Adult Court V. Child


Campbell Photo

My mom and i after running the Colleen Ritzer Road Race in her memory.

Picture this: a loved one, or even a stranger, does something so horrible to you, but the consequences are not nearly as bad as the crime because this person is under 18. You would want them to be charged as an adult, right?

Since 1966, “individuals 14 years or older who are charged with murdered are automatically charged as adults, and before that they were handled by juvenile courts” according to a  Wbur Article.

In 1966,  Morris Kent (16 years old) was convicted with three home burglaries, three robberies, and two accounts of rape, but because of the extent of his actions, the big question was “should Morris Kent be moved and convicted in an adult court?”This was what the case of Kent v. United States attempted to decide. The judge moved him to the adult court but then his lawyer tried to get him back to a juvenile jail where the penalties were much less severe. The big factors that kept Kent in an adult court were the extent of his crimes, the repetition of them, and the fact that he was on probation from the age of 14-16.

Fast forward to 2013 when there was a case of freshman Philip Chism committed 1st degree murder, sexual assault, armed robbery, attempted murder (at his old school), and comitted agrivated rape in his 14 years of life. Chism was a student at Danvers High School who was caught as the criminal who killed and raped his teacher Colleen Ritzer. Chism absolutely deserved to be put in an adult court and this case was just so incredibly heartbreaking to so many people and the fact that it’s a school we all know well is crazy. It proves that big problems can happen anywhere to anyone. After two years and two months since the crime occured, they finally convicted him in an adult court with 1st degree murder, which in my opinion was well deserved. 

(2019) Alec Mckinney (16 years old) was one of the two alleged school shooters in Highlands Ranch Colorado at the STEM School. Mckinney was faced with 40 felony charges in the adult court system because of his violence and drive to kill. 

A counterclaim that the lawyers for these criminals used was to blame it on the criminal’s mental health and essentially put the blame on anyone but the people who have committed the crime. It is 100 percent understandable that mental health is incredibly important and people can act out if it is not taken care of and if their needs are not met, but at what expense? People have been killed, injured, robbed, assaulted, etc. A student’s  mental health comes first before schoolwork, and activities but not before other people’s lives. These people who have lost their lives and their families and friends will never ever be the same again and these crimes should not be taken lightly at all. 

If you murder, and or sexually assault another human being no matter the age or state of mind you absolutely should be put in an adult court. The STEM school shooter’s lawyer claimed that McKinney has been through a lot; he is transgender and his father abused him in an unstable household. 

So my question for them is;  if he has been through so much and been hurt physically and mentally then why on earth would he want anyone else to ever feel that horrible pain that he went through?