Would You want a Child Murder on the loose?

January 13, 2010
By Courtney.B. SILVER, Houston, Texas
Courtney.B. SILVER, Houston, Texas
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

People believe that every child has certain innocence to them. When you imagine a child in your own mind you may think of a toddler playing with Barbie’s and Hot Wheels. You conceivably think of an infant sleeping in his or her crib. You may even think of ten year olds playing on the street with other children, they always have certain innocence to them. Is this still true if the child murdered your son or daughter? How should we punish this child? How do we know if the child will not do it again? Every child should know the difference from right and wrong by the age of three or four, or at least they have a sense as to what the difference is. The difference was instilled on our brains when we were two. Do you not remember your mom and dad punishing you for simply “rough housing” with your friends? If that was so bad then what should we do with the children who murder? Letting them get away with murder is the worst possible thing you could do. If you were the parents of the victim you would want something to happen to the child, you would definitely want the murderer in jail if he or she were an adult. We should take child murderers seriously, and they should not be taken lightly. The children should be sent to juvenile and tested for mental illnesses. Personally I would not want a child murderer on the loose to murder my child or a friend of mine; therefore these children should be taken seriously and be tried as adults.

Every child has a brain that works slightly different than adults but they are not “wired differently”(Hendricks 1). They may be influenced by what they see around them but no where should they see people murdering each other, even if they do by then they should understand the difference between right and wrong, reality and fantasy. That is if you could call murder a “fantasy”. Children understand that the bad things they do are wrong but some of them still do it anyways even if they know they will be punished. They would just try to get out of it and or blame it on somebody else. For example, if you let a child go over and play with a friend that has a new toy, most likely the child will be tempted to steal just one piece. You may doubt this but I was once a child and constantly tempted to do the wrong thing but I made the right choice. Children are always given a choice. They can choose the right path or they can take the dark road. Eventually the dark road can lead to attempted murder like in the Bulger case. Two children murdered a child and tried to cover it up by putting the beaten child on the train tracks, hopping they would not get caught.

Most people believe that children should be off the hook for the murders but they did not hear the story of Eric Smith, as well as many other children. Eric Smith and Derrick Robie both lived in a small town in New York. Smith was only twelve years old when he murdered Derrick Robie, who was only six years old. Eric Smith strangled and beat Derrick Robie, who was only four. The murder was to the second degree and even the jury found the boy to be guilty of the crime. The prosecutor of Eric Smith states, “Because I don't doubt for a second, never have doubted, that had he not been caught, Eric Smith would have killed again. And that's terrifying."(http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/12/10/48hours/main660314.shtml) Even the prosecutor was scared of a little boy. The murder was so gruesome that the press was unable to release it for a while. The victim’s parents were expecting their boy to leave the house safe and sound but five minutes after he left he was beaten and murdered by Eric Smith. The parents of Eric Smith believed that he was mentally ill but it was not the case. You would think that rehabilitation would have worked for this child but there was no hope. How do you know he would not just murder a little boy or girl in the family? Surely you would not want a murderer to be living in your home, young nor old. You would be thought crazy and you would have nightmares of he or she killing you and your family. You would be living your life in fear, even for the victim’s family. If the child were to be released they would fear for the next victim. Even Derrick Smith’s family said that they were unable to forgive Eric Smith. Eric Smith was sentenced to nine years to life in prison, but his parole is still going on even though the murder happened in 1973. Eric Smith is to stay in jail until he is twenty-one. Children like this should be tried as adults, Eric Smith admitted what he did was wrong but he also said he enjoyed it. There is no chance of rehabilitation for this boy nor is there for any other child murderer. Not even the toughest rehabilitation home would accept him into there home with open arms. You would expect murder like this from an adult, not a child.

