In the Colville 5th graders case in Washington state, a judge had to meet seven factors in order to try the 10 and 11-year-old boys for a plot to rape and murder a female student. And that's because he says that Washington state law believes that a child between the ages of 8 and 12 just doesn't have the capacity to commit crime, according to News Channel 8.
Washington state law isn't taking into account the crimes committed by youth all over America every day, obviously, like here. But they are also trying to ensure that youth who make a mistake also get the chance at their young age to right that wrong without it impacting them for the rest of their life. The problem is that some youth might not take advantage of that opportunity for the good of themselves and their community, going on to be a menace to society as they age.
So if the judicial system in Washington state can find that the very young criminals in their area knew what they were doing was wrong, can be proven to have tried to be secret about their intentions, told a potential victim not to tell, and have done something wrong of a similar nature in the past--and received some sort of consequence for the action, then it would go towards proving that an exception exists that warrants prosecution now.
The maturity level of the children and whether they had previously acknowledged the wrong done earlier is also a factor when determining if prosecution is warranted in a case in Washington state involving children aged 8 through 12.
One of the boys in this case had already been suspended from school at Fort Colville Elementary previously, according to KXLY. He had brought liquor to the school campus and stolen musical instruments while there. He also admitted stealing the gun from his brother's room that he was going to use in the alleged crime, according to a teacher's aide named Richard Payette.
Thank goodness, another 10-year-old boy who became aware of the plot was quick to tell an adult about the plan that would have resulted in the harm and death of a child at the school. And the amazing thing was that the plot had been hatched and planned for two weeks, with the day of the event upon them before it was thwarted by another child.
KGW reported that the grandmother of one of the boys accused took the stand for the defense and said that her grandson often pretended that he was in the "Zelda" fantasy video game.
And that raises another concern: Will video games be seen as a possible instigator of the violence contemplated by the Colville 5th graders, or will it be used as a defense for a child who would have committed the crime regardless?
Photo credit: Wikimedia.org