don't see any neglect in this
Shura
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Shura Balaganov:
If parents work 8 hour days, and kid is in school untill 2 in the afternoon, is it OK that kid would stay home by him(her)self from 2 to 4(5) until parents are home?

Again, IANAL, and depending on the laws in your state and the age of the child, yes this is neglect. It is neglect to leave a kid below a certain age in the car for a few minutes while you run into the store, so leaving the kid at home for a few hours also applies.
This is actually not so necessary anymore as many communities and organizations sponsor various programs for latchkey kids after school. Some school systems run programs, as do some public libraries. There are community organizations such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, 4H Club, and the Police Athletic League (PAL), among many others, who offer places for kids to go after school.
I was a latchkey kid myself, probably since 5th or 6th grade. I did have a Boys Club in the neighborhood (later they became Boys & Girls Clubs) to hang out in, and that doubtless kept me out of some trouble, although I did probably spend at least as much time doing "other things" as I spent there. But times were different back then I guess, and as the latchkey phenomenon has become more prevalent, society, including lawmakers, are adjusting.
Jamie Robertson
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OK, if we are to assume that it is legally OK to leave a 6 year old alone, how long is too long? 1 hour? 2 hours? 1 day? 1 night? 1 week? At some point this becomes a crime, you tell me at which point it becomes a crime ( rounded to the nearest hour )?
But I don't believe that this is OK. A child can not deal with an emergency alone. If a fire started in the house, they might try to get away from it by going upstairs, unnecessarily dying as they could have walked out the front door ( but didn't because the parents, being responsible, told the child not to go outside ). Even though children may be able to deal with every day tasks and situations safely, the laws are there to protect them for out of the ordinary situations.
Jamie
Mapraputa Is
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Originally posted by Shubhrajit Chatterjee:
Both parents working ... and the kid is alone at home ... it is HELL...
This situation must, must, must never arise ... just imagine what the kid learns from TV,etc...


Actually, the main reason I was left home alone is I wanted it. My parents could keep me in.. um... is it correct name - "kinder garden"? But this kind of organizations always nauseated me so I was immensely happy when all those educators left me alone. Grandparents - that would be possible, they lived in the same city, if I was asked whether I want to stay with them, I would say "no".
"just imagine what the kid learns from TV" - I dunno... I read a lot, thousand pages of crap
Originally posted by Jason Menard:
It is neglect to leave a kid below a certain age in the car for a few minutes while you run into the store, so leaving the kid at home for a few hours also applies.

I didn't know you cannot leave "a kid below a certain age in the car for a few minutes" - what is this age?
Originally posted by Jamie Robertson:
But I don't believe that this is OK. A child can not deal with an emergency alone. If a fire started in the house, they might try to get away from it by going upstairs, unnecessarily dying as they could have walked out the front door ( but didn't because the parents, being responsible, told the child not to go outside )

Perhaps you forgot yourself when you were a kid? I am sure I had better survival instincts at the age of 6 or 8 than I have now. It is a grand mistake to think that a kid is not smart enough to make right decision. "the parents, being responsible, told the child not to go outside" - and kid, of course, believed :roll: I do not remember since when I stopped to trust my parents and started to trust my own instincts, I think I just never totally trusted my parents.
One thing I remember particularly sharp (unrelated to emergency though) - I was 4 or 5, when they decided it's about time to enlighten me that my best girl friend is a Jew and Jews are... um... bad people. Not like we, Russians. Do not remember how exactly they explained what is so bad, but I perfectly remember that I both trusted them and not. Part of me uncritically absorbed all I was told and another part was perfectly clear on what is real and was is being told. This part told me that the girl is not different from any other girl and my parents are talking nonsense This split state of spirit I remember very well.
I am sure I lead far more dangerous life at the age of 6-8 and I can assure you, when a kid knows that the parents are far away, he/she is far less inclined to try risky things than when parents are around and looking. Maybe this is why adults have such wild ideas about kids...
"If a fire started in the house, they might try to get away from it by going upstairs, unnecessarily dying" - well, again, do you remember yourself as a kid? Would *you* go any place other than outside? :roll:
[ August 22, 2002: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
I didn't know you cannot leave "a kid below a certain age in the car for a few minutes" - what is this age?