Eric Smith was one of the children who got away with murder, unlike Robert Thompson and Jon Venables. These two men were ten years old when they murdered James Berger, a two-year-old boy. It is said that Thompson and Venables kidnapped Berger and sexually assaulted him as well as murdered him. Berger was found missing when his mother, Denise Berger, went into the grocery store. Reports later revealed:
“This wasn't enough for the disturbed children so they began beating him with a 28 lb iron bar. They sexually molested him, poured paint in his eyes and finally as the life drained from two year old James, they placed his beaten body on the train tracks where an oncoming train would rip his little broken body in two.”
(Justice Junction, Innocence Lost- Without Mercy). The boys obviously knew what they were doing and that it was wrong because they tried covering their tracks by making up stories about the baby’s bump on his head when the people would ask. Denise Berger will now never be the same again knowing that her son’s murderers were released from jail and given new identities. If they murder again the murder will not be taken like a second offense on their record, instead it would be counted as their first. Would you want your son’s murderers to be on the loose with new identities and no one never knowing their true past? The judge gave them whole new lives because they are children but if you were to give the case to a judge and never told him the age, the child would definitely get sent to adult jail. We are letting these people murder again and make the same mistake but nobody really wants to give them a second chance because there is the chance that their child will be next the next one murdered. There is no point in rehabilitation because the murderer can think if they cover up their thoughts and act good they can get out of rehabilitation and or juvenile jail.

Your morals always show through your actions. People say that your morals are also based on the people around you. The morals people instill on you can only affect your own morals slightly. If you hang around bad crowds then you might do underage drinking but surely you would never murder someone, you would understand that is wrong. Some of us were born murderers others were just born average. Scientist once did a CAT scan on two people, one person was a serial killer, and the other was an average Joe. The pictures of the CAT scan showed that the serial killer’s brain was nearly covered in black spots, while the other person only had two miniscule black spots. We have morals from the start; there are two roads and no turning back on your choice. You have the choice to murder and after you make your decision there is no turning back. Ultimately there are only two kinds of people in this world, the killers and the non-killers. It happens from the start, they are all like a ticking time bomb, you never know when they are going to explode.

In conclusion, children should be tried as adults. There is really nothing to it. The murderers made their decision. Children always wanted to be treated as adults so why not trial them as adults? That is always a child’s dream, to be treated as an adult. There is no point in having rehabilitation because it is their second chance at murdering someone, even when we think they are changed for good. All it takes is one person to make a difference, so why shouldn’t we start today

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This article has 3 comments.

Canuck Man said...
on Nov. 14 2013 at 8:14 pm
@ Razerrevenge: Even if a 10 or 13 year old is too young to be sent to prison even for commiting unjustifiable homicide I still feel that a 10 or 13 year shouldn't totally be let off the hook.

Canuck Man said...
on Nov. 11 2013 at 3:41 pm
At Razerrrevenge: Even if 10-13 year olds including James Bulger's killers shouldn't be sentenced to adult prison that shouldn't mean that they totally be let off. If necessary to point out but from what I've researched that alot of people dislike James Bulger's killers and I don't blame them for disliking his killers.

on May. 20 2012 at 9:30 pm

This essay would've been a great essay; however, you got many, MANY facts wrong. First off, Eric Smith has been in prison for nearly 19 years. He is continuously denied parole and will probably not get out for a very long time. Second, you are trying to say that the murder happened SEVEN YEARS before Eric Smith was born. That's Absurd. The crime took place in August of 1993.

Although Mr. Eric Smith did admit that he enjoyed the murder of Derrick Robie, he also said that he enjoyed it at the time. He was picturing the children at his school and in his neighborhood who relentlessly bullied him. Leaving out crucial details when reporting a fact like that shows bad ethos and will give readers a bad sense of credibiliy on your part. It's always best to give the WHOLE story.

I do not believe that you have any right to judge who can and who cannot be rehabilitated. He had just turned thirteen years old when this crime was commited. Anyone who has been in prison for over half of their life definitely has the opportunity for rehabilitation.

There is a very good reason that we have laws in place to protect children. In no way should a ten or thirteen-year-old child be tried as an adult, and they certaintly shouldn't be sent to adult prison such as you were suggesting should have been done with the ten-year-old murderers of James Berger.


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