Monday 12 January 2009

The disposition of dangerous young offenders

In 1993, I was invited to submit a brief on the disposition of dangerous young offenders by the ‘Young Offenders Project’ of the Department of Justice in Canada. What follows is my brief.WARNING: It is not for the squeamish.

Many of the young criminal elements of today (and in the past) are of the belief that they are immortal, immune and imposing when in fact, they are, immoral, implacable and impetuous.

The Young Offenders Act was legislated to protect these young offenders from injustice but at the same time, is was supposed to be legislated to protect everyone else from these young criminal elements that would steal, burn, destroy, maim, rape and kill.

Something went wrong in what was to be one of the greatest pieces of legislation ever created for Canadians. In a few words, the wrong I speak of is 'determining the age of criminal responsibility'.The following is a case in point.

Bob (a pseudonym) Irwin was not a normal 14-year-old. Normal boys don't practice in Satanism, carve 666 on their chests with hunting knives, show their genitals to girls at a dance, threaten other teens with knives and communicate with someone called Eddie residing in their minds. There was something very wrong with this boy. Around 7:00 in the morning of April 12, 1985, the wrongness in this boy erupted towards his family with the same fury as Mount St. Helens erupted towards the landscape surrounding it four years earlier.

Methodically, he had made his way up stairs and then to the closet in which was stored his father's Globe .303-calibre sniper rifle. After handling it for a while, and placing the shells (used for killing big game) into it, he crept into his parent's room and when he was standing next to his mother's side of her bed and had stared at her for about five minutes, (occasionally lifting the gun and sighting it at his mother's head) he screamed an obscenity at his mother and then squeezed the trigger. The slug tore into his mother's head and almost decapitated her. Joyce Irwin, 34, never knew what hit her and she died instantly.

The boy's father, Arthur Irwin, startled by the loud explosion in his room, sat up with the stench of gunpowder in his nostrils and the blood and brains of his dead wife on his face, and exclaimed his last words, "What the Hell.” Bob ejected the empty cartridge and slammed home another. The last thing Arthur heard was the obscenities screamed at him by his son and the explosion of the gun before the slug penetrated the bridge of his nose. The impact tore his head off. Then Arthur's headless body flopped back onto its bed.

Meanwhile, downstairs, Bob's 7-year-old sister, who had up to now, been watching cartoons on TV with a Cabage Doll in her arms, was startled at the two gun shots. She was petrified and couldn't move. Then she saw her older brother coming towards her with the barrel of the rifle aimed at her. She began sobbing.

She called out for her mom and dad but she must have known all along that they weren't able to save her. She begged Bob not to kill her by calling out to him, "Please.......don't." Bob had no mercy in his heart for Kelly. As she put up her right arm in a futile attempt to stop the third and final slug being fired by Bob that morning, he squeezed the trigger and the slug plowed a furrow along her arm before piercing her chest. She didn't die right away but instead, slowly drowned in her own blood.

As I said earlier, Bob was not a normal boy. A great many people after commiting such a heinous crime would suddenly come to their senses and call the police. Bob, on the other hand was a psychopath (sometimes called, sociopath) and he felt no remorse whatsoever. In fact, he found it quite amusing. He even went so far as to invite some of his friends over to his house to look at the bodies of his family.

As to be expected, Bob was arrested, charged and tried for three counts of first degree murder. Now the problem facing Provincial Court Judge Cecil Ball was whether or not Bob was insane or was simply a legally sane cold-blooded mass murderer.

Evidence was submitted by two psychiatrists that Bob was insane when he killed the three members of his family. Not being a pyschiatrist and not having heard their testimony, I cannot criticize Judge Ball for concluding that Bob was sane. Section 16 of the Criminal Code of Canada clearly states that Bob couldn't be convicted of murder if it was established that he suffered from a disease of the mind to such an extent that that disease rendered him incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of his act or knowing that his act was wrong.

From what I know from talking to one of his friends and from reading the accounts of the murders in the newspapers, I doubt that he was insane. He certainly knew that he killed his family. If fact, when he called his friend on the phone right after the murders, he screamed, "I did it! I did it!" Hardly the actions of a person who didn't know what he had done.

Judge Ball in his decision said in part; "Each murder was planned and deliberate. I am satisfied from the evidence presented that he intended to kill (his family) and knew they would die if he shot them. He did perceive the nature and quality of the act." unquote.

As to be expected, Bob was sentenced to three years in close custody. Then to quote a well-worn colloquialism, 'the shit hit the fan.' Everyone was aghast. Three years for killing three human beings, one of them a child.

It had been hoped by his lawyer and the crown prosecutor that Bob would be found insane and then sent to a mental hospital where he could be treated before being released.

Unfortunately, such treatment was not available to him in that manner. Psychiatric treatment was offered to Bob while he was incarcerated at the Syl Apps Institution in Oakville but he refused to take it. That shouldn't have come to anyone as a surprise. A psychopath is hardly going to accept treatment when he doesn't need to. And there was no way he could be forced to take it. He was being released in three years whether or not he chose to take psychiatric treatment.

Judge Ball could have ordered Bob to be placed in a mental hospital during that three-year period of incarceration. Section 20(1)(i ) of the Young Offenders Act permits a YOA judge to send a young offender to any hospital which will treat the offender. Of course, if he had done this, it's conceivable that Bob would not have accepted any psychiatric treatment in the hospital either and the hospital psychiatrists, unless they were convinced that Bob was insane, or were convinced in their minds that upon his release, he would harm others or himself, would be forced to release him after his three-year term was up.

What this boils down to is that sentencing a 14-year old multiple murderer to a correctional institution for what was then a maximum three-year term was unsatisfactory. At that time, had he placed a bomb on a commercial aircraft and killed 300 persons and then been judged sane, he still would have been sentenced to only three years and no more.

In the eyes of society, a terrible injustice had been done--not only to the memory of the three murdered victims, and to their surviving relatives, but to the psychic of Canadians everywhere.

A study conducted by researchers Alan Leschied and Peter Jaffe, which was published in the Canadian Journal of Criminology in 1987, showed that the more a youth needs treatment, the less likely he is to get it. They concluded that the most disturbed offenders refuse treatment and if they have a choice in the matter, they would rather serve their time in jail than a mental hospital. To them, it is better to be referred to by their peers as bad than mad and quite frankly, that logic makes a lot of sense. A man can live with a past in which he was jailed but it would be difficult for him to live down the fact that he had at one time been judiciously considered criminally insane. His friends will accept him as a reformed criminal before they will accept him as a former crazy man released from a hospital for the criminally insane.

