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Are Prosecutors Really Seeking Death Penalty Against 8-year Old Boy?

Prosecutors from Texas, Oklahoma and Florida are offering their services to seek the death penalty against an 8-year old boy in Arizona accused of 2 counts of premeditated murder.  According to their spokesman, “the death penalty is the ultimate deterrent and we want to stop this trend of children murdering adults.”  The spokesman, who spoke under condition of anonymity, also said that they are actively recruiting prosecutors from other states to join with them.


This may turn out to be a watershed issue for death penalty advocates.  “There is no limit to the deterrent effect of the death penalty,” noted another of the prosecutors, “this is an efficient and effective tool that should be used to stop crimes like this.”  The group resurrected their explanation that violent video games and rap music lyrics are probably to blame for the decision by the young boy to kill.  Arizona officials are already seeking to try the child as an adult while they investigate the child’s actual motive.


The group of prosecutors also cited a growing trend of children killers:  “We are very concerned that young boys in particular are among the fastest growing segment of murderers.”  Their statistics show that, although the rate of murder in this country is rising very slowly, the number of children under 10 who are accused of murder has grown considerably.  “This boy is the third child under 10 to be accused of a double homicide this year, compared with only 1 last year,” they said. 


This 300% increase is not only alarming, they claim, but supports their argument that the failure to use the death penalty in these cases actually is encouraging youth to kill.  They reason that the increase is due to the fact that the death penalty was not sought against the first child charged with murder.  According to their spokesman, if the death penalty had been sought in the first case, then the others would clearly have been deterred.


One of the prosecutors also noted the fact that this child was living in a home with two people of the same sex.  “A marriage is between a man and a woman … look what happens when we allow the sanctity of a marriage to be disregarded.”  Arizona officials have not reported on whether there was a relationship between the two victims.


Death penalty opponents are obviously appalled by the thought of charging this boy as an adult, much less seeking the death penalty in this case.  “This child needs to be hugged for as long as it takes to begin his healing process,” said a noted death penalty opponent who also requested anonymity.  Statements from other anonymous opponents included:  “We need to use this case as an example of our desire to begin to change our society,” and “punishment is not the best solution to every problem.” 


Death penalty opponents also questioned why this child had access to a rifle.  “Statistics clearly establish the fact that guns in homes are much more likely to be used to harm family members than an intruder.”  These opponents want to use this case to demonstrate the risk to children and others when guns are kept in the home.  “The question is whether we have finally hit bottom, both in terms of what is going on in our society and how we are going to respond to these tragedies.”


When asked about the comment that the victims were of the same sex, the death penalty opponent was rendered speechless.


The child remains in jail in Arizona.

About the Author

Geoffrey Mousseau is a Federal Prison Consultant. Mr. Mousseau owns White Collar Sentencing Consultants, Inc. and is the foremost expert in this field. He counsels white collar defendants, their families and their attorneys. He answers the questions you have before you go to prison. Geoff Mousseau can be found on the web at FederalPrisonInc.com.

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