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Thursday, February 9, 2012

On Sending Kids to Jail Part 2

Yahoo news reads "Mo. teen gets life with possible parole in killing."

Last October, our local news was agog and commentators were on a frenzy over a bill being pushed in the Lower House that proposes to lower the age of children that may be jailed for delinquency. This came after a group of kids were caught opening taxis trapped in traffic, and the barely teen rascals robbing the passengers while traffic police took shelter under the glare and heat of the sun. One of the kids later died in a vehicular accident.

The bill pushers said sending delinquents to DSWD is not enough because most of these kids are under the protection of syndicates composed of professional lawbreakers. That delinquents just go through this whole cycle of breaking the law, being sent to DSWD, being released to the streets, then going back to breaking the law until they're 18 (If they ever rich that age.). By that time, they have already turned into hardened criminals, and it would be too late.

Now, going back to this Yahoo news about an American kid facing a possible life sentence for a cold-blooded killing of another kid.

"A Missouri teenager who had described the slaying of a young neighbor girl as an "ahmazing" thrill made an emotional apology Wednesday to the girl's family and was sentenced to a potential lifetime in prison.

"...during her two-day sentencing hearing, prosecutors referred repeatedly to an entry Bustamante wrote in her journal on Oct. 21, 2009 — the night of Elizabeth's death — in which she admitted to having just killed someone.

"I strangled them and slit their throat and stabbed them now they're dead," Bustamante wrote in her diary, which was read in court by a handwriting expert. "I don't know how to feel atm. It was ahmazing. As soon as you get over the 'ohmygawd I can't do this' feeling, it's pretty enjoyable. I'm kinda nervous and shaky though right now. Kay, I gotta go to church

"Bustamante then left for a youth dance at a Mormon church her family attended while hundreds of volunteers began a two-day hunt for the dead girl. Although she initially lied to authorities about Elizabeth's whereabouts, Bustamante eventually confessed to police and led them to Elizabeth's leaf-covered shallow grave.

"...Under Missouri guidelines, Bustamante would have to serve 35 years and 5 months in prison before she is eligible for parole, said Department of Corrections spokesman Chris Cline. It's also possible that the more than two years Bustamante spent in jail while awaiting her sentencing could be counted toward that time.

"After spending several weeks at a diagnostic prison, Bustamante could be placed in either one of Missouri's two female prisons or sent out of state. Cline said department officials also would evaluate whether Bustamante should be kept separate from other adult woman inmates."

Now, wouldn't that be a great material for those pushing for the bill of lowering the age of kids who can be sent to prison?

But look here:

"Defenses attorneys had argued for leniency after presenting evidence from family members and mental health experts about Bustamante's troubled childhood. Bustamante was born to teenage, drug-abusing parents; her father was imprisoned and her mother abandoned her, leaving her in the legal custody of her grandmother."

That's a girl we are sending to jail. She has been sentenced to life's cruel prison even before she was born. So what's new anyway?

From On Sending to Kids to Jail, posted October 12, 2011.

"Let us punish the children because our society has gone blind. We have children becoming parents at the first strike of puberty. Do we offer them condoms and contraceptives to avoid pregnancy? Or do we offer shelter, food, education, and care?

"Let us punish the children committing crimes from petty to bizarre. That is the easiest way, so much easier than taking care of them, right?"

(Please, click Part 1 here for the link.

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