Saturday, November 22, 2008

An update on the rural Arizona killings in which an 8-year-old has been charged

Sanity and rationality may prevail after all in Apache County, Arizona. The latest from the New York Times indicates that the 8-year-old who has been charged in two murders is unlikely to be tried as an adult. It also suggests that the boy's "confession," offered without a lawyer or a parent present, is unlikely to be admissible in any case against him.

What I don't understand is why the St. Johns criminal justice authorities are so keen to try this boy as an adult. The details of the statement he gave about the death of his father and another man reveal plenty of uncertainty. Of course, this over zealousness may have nothing to do with the fact this is a rural place; perhaps such attitudes are characteristic of law enforcement and prosecutors everywhere. Still, attempting to try as an adult an 8-year-old for two killings, to which the child confessed under unusual circumstances, strikes me as the work of amateurs.

Read my earlier post about the case here. I regret that this is the story that has attracted most attention to this blog over the past two weeks. Everyone is running searches to learn more about the 8-year-old who allegedly killed his father.

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