It is rare for young people to kill their parents. Some obviously kill their parents out of greed or fear or because some demon (so they claim) is urging them on. To kill for these reasons is not as complex psychiatrically as it is for a young person to kill out of a desire to reclaim his or her 'stolen identities'. Such killers feel they have lost their place in society. For example, a once proud family who has done well financially suddenly finds itself on the welfare rolls. Or another family has acquired great wealth but not gained the social acceptance it craves. In such families, parents may become heavily dependent upon their children for their own social needs such as excelling in sports or academically. Sometimes this reversed dependence becomes so intense, the child's own identity is smothered and he struggles to break free and finally does so by killing those around him who are symbolically burying him alive.

Of course, this fits the pattern of a great many families in Canada and elsewhere and yet those families are not murdered like the Irwin family was. What then, causes the occasional young person being 'smothered to death' to murder his parents and his siblings when thousands of others in the same situation merely scream at their families?

'Bob' Irwin claimed it was a demon inside of him that urged him to destroy his family. If that is so, then when the authorities released him three years after his trial, (remember, he refused treatment while he was incarcerated) that means that his demon is still inside his mind ready to urge him on to kill others who get in his way.

Of course, there might not have been a demon inside of him all along. Often these so-called demons materialize after the accused persons have met their lawyers and then after their trials and after they have gone before a medical or parole board that is to determine their fitness to return to society, their 'demons' miraculously disappear--never, never to return----that is until the next time when the 'demon' will serve its purpose as a means of avoiding getting convicted of first degree murder.

In Florida, when Stephen Benson used a remote control device to trigger several bombs he used to kill his mother and younger brother, it was partly because of greed and malice but his motives were far more complex that those basic causes. His act was that of a young man socially detached from morality and reality who had been attempting to carve a nitch of his own in a society he felt wouldn't accept him as an individual because of his own family's unconscious attempts at stifling his ability to forge his own identity.

Harry de la Rocha Jr., killed his parents and two brothers in 1976 in Monvale, New Jersey but prior to those murders, he had been an obedient child. The trouble was that his father was oppressive and demanding and Harry, in his attempt to escape his omnipotent father, struck out and killed his entire family.

These common elements are present in Canada, the USA, England, Japan and other countries where striving to be different and to be an individual recognized for his own worth is commonplace. But as I said earlier, very few young persons wipe out their entire families for these reasons. There has to be something more sinister in their minds than just trying to escape their parent's smothering ambitions for them

The only word that comes to mind is the word 'evil'. There have been two good movies produced that emphasize the evilness in children. The first one was called "The Bad Seed" which is about a young girl who liked to kill human beings. The second one was called "The Good Son" and is about a young boy with the same desires. Of course, they are only movies but they do point out the possibilities that some children are simply outright evil--demons or no demons. These children simply don't care about anybody--neither their parents, their siblings, their teachers, their classmates or their closest friends. Most live into middle and old age as psychopaths who cheat on their exams, steal from their friends, rob old ladies, assault and otherwise abuse their own families, drive their cars when they are drunk, abuse their employees, and in many cases, rob and or rape and sometimes kill their victims--the list is endless. In other words, these kinds of people are simply rotten SOBs. But before they matured into rotten SOBs, they were rotten SOBs when they were small children.

It is these rotten SOBs that come into our courts claiming that the devil made them do it when it actuality, it was their rotten character all along that was to blame. They fit the classic psychopathic syndrome.

The question which comes to the fore is whether or not we as a society can change the ways of psychopathic children who are destined to grow up to be shyster lawyers, unprincipled businessmen, quack doctors, money-seeking, high-pressure evangelists, crooked politicians, impostors and fraud artists and in some instances, rapists, murderers and multiple or serial murderers. My answer to that is--yes. I have always maintain that children are not born wrong-- they are brought up wrong.

If children are cared for by their parents in a loving manner and allowed to grow up as individuals and not more or less forcibly brought up as clones of their parents and if the children are told the differences between right and wrong, fair and unfair, decent and indecent and their parents make some effort to see that their children associate with other children who are also brought up right and if they don't let their children run wild in the streets at all hours, the chances are that their children will grow into law-abiding, normal adults capable of empathizing with others. Such children do not murder their families, rape old ladies, rob tourists, drunks and old people, break into homes and steal and create havoc, commit arson, carry guns and knives, push drugs and generally act in an anti-social manner that invariably lands them in jail or in the morgue.

By the age of 3, a child can be at risk of a life of crime by virtue of experiences it has both prior to birth and after its birth. It has been a well established fact that mothers who take illicit drugs or drink alcohol or for that matter even smoke cigarettes can cause harm to the fetus such as cutting off its oxygen supply, thereby causing irreparable damage to its brain. A child up to the age of 3 must have a good affectionate relationship with at least one person, preferably its mother otherwise the child will have difficulty in its later life of not being able to have empathy with others. If the child has had a great deal of negative experiences during those early formable years, it may not be possible to head off its life of violence which is to follow. Further, having children under seven years watching violent television can do harm to them as their perception as to what is right and wrong is not fully developed and they can also have the wrong conception of how to attain goals and they will invariably build up a distrust in others.

A study done in the United States a number of years ago told of the 3 million kids in the USA suffering from chronic serious psychiatric problems and as many as 22 million kids in the USA needing psychiatric treatment of some kind. It's isn't surprising there are so many young killers in that country. If they don't kill when they are children or youths, many of them will do so when they grow into disturbed adults.

It is with stunning frequency that we are reading about children who kill and I am not talking about 17-year-olds either.

In January 1992, a 4-year-old boy shot his father in the head with his father's .38 pistol. In March 1986, a 5-year-old killed a 3-year- old boy by pushing him off a fifth-story stairwell. In November 1987, a 5-year-old boy stabbed a 2 l/2 -year-old girl 17 times, But in these cases, it is obvious that these small children didn't really understand the significance of their deeds. All the authorities could do is caution the children and ask them not to do it again.

But it is doubtful that a six-year-old doesn't know that a person can drown if held under water since most six-year-olds have experienced being under water when swimming. For example, In June, 1981, in Xenia, Ohio, a six-year-old boy, with the help of a ten-year-old boy, led a 2-year-old girl to a drainage pond and held her head under water until she drowned.

But when the child reaches the age of seven, there can be no doubt that a child of those years understands what death is all about. It has been said that an average child, by the time that child reaches eighteen, he or she has watched 26,000 murders on television. It is conceivable then that a child of seven has watched over 1,500 murders or deaths in its previous year. The average child knows how death is brought about.

For example, in 1983, a 7-year-old Queens, N. Y. boy killed a 2-year-old boy by throwing him off the roof. To suggest that a 7-year-old doesn't know the consequences of throwing someone off the roof of a building is bordering on the ludicrous. That kid knew very well that his victim would be killed as soon as he hit the pavement. He knew that he would be taking a human life. He knew that he would be in trouble as soon as the authorities discovered his deed. He knew he would be punished for his crime. He knew that what he did was very wrong. He was a killer and he knew that to.

