How many times of you heard on the news about some underage teens beating, molesting, robbing, raping and murdering someone and basically getting off with no more than a slap on the wrist? If they are convicted, chances are the worse that will happen to them is that they are placed in juvenile detention until they turn 18 or possibly 21. Then, in most cases, they are released back out into the public, regardless of how cruel and vicious their crimes were.
I know of one parent who had a 17-year-old son who was caught physically assaulting and robbing another teen. When the mother confronted him, he shrugged the whole thing off telling her that it was no big deal since the worse that could happen to him was spending only 1 year in juvy and then he’s free.
But what about the victim? What does the law really do to help a young victim recover physically and emotionally?
Consider what happened recently at Alief Middle School, in Houston. On May 5, three boys grabbed a girl and shoved her into the boy’s bathroom. Two of the boys’ gang raped the girl while the third boy took photos and video with his cell phone. Allegedly, a fourth boy was also in the bathroom and watched the entire incident.
To start with, a month after the rape, no charges have yet been filed against any of the boys. After the girl reported the rape, the school claims they launched an investigation. They say the three boys were removed from the school and their cell phones were confiscated, but one month later, police have yet to file any charges. The school claims they will prosecute to the fullest letter of the law, but that has yet to happen and they’ve said nothing about the welfare of the girl.
Parents of students at the school are outraged because they were not notified about the incident or the danger on the campus until a month after the rape. Can you imagine being the parent of a girl attending that middle school and finding out that a month earlier a girl of your daughter’s age was gang raped on campus?
Adam Selph, a parent told the local media:
“It’s crazy. It’s just unbelievable.”
“As a parent of a young child, I mean, it could be anyone’s child in there. If it could happen to one child, it could happen to mine, and I want to know what’s going on. I want to be informed.”
Other comments included:
“Unfortunately, given their ages, this won’t amount to much because we cannot be too hard on our young thugs. After all, tough punishment might make them feel bad. The victim on the other hand, will live with this the rest of her life and will never be the same again.”
“…(I)n our ‘no fault, no responsibility, blame everyone but the thug’ society the fullest extent of the law won’t amount to much. [School officials have] an impossible job trying to do what is right in a society that just will not stand for holding someone responsible.”
“That’s what happens when you let the internet raise your kids.”
“What doofus thought the best way to handle it was to write a letter?”
“Another example of the decline and fall of today’s youth.”
If the boys are prosecuted, what’s the worst that could happen to them? Being they are 7th and 8th graders, they probably range in age of 13-14, meaning they could spend 4 to 5 years in juvenile detention or lock-up. To many of today’s young thugs, that’s no real deterrent and many just shrug it off, realizing that they’ll be free at 18 to continue their lawless life.
Like the one comment stated, the girl will have to live with this for the rest of her life. Many female victims never get over being raped and makes having any kind of relationship with a man virtually impossible. What does the law do for her? How fearful will she be in 4-5 years when her attackers are freed? Will she ever feel safe or secure anywhere?
Social do-gooders claim that tweens and young teens really don’t understand right and wrong and therefore shouldn’t be punished that harshly. I say that’s a load of manure. At 13 and 14 years of age, I certainly knew what was right and wrong and so do most young people that age.
So what should happen to them? In my opinion, the boys should be locked up for as many years as the law allows. Once they reach legal age, generally 18, don’t set them free, just move them from juvy to an adult prison where they will serve the remained of their time. I don’t believe there should be any parole or early release for sexual offenders and that they need to serve every day of their sentence. Perhaps some will think twice before doing the same thing. I’m a firm believer in the old expression: ‘commit the crime, do the time.’
Additionally, I believe the criminal and his or her family need to be held financially responsible to support the necessary care and therapy of the victim.
It’s time we start making Americans accept responsibility for their actions, both bad and good. I don’t care about someone’s background or situation ethics. Everyone chooses what they do and how they react. People from horrible backgrounds grow up to be model citizens and people from affluent families grow up to be some of the worst criminals in society. We choose for ourselves and we should be willing to accept the consequences for those decisions.
If it were up to me, those three boys would spend no fewer than 25 to 30 years locked up, starting in juvenile and ending up in adult prison. No probation and no parole. They knew what they were doing was wrong and now they need to be held accountable. If more kids like them ended up locked up for years beyond juvenile, I’m certain some will reconsider their actions and opt not to do the crime since they don’t want to do the time.
And once they and their families have to start paying for the rehabilitation of their victims, it not only helps the victims, but will force parents to start keeping better control of their kids. It’s time we do more to take care of victims than we do to care for the criminals!