Friday, February 25, 2005

Tried As Adults Part 2

In July I published my opinion on the sad, brutal case of the two Ephrata boys who will be tried as adults for the murder of their playmate.  Today the Washington State Supreme Court upheld the Appeals Court decision, which I believe compounds error upon error.  This is unjust, an expression of narrow judicial interpretation at the very fringe of the sensible warm motion of human experience; so much so that it is barely recognizable as a human response.

That the legislature is mulling over a bill to waive mandatory minimum sentences in cases where defendants are convicted as teens is proof of the anxiety provoked by this case.  If the two boys are factually guilty (which has yet to be proven in a court of law) they need to be punished and rehabilitated.  And although I feel sympathy for them, society--not the victim's family--is responsible for justice, which also includes mercy in extenuating circumstances.  An extenuating circumstance in this case is the extreme youth of the defendants.  Had the Washington State Supreme Court been in Solomon's place, the child in the parable would have been split in two with an axe and each half given to the women who claimed to be his mother.

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