In 1988, a seven-year-old girl in Akita, Japan, shot her mother because her mother wouldn't give her any candy. Now some would say that the child was not an evil child--just a child who didn't realize the enormity of what she had done. But this brat had previously cut of the tail of a cat with a hatchet and poured sugar in her uncle's new car.This brat is an evil child who at an early age, was a psychopath. To suggest that this child should be returned to her home with nothing more than a gentle reminder that she must behave, is stupidity to the nth degree. The prosecutor was opting for having the brat tried as an adult and sent to prison.

In October 1993, a 7-year-old boy in Scarborough, Ontario was turned over to the Children's Aid Society because he beat a 9-year-old mentally retarded girl and left her in a field. Will we be reading about him in the future when he beats old ladies?

The eight-year-old brats are no better. In Tucson, Arizona in December 1984, an 8-year-old boy beat two 13-month-old babies and when they cried, he stuffed Christmas ornaments in their mouths to stop their crying.

September 1984, an 8-year-old boy in Florida smashed in the head of a baby girl until she died. Surely when the baby screamed in pain, the boy knew he was doing something wrong to her and causing her pain. For this deed, he was charged with manslaughter.

Eight-year-olds don't just pick on babies who can't defend themselves, they pick on old people too frail to defend themselves. At least, that's what happened to George Thompson of Toronto who at the age of 83, was attacked by such a child (and others) when they robbed him of his money in February 1993.

Nine-year-olds are killers also. In May, 1981, two boys, one seven and one nine, pushed two four-year-old boys into a New York City bay. They watched their victims thrashing in the water in their vain attempts to float before they drowned. These two young killers knew their victims were drowning--were dying but that didn't matter to them. No charges were laid against the two young killers.

In September 1983, a nine-year-old boy and his seven-year-old brother sexually abused an eight-month infant girl and then beat her to death. The nine-year-old was convicted of first degree murder. In that state, (Florida) such a child would be held in custody until he reaches the age of 19.

Ten-year-olds tend to have a zeal for learning and recognize the need to be appreciated by their peers. Although most ten-year-olds are characteristically contented and casual in demeanor and they are by no means indifferent towards moral responsibilities. In matters of conscience, they are rather concrete--more aware of what is right and what is wrong. They generally don't harbour grudges or nurse hurt feelings but they do on occasion, strike out in primitive childish violence.

In January 1985, in West Palm Beach, Florida, a ten-year-old boy and his 13-year-old friend were jointly charged with stomping a six-year-old mute boy to death. The boys claimed they didn't mean to kill the boy--they were only fighting back when he fought them because they teased him originally.

That incident is different from that which occurred in Liverpool, England in February 1993. That case has merited world-wide attention.

Two ten-year-old boys abducted a two-year-old boy and marched him from a mall to a railroad track some considerable distance away. Evidence at the trial of the two boys showed that the young victim was sexually molested, kicked in the face when he was lying down, beaten with bricks, stones and an iron rod while he cried for his mother. Even when the young victim tried to rise, one or both beat him until he rose no more. Then they left his body on the railway tracks, its lifeless eyes staring skyward. Later, a train passed over the young victim's body, cutting it in two.

Society was aghast. Society was outraged. If it wasn't for the heavy security surrounding the young murderers, it's conceivable that they would have been lynched by the mob of outraged citizens in front of the police station holding them.

If that crime had happened in Canada, what would the authorities have done? What could they have done? Nothing. Under our present laws pertaining to young offenders, they would not be considered young criminals because Section 13 of the Criminal Code of Canada states;

13. No person shall be convicted of an offence in respect
of an act or omission on his part while that person was
under the age of twelve years.

This section, in effect, creates a conclusive presumption that a child under 12 years of age is incapable, as a matter of law, of committing a criminal offence. One can only presume that the people who wrote the Young Offenders Act concluded in their own minds that a child under the age of 12, such as the two ten-year-old murderers in Liverpool, England, are incapable of committing murder. And considering what occurred to the two-year-old victim they cruelly murdered, the conclusions of the bureaucrats who wrote the Act, borders on ludicrously.

So in effect, the two murderers could be simply returned to their homes and if the Children's Aid could find no fault in the parenting of these two young killers, the boys would get nothing more for their evil deed but a tongue lashing at least and a spanking at most. Does anyone really believe in their heart that that is the way to deal with two ten-year-old murdering psychopaths?

In Newark, New Jersey in November 1979, a ten-year-old boy stabbed a 8-year-old playmate to death because the playmate taunted him for refusing to play touch football. The ten-year-old was arrested but I don't know what the disposition of the court was.

In San Jose, California, in December 1882, a ten-year-old boy and two older boys tried to hang an 11-year-old boy from the cross bar of a school-yard swing but were unsuccessful because he was too heavy.

It is indeed rare that ten-year-old children murder other people but the Liverpool case is proof positive that ten-year-old murderers should be dealt with severely and not simply returned to their homes as if they were incapable of breaking the law.

If these two Liverpool children are convicted, they can be sentenced to imprisonment in a close custodial institution for an indefinite period of time.

In England, the age of criminal responsibility is ten years of age. I really believe that in Canada, our present limit of twelve years is not appropriate. To prove this point, let me go on to the criminal acts of 11 year-olds.

In Union City, California, in October 1992, an 11-year-old and three other youths were charged with stabbing to death a man who had arrived at the school to pick up his wife.

In Hayward, California in December 1980, an 11-year-old boy stuffed rocks into the pockets of a 5-year-old boy and then threw him into the water where the boy drowned.

In Janesville, Wisconsin, in December 1985, an 11-year-old girl, with two older children, stabbed and bludgeoned a nine-year-old boy to death because the young victim wouldn't give the girl his bicycle. The options for the judge hearing the case were, to releasing her to the care of her parents, putting her on probation, sending her to a foster home or a treatment facility. He could not put her in a close custody institution.

In Columbus, Ohio, in November 1982, an 11-year-old boy murdered a 14-year-old boy. His motive? A dispute over a Snakes and Ladders game.

In London, England, in the seventies, an 11-year-old girl strangled two young boys, ages three and four. The judge upon sentencing her stated that she was vicious, cruel and incapable of remorse. (He described a psychopath) She served nine years all told in various institutions before being finally released.

The question that would come to the fore is; "Should ten-year-old and eleven-year-old killers who with criminal intention to cause the death of other human beings be released to their parents or should such children be judged as having committed the criminal offence of first degree murder and then be sent to an institution where they would be treated?"

Another question that arises would be; "How long should ten-year- olds and eleven-year-olds convicted of first degree murder be locked up?"

I think the answers to those two questions should be; (1) The killer-children should be judged as having committed first degree murder and placed in young offender's institutions and (2) they should be in custody for a minimum of ten years.

To release such young killers to their parents or even send them to foster parents would in effect be giving those children (and other like-minded children) the message that a child of that age can get away with murder.

England will put that out of a young killer's mind. That country can legally can lock up a killer child indefinitely if the authorities feel that the child is not ready for release into society.