According to Maryland Family Law 5-801:

(a) A person who is charged with the care of a child under the age of 8 years may not allow the child to be locked or confined in a dwelling, building, enclosure, or motor vehicle while the person charged is absent and the dwelling, building, enclosure, or motor vehicle is out of the sight of the person charged unless the person charged provides a reliable person at least 13 years old to remain with the child to protect the child.
(b) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or both.

In Maryland law, a "child" is any person under 18.
Further, Maryland Department of Human Resources-Title 07, Social Services Administration-Subtitle 02, Protective Services for Neglected and Abused Children, Chapter 07 defines child neglect as

a) The failure to give proper care and attention to a child including the leaving of a child unattended under circumstances that indicate that the child's health or welfare is harmed or placed at substantial risk of harm by:

(i) The child's parent, or

(ii) Other individual who has permanent or temporary care or custody or responsibility for supervision of the child; or

(b) Mental injury to a child, or a substantial risk of mental injury that is caused by the failure to give proper care and attention to a child be:

(i) The child's parent; or

(ii) Other individual who has permanent or temporary care or custody or responsibility for supervision of the child.

*"Proper care and attention" includes, but is not limited to, necessary food, clothing, shelter, medical care, nurturance, guardianship, and supervision appropriate to a child's needs and development.

So basically, in Maryland at least (you'll have to research your own state), it appears that a child may be left alone unattended for short periods if he is 8 or older. A child under 8 can only be left with someone who is at least 13 for short periods. Longer periods of time, or if something happened to the child while unattended, could probably be considered "neglect", as the DA's office sees fit.
"If a fire started in the house, they might try to get away from it by going upstairs, unnecessarily dying" - well, again, do you remember yourself as a kid? Would *you* go any place other than outside? :roll:

Actually, children have been known to do things like hide under the bed or in a closet when their house is on fire.
Anonymous
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deleted because it is completely off topic.
[ August 23, 2002: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]
Paul Stevens
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That post has nothing to do with this discussion. If you want to start a new thread then do so.
Mapraputa Is
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(a) A person who is charged with the care of a child under the age of 8 years may not allow the child to be locked or confined in a dwelling, building, enclosure, or motor vehicle while the person charged is absent and the dwelling, building, enclosure, or motor vehicle is out of the sight of the person charged unless the person charged provides a reliable person at least 13 years old to remain with the child to protect the child.

So what can happen to a child locked in a motor vehicle for a couple of minutes? I am trying to think how it is more dangerous, than, for example, when a mother left a child for a couple of minutes to go to bathroom. Actually, there are more possibilities for a child to hurt him/herslef, no?
(b) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or both.
And who will be looking for a kid while a person in charge is imprisoned for 30 days?
[ August 24, 2002: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
So what can happen to a child locked in a motor vehicle for a couple of minutes?

