I love to lawyer-bash as much as the next guy, but keep in mind that the client always has the final say in these decisions. The lawyer could be Johnny Cochran and the mother could be Marilyn vos Savant, but if she's got an emotional obsession to take it to trial, the lawyer must comply with her wishes.What appears criminal to me is an apparent failure to counsel the defendants and a life sentence in an adult prison for a child.
"Child" is a slippery little term. Many people consider 17-year-olds to be children, even the ones that have been in gangs for years and committed any number of violent attacks on others. There are plenty of children - the vast majority, I would say - who are capable of the most basic comprehension of right and wrong. That they haven't hit the arbitrarily-set legalistic point of 18 years on this planet does not automatically absolve them from guilt.
The American justice system isn't about rehabilitation, it's about revenge.
Yup. Like it or not, there are some crimes so heinous that the pepetrator will be considered incorrigable. Or that society will simply decide the person's action was sufficiently horrible that he has forfeited the right to "rehabilition."
Besides, if it wasn't about revenge, or at least punishment, there'd be no real reason to have a justice system at all. "Kill all you want, we'll understand!"posted by aaron at 1:58 PM on March 9, 2001
Tate was convicted of first-degree murder. First-degree murder is premeditated murder. The cases are thus comparable.posted by aaron at 4:03 PM on March 9, 2001
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