There are some who will argue that ordering a young killer to live with loving foster parents will do more to change the ways of such a child than placing him or her in an institution will ever do. In theory, that sounds like the right answer. But in reality, that doesn't always work. The child will subliminally believe that the reward for committing murder is to be placed into the loving arms of foster parents. If you think this is balderdash, consider the case of Steve Judy of Indianapolis, Indiana.

When Steve Judy was 12-years of age, he conned his way into an old woman's home and when he learned that she was alone, he raped her then he attacked her with a knife and hatchet. The knife broke off in her sternum after he had knifed her 41 times. She lost a finger in the knife attack. Then she was struck with a hatchet four times across her head. She lived despite the terrible ordeal she had gone through.

The judge hearing the case sent him to the youth division of the state mental hospital and the authorities there concluded that what Steve Judy needed was TLC (Tender Loving Care) so nine months later, they released him to live with foster parents who gave him the TLC he needed.

It is beyond me as to how Judy's psychiatrists could conclude that such an evil child could be cured in nine months but that wasn't the first nor was it to be the last time that such erroneous conclusions would be made on the part of psychiatrists world-wide.

When Steve Judy was 20 years old, he grabbed a woman on the street and repeatedly punched her head with his fists, nearly killing her in the process. For that attack, he got twenty months in prison. That didn't seem to have any effect on the young man. Less than a month after he was released from prison, he kidnapped a woman in her car but she managed to escape some time later. He pleaded guilty to theft of the car and because he was in jail for a year awaiting trial, the judge considered that time as being timed served and he was immediately released.

A few years later, Steve Judy tricked a young mother into pulling her car over to the side of the road and getting out to look at her tires. He had done this many times before with success and raped them. In any case, he forced the young woman and her three small children to go with him into the bushes near a small creek. On the edge of the creek, with the children out of sight, he raped the young woman and then strangled her to death. After completing that deed, he then picked up each of the small children and threw them into the creek where they drowned.

By now, the authorities were totally fed up with Steve Judy. For his last criminal acts, he was executed in the electric chair. He was 22 years of age when society wreaked its vengeance on him. A few weeks after his execution, his foster mother told the newspapers that Judy had confessed to her that he had killed more women than he could remember.

So much for tender loving care. Perhaps it works with some but in Steve Judy's case, it didn't and a young mother and her three infant children and probably other innocent victims died because of the mistaken belief that all Judy needed was TLC.

The Young Offender's Act is directed to those young criminal elements whose ages are from twelve years of age to and including seventeen years of age.That group is subdivided into two age groups. Those who are twelve and thirteen and those between fourteen and seventeen.

The Young Offenders Act states that the courts can order a young offender who is fourteen or older to be tried as an adult if it is in the best interests of society. Before dealing with the age group of fourteen through seventeen, I wish to comment on the types of twelve and thirteen-year- olds who commit crimes in our society.

In 1992, a 12-year-old boy living in Philadelphia in 1992, started a fire in the laundry room in the basement of his house. Then he ran out of the house without telling anyone about the fire. His young step sister died as almost two others who tried to rescue the little girl. The 12-year-old arsonist was charged with murder and arson and tried as an adult. I don't know the outcome of the trial.

In New York City, a 12-year-old boy in April 1978, broke into a 90-year-old woman's home with the purpose of robbing her. He kicked her down the stairs then beat her and stabbed her twice in her face. She died several months later from her injuries.

One is forced to ask, why did he think he could get away with this crime. Well, it seems that several months earlier, he had pushed his 15-year-old sister in front of an onrushing subway and he wasn't punished for that deed.

In Dallas, Texas, a 12-year-old boy, in November 1982, angered about the division of $3.75 worth of loot stolen from a vacant house, stabbed his best friend to death.

In Lancaster, California in February 1985, a 12-year-old boy "with no prior history of violence" ordered a school chum to put down a baseball that was in his hand. When the boy refused and turned and walked away, the 12-year-old grabbed a nearby gun and repeatedly shot the boy in the back, killing him. I don't know the disposition of the case.

In Pasadena, California in February 1993, a 12-year-old boy shot to death a bicycle shop owner because he was clearing the way for his friends to run in the shop undetected to steal bicycles. The judge hearing the case said that the killing of the shop owner was the act of a depraved person with a twisted mind. I don't know what the sentence for that first degree charge was.

In Lorain, Ohio, in January 1993, a 12-year-old and her 13-year- old friend planned to murder a school teacher. The 12-year-old told the older girl that she would pin the teacher's arms while the 13-year-old would stab her and then she told her older friend that if she (the 13-year-old) wouldn't stab her, then she (the 12-year-old) would do it. Fortunately, word of this plan went around the school and eventually the school authorities heard of it and the planned murder was thwarted.

In 1981, in Lisnakea, Ireland, a 12-year-old boy shot to death a soldier with a rifle. He was finally charged in 1983 with the murder.

By the time a child reaches the age of thirteen, there is a greater propensity to commit serious crimes. Thirteen is more complex to a child because adolescence is now under way.

In October 1985, in London, England, a 13-year-old boy was charged with stabbing a policeman to death during a riot.

In February 1983, a 13-year-old boy in Nineola, New York, shot his mother to death because she insisted that he go to school. He was prosecuted as an adult and subject to nine years life imprisonment.

In Miami, (date unknown) a 13-year-old girl with a record of 21 arrests, was convicted of beating a man to death after she and four companions broke into his home to steal from him. This young killer was tried as an adult and given 114 years and won't be eligible for release until she turns 51.

In 1979, a Welland 13-year-old boy drowned an 11-year-old boy in a city dump. For that, all he got was two years probation.

In August 1993, in Lovington, New Mexico, a 13-year-old boy murdered his two brothers ( 9 and 21 )by shooting them in the head while they slept.

In August 1993, in Rochester, New York, a 13-year-old boy was charged as an adult with second degree murder after sodomizing and strangling to death a 4-year-old boy.

In September 1993, in Miami, a 13-year-old boy gunned down a homeless man who refused to hand over a slice of pizza. He was charged with first degree murder. He, at the time of this writing, is still awaiting trial.

In that same month and year in the same city, another 13-year-old boy, with a history of 50 previous convictions, (with others) was charged with first degree murder in the slaying of a British tourist. He, at the time of this writing, is still awaiting trial.

In October 1985, in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, a 13-year-old shot to death a man who was washing his car. He was charged with first degree murder. I don't know the outcome of the trial.

In November 1987, in New York City, two 13-year-old boys doused a man sitting in an abandoned car with gasoline and set him on fire. He died in hospital the next morning and two young killers were charged with second degree murder. I don't know the outcome of their trials.

Children are often fascinated with fire (as are many adults) and children who are thirteen certainly know the destructive power of fire. It seems that knowing what fire can do, is sufficient reason for them to commit arson.

In January 1980, in Winnipeg, four 13-year-olds, residents of homes for wayward youths, broke into the offices of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Football Club and vandalized them and then set the offices on fire, causing $130,000 in damages.