Aside from knocking the car into neutral and having it roll down an incline, leaving the car on and having the kid knock it into drive, somebody taking the kid, the kid exiting the vehicle and running into traffic, or the kid suffering some heat related problems if all window's are up and it's sweltering outside? I guess not too much.
I know a police officer who pulled up to a convenience store to find an infant in a car in the parking lot with no parent in sight, the parent presumably being in the store. The officer opened the door (it was not locked), reached in, and took the baby into her police car. The mother came out, happened to notice the baby wasn't in the car, and started to panic. When she saw the police officer she went to ask for help, and then discovered the officer had the kid. I'm pretty sure all she got was a lecture regarding the law, but the police officer made her point, and the mother probably was so scared she'll never do it again.
Mapraputa Is
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Aside from knocking the car into neutral and having it roll down an incline, leaving the car on and having the kid knock it into drive, somebody taking the kid, the kid exiting the vehicle and running into traffic, or the kid suffering some heat related problems if all window's are up and it's sweltering outside? I guess not too much.
Wait, wait, you confused me. First, I assumed the crime was that the car was locked so a kid couldn't get outside. You mixed two crimes:
1) kid is locked
2) kid is unlocked
Also, I assumed that the parents aren't idiots to leave a kid in a locked car when it's hot, or leave a kid in a running vehicle - these are obvious dangers, but the law only said about "leaving a kid in a locked car" without details. Maybe I misunderstood then, and the law is only applied after something happened, in the rare case parents *are* idiots?
"The mother came out, happened to notice the baby wasn't in the car, and started to panic."
What a nice story! Perhaps you find it educating, but...
I remembered the case I happened to witness. A mother left her baby in baby carriage outside of the store (they do it in Russia, usually it's not a problem ) and as it turned out later, her husband took the baby (no idea where he went with a baby, but anyway) What I saw was a young woman of oriental origin who came out of the store, found out her baby is missing, she creamed for a minute and then lost consciousness and felt on the ground moveless.
What point your police officer was trying to make?
I wasn't stolen from unlocked car, but my mother told me (I do not remember this, so I must be really young, maybe 2, not sure). She was ironing, she explained me not to touch an iron because it is hot, I apparently agreed, so she went to the kitchen and heard my scream - I grabbed the iron and burned my palm. Now if you will tell me she was not responsible mother - I've never seen more responsible mother. I can imagine what this story was for her. Now if she were (plus to all!) a "subject to a fine" or, better yet, imprisonment, it would really help :roll:
Another story, it was on TV, in Latvia or some other Baltic country, a mother gave her son a medicine that killed him because he was suffering from a very painful decease and for long time asked her to kill him. Finally she did. What was amusing, that she was taken to the court, accused in a murder, I do not know what the sentence was, but the very fact that she was taken to the court -- what punishment could be worse than she already had? And how can people who've never been in such situation educate her on what she had to do? In some cases a society should just shut up, since they were in territories where most of us never been.
Jason Menard
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Wait, wait, you confused me. First, I assumed the crime was that the car was locked so a kid couldn't get outside. You mixed two crimes:
1) kid is locked
2) kid is unlocked