In November 1993, in Toronto, a 13-year-old boy on three occasions in one 24-hour period, set fire to the same house.

Vandalism is quite common in children of these years but sometimes the cost is mind boggling.

In April, 1982, two 13-year-old boys joy-rided on seven concrete mixing trucks causing damage to them (two completely demolished) to the tune of $1 million dollars.

Thirteen-year-olds are also capable sexually assaulting their victims as stated in the next cases.

In March 1993, in London, England, a 13-year-old boy attempted to rape his school teacher at knife-point while a 14-year-old held her down.

In January 1993, in Metro Toronto, a 13-year-old boy sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl.

In September 1979, in Chicago, a 13-year-old boy raped a 2-year-old girl and as a result of that rape, the small victim required surgery.

In May 1986, in St. Catherines,Ontario, a 13-year-old boy sexually assaulted a four-year-old boy and then choked him. He was suspected of sexually abusing two five-year-old boys earlier.

Thirteen-year-olds are capable of unprovoked violence.

On October 1979, in Mississauga, Ontario, a 13-year-old boy, without any apparent reason at all, leaped on a nine-year-old girl and repeatedly beat her and then stabbed her in her abdomen. She lived.

One of the saddest incidents in Canadian crimes was brought about by a 13-year-old boy in Orangeville who strangled an eleven-year-old boy and his nine-year-old sister. He talked the eleven-year-old boy into going to a school after hours so that he could kill the boy in order to see what it would be like. When the boy arrived with his nine-year-old sister, the 13-year-old realized he could now have double the fun. He took the eleven-year-old boy into the girl's change room and with a rope, he strangled the boy to death. Then he went to the girl and after failing to strangle her with his arm around her neck, he placed the rope around her neck instead. As she was dying, her hands fluttering helplessly in the air, she told him that she would pray for him. Within a few minutes after her words of forgiveness were uttered by the dying girl, he choked the life out of her. This cold-hearted killer only got three years in a close custody institution for the murder of his two innocent victims.

It was when I read what had happened in this case that the words I gave in my speech before the United Nations in 1985 began to sink in again to me. I said as part of my address;

When innocent victims are killed, those deaths brings about
three kinds of victims. The first are the primary victims who suffer the pain and agony of their deaths. Those who are the family and friends of the primary victims are the secondary victims for they suffer from the anguish of having lost their loved ones. But there are another kinds of victims. It is those of us who are neither the primary or secondary victims----we are the peripheral victims who, by being apprised of the deaths of innocent victims, suffer also because when an innocent victim dies, a little of us dies also.

When a child turns fourteen, he or she is more easy going but also subject to moods and can be thrown into the depths of depression. There are inner conflicts that produce sudden outbursts of violent anger.

In 1984, a Nepean, Ontario, a 14-year-old boy was charged with manslaughter after he drowned a 12-year-old schoolmate after an argument.

In December 1985, in Portland, Connecticut, a 14-year-old boy, after having an argument with his principal, shot at him and his secretary with a 9-mm semi-automatic pistol, wounding both and then after fleeing the principal's office, he gunned down and killed the janitor who happened to be walking by.

In October 1983, in Richmond, Texas, a 14-year-old girl, after having an argument over the care of her rabbit, with premeditation, shot her father and step-mother to death while both were asleep in their beds.

In February 1986, in Jerusalem, an otherwise happy and cheerful 14-year-old boy, took his father's army-issue automatic rifle and entered the bedrooms of his parents and two sisters and shot them to death in their sleep.

In February 1985, in Texas, a 14-year-old boy shot his two parents to death. Motive? They scolded him over his hair style and for refusing to make his bed. He was released from an exclusive psychiatric facility when he turned eighteen and then inherited his parent's $1.2 million estate.

In April 1985, in Vernon, B.C., a 14-year-old boy suffocated his 30-month-old foster brother to death.

In August 1979, in Baltimore, a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old boy tied a seven-year-old boy to a board and lowered him into a 30-foot deep pond in a quarry and slowly drowned him. Then they demanded $300 ransom from his mother. They even bragged to the sister of the victim, "We've killed your brother." The judge sentenced both boys to life in prison saying that it was the most callous murder that had ever been brought before him.

In November 1985, in Tacoma, Washington, a 14-year-old girl shot two boys with a rifle, one of them dying at the scene.

In December 1984, in Thunder Bay, a 14-year-old boy stabbed a 13-year-old boy to death while both were in a Children's Aid group home. The young killer was found guilty of second degree murder and sent to a close custody treatment centre for three years.

In June 1985, in Cleveland, a 14-year-old boy shot a girl in her back for no apparent motive while they both watched a horror movie on television. She died. He was tried as an adult.

In June 1992, in Highland Park, California, a 14-year-old girl, angry at her father because he didn't approve of her 16-year-old boyfriend, plotted with her boyfriend and another friend to kill her father. They drugged him then killed him and after taking his body to the outskirts of the town, set his body on fire and buried him near some railway tracks.

In 1978, in Everett, Washington, a 14-year-old boy, who desired jewellry, money and cameras belonging to seven of his friends, plotted their deaths and while stealing the guns belonging to his uncle, he pulled one from the bag of guns he was carrying with him when his uncle and aunt spotted him and he shot his uncle to death. For this, he was sentenced to life in prison.

In January 1979, in New York City, two 14-year-old boys burglarized an apartment and then set it on fire to cover their tracks. Seven people in the apartment died in the fire. The two 14-year-olds were tried as adults and subject to life imprisonment.

In April 1983, in Russellville, Arkansas, a 14-year-old boy shot his mother and sister to death by shooting them in the back of their heads. He also shot his grandfather and stabbed his younger brother but both survived. He was described by his teachers as a model student and by the sheriff as an ideal child. He was tried as an adult for capital murder and the punishment for anyone tried as an adult for capital murder is life in prison without parole or the death penalty. I don't know what he was sentenced to.

In August 1979, in Vero Beach, Florida, a 14-year-old boy raped and killed a five-year-old girl. He was tried as an adult, subject to the death penalty although he wasn't executed. Incidentally, he had earlier threatened two young girls with a knife after kicking in their front door.

In July 1981, in Dallas, a 14-year-old boy shot his parents to death with a shotgun. In Texas at that time, he couldn't be charged as an adult as he wasn't 15 when the crime was committed. A juvenile judge couldn't sentence him to a term beyond his eighteenth birthday.

In February 1993, in Eustis, Florida, a 14-year-old boy, along with an 18-year old young man, kidnapped a woman and her two daughters, aged seven and three. The woman was raped by the two and later all three were shot. The woman survived but her daughters died.

The fifteen-year-olds can control their emotions but such youths are often gloomy and sombre. Often they feel all mixed up. They don't get as mad as they did when they were younger and are not so quick to fly off the handle. However, they are often caustic towards their parents and teachers. It is probably the result of the young adult trying to get out of the child's body. Many block their anger so that no-one sees it.

In June 1985, in Toronto, a fifteen-year-old and four others, ranging in age from 16 through 17 years, chased a school librarian, age 40, through a park to his car just after midnight. They beat him to death. Their motive? They wanted to beat a fag. They were all tried as adults and the 15-year-old, like the others, got nine years in prison. The psychiatrist who examined the 15-year-old stated that the boy had blocked his emotions and hidden his anger for years to the point that he was overly non-aggressive. One can only presume that the youth's pent-up anger exploded at the first opportunity, that opportunity arriving in that city park that fateful night
when an innocent man died.

In October 1985, in Brampton, a 15-year-old boy was charged with second degree murder after he stabbed a 63-year-old real estate woman to death in her home. He later stuffed her body in the trunk of her car and drove the car out of town and left the car and the woman's body in the parking lot of a large mall.

In May 1986, in Winnipeg, a 15-year-old boy sexually assaulted a 2-year-old girl he had been babysitting--with a broom handle. The baby died from infection and hemorraging.

In 1986, in Dedham, Massaschuetts, a 15-year-old boy blugeoned a classmate to death for the thrill of it. Then he proudly showed his classmates what he had done. He was tried as an adult and sentenced to life imprisonment.

In June 1992, in Timaru, New Zealand, a 15-year-old boy murdered another boy and was tried as an adult and sentenced to prison for life.

In October 1979, in Metro Toronto, a 15-year-old boy stabbed a seventeen-year-old boy to death by stabbing him in the stomach after slashing the victim in his face. He was charged with second degree murder. He was the seventh juvenile to be charged with murder in Ontario that year.

Sometime in the 80s, a 15-year-old boy in Port Credit, Ontario, shot his mother and seven-year-old sister to death with a high-powered rifle.

In June 1985, near Kale City, Colorado, a 15-year-old boy shot a sixteen-year-old boy and the boy's fifteen-year-old girlfriend to death.

In 1992, in a small hamlet near Sudbury, a 15-year-old boy tied a nine-year-old girl to a tree and then stabbed her to death. A judge originally ordered him to be tried as a young offender but that was appealed. At this writing, I don't know what the Court of Appeal has ruled.

In November l980, the police in Detroit cracked the "Browning Gang" which was a gang of youths headed by a 15-year-old youth. Many of their victims were kidnapped and held for ransom. It was later established by the police that as many as ten of their victims were murdered by this gang.

In November 1979, in Nashville, Tennessee, a 15-year-old girl, infuriated because she was hit with a paper wad by a classmate, later pulled out a large butcher knife and stabbed the classmate to death.

In May, 1981, in Youngstown, Ohio, a 15-year-old girl who had been continuously arguing with her mother, approached her mother and said, "I love you. Close your eyes. I have a surprise for you." She closed her eyes and her daughter opened fire and shot her mother to death.

In March 1982, in Pembroke, Ontario, two 15-year-old boys, along with a 16-year-old youth, beat and stabbed a 78-year-old man to death in his kitchen.

In January 1988, in Mission, B.C., a 15-year-old and two other youths were charged with murdering a couple and their two children, ages ten and eleven. They were hacked to death with an axe.

In November 1981, in New York City, a 15-year-old boy threw his sixteen-year-old girlfriend out of the first floor window into the back yard and then went to her and beat her to death with a brick and then set her body on fire.

In February 1982, in Chicago, two 15-year-old boys shot to death a teenager who had previously kissed one of the killer's girlfriends. They were tried as adults and found guilty of murder.

In May 1981, in San Francisco, a 15-year-old girl beat and shot a cab driver in the back of the head. She was charged as a juvenile and kept in an institution until she was 21 years of age.

In May 1992, in Cincinnati, a 15-year-old boy shot to death a man while the man sat behind the wheel of his truck. The youth was tried as an adult and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

In 1991, in Grande Prairie, Alberta, a 15-year-old boy shot his father to death while his father was standing next to his car and then the youth approached the car and shot his mother and his two sisters (10 and 12) to death while they sat in the car. After they were dead, he tore off some of his mother's clothes, exposing her breasts and vagina. He then towed his father's body behind a motorized three-wheeler to hide the body and then drove the car with the other three bodies in it to another part of their property. Having done that, he then went home to watch TV. He was tried as an adult. At the time of sentencing, he could have been made to serve ten years in prison. I don't know what he got.

In November 1986 in Toronto, a 15-year-old boy waited outside the home of his volunteer probation officer for three hours and when the unsuspecting man emerged from his house, the 15-year-old shot him in the head with a rifle, killing him. Despite the premeditation, the boy was tried as a juvenile.

In January 1985, in Arkansas, a 15-year-old boy stabbed and killed a 12-year-old boy and then later murdered two 70-year-old women. The people of that state had had enough of him and sentenced him to die by lethal injection. He is awaiting execution.

There are five others who committed their murders when they were fifteen years of age and they are presently awaiting their death sentences to be carried out by lethal injection. They will probably be executed when they are in their early twenties. .

Sixteen-year-olds seldom cry but their anger is often just below the surface. They will look for a good fight to relieve themselves of the pent-up anger welling up inside them.

In May 1983, in Tillsonberg, Ontario, a 16-year-old boy stabbed a 96-year-old woman to death in her apartment. He was charged with second-degree murder.

In April 1991, two 16-year-old boys, along with a 17-year-old boy, lured a 16-year-old friend to a sewer outlet where they then murdered their victim. They were tried as adults and the two 16-year-olds got 8 and 6 1/2 years in prison.

In February 1993, in Beijing, China, a 16-year-old boy lured a six-year-old boy away from his home and killed him. Then he sent a note to his victim's parents demanding $1.70 as ransom. He needed it for his school fees.

In March 1984, a 16-year-old girl attacked her father with a pick axe. After he returned home from the hospital, he discovered the body of his 20-year-old daughter under a bed. She had been strangled by the 16-year-old.

In April 1984, in Oakville, Ontari0, a 16-year-old boy (along with another teen) beat to death a 61-year-old woman who had been abducted by the two teens. Her partially clad body was discovered in bushes near her car on a concession road. He was charged as a juvenile.

in April 1985, in London, Ontario, a 16-year-old boy (along with two other teenagers) robbed and shot to death a cab driver. The boy was charged with first degree murder and tried as an adult. One of the other youths was convicted of second degree murder and got 15 years.

In February 1986, in Elk City, Oklahoma, a 16-year-old boy shot two toddlers in the head with a .38 caliber handgun and killed them. When the parents discovered what had happened, they called the father of the young killer to their home and when the father arrived, his son shot him also, severely wounding him in the abdomen. In Oklahoma, juveniles are automatically tried as adults if they commit murder.

in July 1988, in Toronto, a 16-year-old boy helped murder a 17 year-old runaway girl. She was sodomized with a bottle and then the 16-year-old, along with the other killer, a 17-year-old, choked her to death after placing a broom handle across her throat and stomping on hit. When the 16-year-old was sentenced to 10 years, he sneered. Will society be ready to cope with this sneering killer when he is finally released?