As I said, laws vary by state. However, the Maryland law says locked or confined. What that means absolutely from a legal standpoint I can't say for sure. I make the assumption that the first law I quoted also falls under neglect, so leaving a child unattended in a situation in which harm could come to them looks like the definition of neglect.
Also, I assumed that the parents aren't idiots to leave a kid in a locked car when it's hot, or leave a kid in a running vehicle
You would hope that would be a safe assumption, but all too often this is exactly what happens.
Maybe I misunderstood then, and the law is only applied after something happened, in the rare case parents *are* idiots?
The law is probably usually applied when emergency services personnel witness the incident or are called to the scene and when the situation is serious enough to warrant it. If you were to turn a a police/fire scanner (or listen to one on the internet) you will hear frequent calls for "child locked in a vehicle" or "child locked in a house", and these calls aren't all made by the parents who have mistakenly done this, but by other concerned people.
"The mother came out, happened to notice the baby wasn't in the car, and started to panic."
What a nice story! Perhaps you find it educating, but...
I have no sympathy for parents who put their children at risk because they are lazy or stupid (sometimes both).
they do it in Russia, usually it's not a problem
And that's fine. You can do different things in different societies. However, in the states, most people are very much aware you can't do this kind of thing, and when they do it, they know they are doing something wrong, they are simply playing the odds that they can get away with it and the child will be fine.
What point your police officer was trying to make?
She was making the point to the mother to take care of her infant lest she lose her. The fact that it's illegal to leave your child like that is secondary. It's the welfare of the children, not the convenience of the parents, that is of the utmost importance.
Now if she were (plus to all!) a "subject to a fine" or, better yet, imprisonment, it would really help :roll:
Accidents happen. But that anecdote has little to do with abandoning a child for a period of time.
In some cases a society should just shut up, since they were in territories where most of us never been.
I don't argue the general point. However it is societies responsibility to protect its members, particularly those who cannot protect themselves.
Laws like this exist to protect the children. The fact that there is some crime with a penalty attached to it may be enough to remind some parents not to do stupid things, like leave their young children alone in the car and out of sight. If nothing else, the existance of such laws gives the prosecutors some leg to stand on when something serious does go wrong and criminal charges need to be filed.
Mapraputa Is
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From how the law is formulated it seems that the parents will be charged even in no harm is done
So let's take a hypothetic situation. A nice cool day. A father in charge has to go to sex-shop and since he cannot abandon a kid, he takes a kid with him. He doesn't want to take the kid inside, so he close him/her inside a car, which is properly shut down, gives the kid a toy and go inside the store to make some urgent purchases. Meanwhile somebody notices an abandoned kid in the car and call the police. Will the father be charged?
Hm... Maybe experiment is needed...
I put it humorously, but I had a friend who always took her 11-years daughter when she went shopping or visited me. Poor girl had to listen to our boring conversation or to be bored to death while her Mom had fun looking at woman's underwear I asked why she didn't left her daughter home and she explained that if neighbors figure out, they can call the police and she will have to pay fee. Maybe she was paranoid, I do not know.
Shura Balaganov
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Jason Menard: calls aren't all made by the parents who have mistakenly done this, but by other concerned people.
Map: if neighbors figure out, they can call the police
These "other concerned people" really bother me. Maybe some people have nothing better to do than stick their nose into someone else's business... I think there's something troubleing in a fact that it is a norm in a society to squeal. Whether it is a coworker, your neighbor, or kid at school. Maybe these "squealing" neighbors should get off their lasy arse and help with a kid once in a while?
On second thought, you might not want that help... :roll: Is there a fine for leaving your kids with careless adults?
Shura
[ August 26, 2002: Message edited by: Shura Balaganov ]
Jamie Robertson
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"Also, I assumed that the parents aren't idiots to leave a kid in a locked car when it's hot, or leave a kid in a running vehicle - these are obvious dangers, but the law only said about "leaving a kid in a locked car" without details. Maybe I misunderstood then, and the law is only applied after something happened, in the rare case parents *are* idiots? " -- Map
This gave me a good laugh! Both the part where you assumed that parents weren't idiots, and then you tried to tell me that is a rare case when parents *are* idiots. Unfortunately here in North America, there is a good percentage of parents that are idiots. In addition to the idiots you have to account for the lazy, the stupid, and the parents that fail to plan ahead, thus leaving them in situations that may 'force' them to temporarily leave their children unattended.
There was a heart wrenching story in Southern Ontario where a mother left her children in the car to get her hair done at the hair salon( for over 2 hours ). When she returned, the kids were dead from heat stroke. The eldest of the two was found holding the dead infant and had bloodied fingers from trying to scratch his way through the door. I guess some kids might have known to unlock the door, but he didn't.
The reason the laws are there, is because there is a need to protect the children. Be that from themselves, from some child predator, or from the environment that they are left in, there was enough of these situations going on that warranted strict laws to protect the children.
on a lighter note,
as to your hypothetical situation, maybe he should find a babysitter ( planning ahead )??

Jamie
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Shura Balaganov:
These "other concerned people" really bother me. Maybe some people have nothing better to do than stick their nose into someone else's business...

If your neighbor had a kid who always seemed to have some new bruise every time you saw him, had limbs in casts a few times a year, and was frequently kept home from school, would you think there might be a problem in that household, or would you pay no attention because it was "none of your business"? How about if your neighbor had a kid who was often left unsupervised, was attired in old clothes that were too small for him and in disrepair, seemed very skinny for his age, and was generally unclean and unkempt?
Would you call the police or family services in any of these cases, would you assume there was some rational explanation, or just plain ignore the situation altogether because it didn't affect you and was really none of your business?
You might be assuming that the parents who are being "squealed" on are basically good parents who have really done nothing wrong and there is no pattern of abuse or neglect. All to often though the parents are not basically good parents, and there is some pattern of long term abuse or neglect.
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
From how the law is formulated it seems that the parents will be charged even in no harm is done

I expect that in cases such as this, the parents are simply given a verbal warning. I expect it would have to be something drastic in order for the police officer to do anything other than a simple warning. They don't like needless paperwork any more than the next person.
gives the kid a toy and go inside the store to make some urgent purchases.

Hopefully this toy didn't come from a previous visit to this same store.
 
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subject: Not trying murderers in criminal court because of their age