In September 1983 in Houston, a 16-year-old boy, along with three older youths, stabbed and choked a 19-year-old man. Their motive? They wanted to watch someone die.

In October 1990, a 16-year-old boy and his 17-year-old friend, planned the murder of another friend's mother and grandmother. Both victims were killed. The motive? The son of the murdered mother wanted to collect a $3 million inheritance and the others were to get a piece of the action.

In San Diego, a 16-year-old girl, opened fire as a sniper on a school yard and killed a school principal and a custodian and wounded nine others. She was tried as an adult and got 25 years in prison.

In June 1975, in a small town just north of San Franscisco, a 16-year-old girl urged her boyfriend to shoot her adoptive parents and then she helped place their bodies in a barbecue pit where the bodies were then burned.

In February 1988, in Rochester, Minnesota, a 16-year-old boy killed his parents and two siblings with an axe after having an argument with his father. He was charged with four counts of first degree murder.

In August 1980, in White Plains, New York, a 16-year-old boy (along with a 17-year-old boy) slipped out of a reform school one night and broke into the home of a 66-year-old bed-ridden man who was suffering from multiple sclerosis and dragged his 67-year-old wife down the stairs where they then sodomized her and killed her.

In March 1983, in Scarborough, Ontario, a 16-year-old boy shot to death a 17-year-old boy and then stuffed his victim's body in a box near the Metro Zoo. He was to be tried as an adult but his lawyer convinced the judge that the 16-year-old murderer would suffer too much if he had to serve 25 years in prison so he was tried as a juvenile.

In May 1993, in Cornwall, Ontario, two 16-year-old boys were charged with the stabbing to death of a 45-year-old man in his motel room.

In August 1978, in Vancouver, a 16-year-old boy, on a $10 bet, stabbed a 10-year-old girl to death while she was in the bathtub.

In 1979 in Ottawa, a 16-year-old boy beat and stabbed a 57-year-old man who was an amputee and a paraplegic and then he ordered a companion to pray for the man's soul while the 16-year-old boy poured lighter fluid over the dying man. The man was burned to death in the ensuing fire. The young killer was charged only with second degree murder. He was tried as an adult nevertheless and sent to prison for 20 years.

In 1993, in Germany, a 16-year-old extremist boy was charged with five counts of murder for the fire-bombing of a home in which five Turkish refugees lived. Four of the victims were two small girls.

In February 1993, a 16-year-old boy who idolized the likes of Charles Manson and Jeffrey Dahmer, disemboweled a five-year-old girl he was babysitting after shooting her in the head.

In 1974, in Los Angeles, a 16-year-old boy had an incestuous relationship with his sister and because he thought she was pregnant with his child, he placed the barrel of a gun in her mouth and shot her.

In May 1993 in West Memphis, Arkansas, a 16-year-old and two older boys killed three eight-year-old boys. The victims had been bound, hand and feet and their genitals had been cut away with a sharp knife.

By the time youths have reached seventeen, they have matured enough to fully understand the consequences of their actions and yet, they kill and maim as if they couldn't care a tinker's dam about the pain and suffering they have caused others.

In April 1991, in Balsam Lake, Wisconsin, a 17-year-old boy, grabbed a deer rifle and shot his parents, and his siblings, ages 10, 7 and 5 to death and then piled their bodies into a station wagon, drove it to a wooded area and then set the vehicle on fire. He was convicted of two counts of murder for killing his parents and ruled insane for killing his siblings. He must serve 27 years before he is eligible to apply for parole.

In April 1977, in Drumright, Oklahoma, a 17-year-old boy shot to death a highway patrolman. For that crime, he was sentenced to death.

In June, 1992 in a community just north of Metro Toronto, a 17-year-old boy killed his parents and 13-year-old sister with baseball bats. He was charged with three counts of first degree murder. I don't know if he was tried as an adult.

In 1979 in Belleville, Ontario, a 17-year-old killed a 32-year-old man in his apartment with a knife and hatchet. His motive? That old time-worn excuse---he was being molested.

In February 1993, in Ann Arbour, Michigan, a sixteen-year-old boy shot his girlfriend to death with a shotgun as she was laying in her bed so that in death, they could be together. He then shot himself.

In 1991 in Tacoma, Washington, a 17-year-old boy, in fear that his mother would scold him for a bad report card, murdered her with an ax and and a baseball bat. He got twelve years in prison.

In 1988, in New York City, a 17-year-old crack addict, committed a series of robberies in which he shot five people to death.

In October 1985, in Kenmore, New York, a 17-year-old boy killed his parents and 13-year-old brother because his parents were too poor to send him to an Ivy League college. Then after having done that, he drove his car down the street at a high rate of speed and plowed into another car stopped at a light for the purpose of killing himself. Unfortunately, he didn't die--but the 22-year-old driver in the other car did.

In November 1984, in Villa Park, Illinois, a 17-year-old girl and her boyfriend strangled her mother to death. Her motive? She didn't like being told what to do by her mother. She later told the police that she was glad her mother was dead and that she had helped strangle her. Both killers got 33 years in prison.

In August 1984, in a skid row area of Vancouver, a 17-year-old boy used a razor to carve his name on a man's chest. He then slashed and beat him to death. He was convicted of manslaughter. His lawyer argued that his client was a very average teenager. (I certainly hope that killing skid row men is not what the average teenager does) He got three years and was eligible for release in six months. Suppose he had done this to the premier of the province? Would he be treated so leniently? I think not.

In October 1977, in Columbia, South Carolina, a 17-year-old shot to death another 17-year-old boy in his car and then took the victim's 14-year-old girl to a nearby woods where he raped her. Then he shot her in the back of her head and mutilated her. In South Carolina, the juries don't treat these kinds of killers with kid gloves. There would be no three years in prison--no release in six months. They sentenced him to death and on January 10th l986, when he was 25, he was executed in the electric chair.

In 1975, in Texas, a 17-year-old boy shot and killed a jewelry store owner. In Texas, they don't pamper these kinds of killers either. His jury sentenced him to death and eight years later, he was executed by lethal injection.

In 1992, in Cardiff, England, two 17-year-old girls tortured a 70-year-old woman to death by slashing her face, stabbing her in her face and chest with a pair of sharp scissors and then strangling her with a dog chain. They were so proud at what they had done, they made up and sang songs of their deed to their friends. They were sentenced to prison for an indefinite time, which in England, means life.

In 1984, in Vancouver, a 17-year-old boy (who claimed that he had been sexually attacked by his 53-year-old victim--ohh, that old lame excuse again) killed his victim. There were 47 wounds on the man's body and the sadistic killer cut off his victim's nose and an ear, poked out an eye and carved his initials on the man's chest. For that, he got three years.

In December 1983 in Metro Toronto, a 17-year-old helped kill a 16-year-old boy whom he suspected was a stool pigeon. After hiding the body in a freezer for two days, he dragged it out and dismembered it with a chain saw. He was sentenced to 14 years.

In 1992, in Phoenix, Arizona, a 17-year-old and another teenager murdered nine people in a Buddhist temple. He was spared the death penalty because he testified against the other youth. He was sentenced to life in prison however. The other youth was sentenced to death.

In February 1982 in Santa Ana, California, a 17-year-old boy donned his step-father's deputy sheriff's uniform and pistol and went with two friends, joy riding in his stepfather's patrol car. On the trip, they were stopped by a patrol officer. The 17-year-old shot him to death. He was convicted of first degree murder. The penalty for that crime in that state could be death or 25 years in prison.

In November 1983, in Moosonee, Ontario, a 17-year-old girl shot to death a 48-year-old woman with a shotgun and injured 10 others during her three-hour walk around town early one morning. She was charged with one count of first degree murder and ten counts of attempted murder. I don't know the outcome of that case.

In January 1992, a 17-year-old American girl, with an 18-year-old girl (both lesbians) tortured a 12-year-old girl to death to avenge a wrecked lesbian affair with a 15-year-old. They sexually assaulted their victim, cut and bludgeoned her and later, after submitting their young victim to seven hours of this kind of torture, they soaked her with gasoline and burned her to death. The 17-year-old got sixty years in prison. I don't know what the 18-year-old got.

In February 1993, in Atlanta, a 17-year-old boy shot his 11-year old brother to death when the latter returned home from school and then he waited for his parents to come home and when they did, he shot them to death also.

In Pembroke, Ontario, a 17-year-old boy killed his 16-year-old girlfriend by striking her on the head with a rock eighteen times because she resisted his attempts at raping her. The trial judge said that he regretted that he couldn't sentence the convicted killer to more than three years. The psychiatrist raised an interesting concern when he said in court. "I can't predict with any confidence that the accused won't do this all over again in three years." Several doctors testified that the youth would need life-time treatment---something he can't be forced to take when he is released after only serving three years.

In 1977, a 17-year-old boy stabbed a Montreal woman 80 times and also strangled her. He was sentenced to prison for life for her murder and in 1993, he escaped from a minimum prison in Ontario and attempted to murder another woman. I have raised this case because it illustrates clearly that when a 17-year-old killer (and younger) get the taste of blood, society has no guarantee that they won't do it again. He got three life sentences added to his previous murder and won't be eligible to apply for parole until he has served another ten years.

In February 1979, in Cleveland, a 17-year-old boy paid another youth to murder his father. The father was shot to death. The motive? He and his sister didn't like being told what to do by their father. The young patricide got 15 years to life after being tried as an adult.

As I have stated several times in this brief, many of the juries and judges in the various states in the USA don't kid around with their young offenders. As an example, consider what happened to the 17-year-old who severely wounded an elderly woman in a break-in in Barnstable, Massachusetts. He seriously injured her in his armed assault upon her to the extent that she was from then on, crippled for life. The young hood got 60 to 90 years in prison and won't be eligible to apply for a pardon until he has served 40 years.

But what is interesting about this case (aside from the sentencing aspect of it) is that this punk had an extensive record since he was ten years of age. Nothing worked so society decided that the best thing for society was to warehouse him and that is exactly what has happened to him. Had they treated him for his problems or had him serve some hard time as a young offender, he may not have crippled this woman and end up having to spend the most if not all of his life in prison.

I have not put in the aforementioned cases in any particular order (offence, date or country) because I want my readers to just consider the kinds of offenses committed by young offenders and what happens to them afterwords.

I have omitted many other crimes committed by children and young offenders because of the time factor. Many of the crimes I omitted involved shootings, stabbings and burnings where the victims lived. Obviously, the cases I have touched upon are a fraction of what is going on around the world as it relates to crime by young people.


We as a society are being increasingly harmed by young offenders who seem to care even less as to what happens to their innocent victims than before. Each year, the problem increases. The statistics are very frightening and they are similar world-wide.

In Canada, in 1991, there were 24 young persons charged with first degree murder, 18 charged with second degree murder, and 12 with manslaughter.

There were 26 charged with aggravated sexual assault, 105 with sexual assault with a weapon, and 2, 628 charged with sexual assault not using a weapon.

There were 4,349 charged with assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm.

There were 530 who used a firearm in a robbery, 885 who used knives and other weapons and 1,669 who didn't use weapons (probably purse snatching)

In Canada that year, as many as 26,827 crimes of violence were committed by young offenders.

I have publicly said it in the past and I will say it again. The biggest cause of crime is the legislators who create the laws and the judges who act on it. If our laws were stricter and our judges less lenient, society would be protected from the ever growing monsters let loose on our streets and in our schools by the most part, uncaring parents.

I strongly urge the government to change the legislation so that any child who is between ten years of age to fourteen, who commits a crime, be considered a young criminal and subject to the sanctions of our criminal laws as they relate to young offenders.

I further urge the government to change the legislation further so that any young offender between the age of fourteen and eighteen, be automatically subjected to being tried in adult court if the offence to which the young offender is charged with involves any act of violence beyond simple assault and if any damage to property as a result of vandalism exceeds $10,000 unless there are exceptional circumstances meriting special consideration.

Young people between the ages of 12 and 17 represent 8% of the total population, however they account for 23% of all the crimes committed in 1991.

We are a society which has come to fear its youth because of the hand-wringing social workers and defence counsel who try to convince the rest of us that their clients are really simply maladjusted children who need kindness, not punishment, understanding, not punishment, and sympathy, not punishment. When a teenager tortures another human being to death over a slight, what that young killer needs is PUNISHMENT.

Tolerating criminal behaviour in our youth of today is like thrusting a hurricane upon society. Only those legislators, social workers, defence counsel and judges alike, who, because of their incredible stupidity, claim they they don't hear the sound of the wind, are willing to stand by and do nothing. It is as if they are immune to the destruction and injury that results from this hurricane because they and they alone stand in the eye of the hurricane where all is quiet and peaceful. What they don't realize is that eventually the eye of the hurricane will pass them by and they, like the rest of us, will feel the brunt of the wind encircling us all.

My message to the do-gooders who abuse us by their do-nothing attitude is this. If such persons want to seduce our collective conscience into believing that punishment is not the way to treat violent young offenders, these do-gooders are acting like whale hunters who would stab us with their harpoons, drag us into their mother ship, there to be macerated and stuffed into their cans of do-goodism.

If punishment is not the answer, then protection of society certainly is.

The laws have changed but nothing has really changed with respect to young offenders committing crimes. Later in the year, I will give you another article on what young offenders have been doing in the last few years in their collective desire to kill human beings and torture animals.

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