Wednesday, 12 May 2010

HOW YOUNG IS TOO YOUNG???

You know me, I'm not one to discuss PROPER serious topics on my blog on a regular basis. I prefer to keep it lighthearted most of the time.

But I just was watching a news report which got me thinking.

It was the story of an eight year old girl in London who was raped by two 10 year old boys.

I've got to say, there's a lot that shocks me in this day and age and still shocks me, but this appalled me. To the point where I have had tears randomly running down my face at the thought ever since.

The news story said the suspects on trial were being treated differently in terms of their trial, and that their identify was being protected.

Do they deserve this? I am a bit torn. I don't know whether they deserve it or not, to be perfectly honest.

Sure, they are young, but I still find it hard not to judge.

I can't help but think of the James Bulger case from the early nineties. Young boys tortured and killed a two year old boy, and were jailed but upon their release, they were protected and given new identities. One of them is now back in prison. Have they learned their lesson?

Can people who commit crimes so young change for the better? How can we trust them to? It's a total headfuck. Can we excuse someone their crimes based on their youth and potential ignorance to the crime they are committing? Surely they must KNOW it is wrong?

Is youth an excuse in these cases?

I'm not so sure.

20 comments:

  1. Shocking stuff. It's actually bewildering to think about - when I was the age these kids are, I was skipping around my garden pretending the broom I was sitting on was a pony. What's gone wrong? Who is to blame?

    On a (slightly) lighter note, when I saw the title of your post, I totally thought you'd brought back an 18 year old as a Zante souvenir!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think it depends on the crime, rape or murder? I don't think this is something that is likely to chang, what I mean is I think if theyve done it once then their is a huge chance that they will do it again.

    And how can we say that just because someone is young means they are ignorant of the fact that it is wrong? Especially with a crime like this. So in this case I don't think youth can be an excuse.

    It appalling and terrifying that crimes like this are commited by children.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Back in 2007 we had a 12 year old boy in a neighboring town rape and murder a 9 year old girl and then dispose of her body because he knew he'd done something "really bad." He was tried as an adult and sentenced to I want to say 15 years in prison...at twelve. It's really sad how young crime is getting now days.

    And as for your story - even at 10, I think they at least knew it wasn't "nice." Ya know? Maybe they didn't know that it was as bad as it really is, but they at least had to be aware of the fact that what they were doing was hurting the little girl.

    They should be given the same trial a 16 or 18 year old would because regardless of age, you are aware you're hurting someone (unless you're like 3 or so.)

    ReplyDelete
  4. This whole thing saddened me so much when i read about it. Even though there is no getting away from the horror of what these boys did (and infact, anyone of such a young age that commits crimes of this nature) there are huge 'sucess' stories of young criminals realising the mistakes they've made. These two boys just scream back to the Bulger case and how, given recent events, sometimes criminals cannot change.

    But rehabilitation can work on the understanding that these kids must have come from a horrible upbringing with little understanding of right and wrong, and that children aren't born evil as such.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Excuse me for being ignorant or old, but...how does a 10 year old know to rape someone???? Where do they learn at that early age what the heck to do? Your right it messes with your head alright.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is the type of topic no one can really wrap their heads around. I have to mimic RY in asking how a 10 year old even knows HOW to rape someone? But then again, you hear about so many actors/muscians who say they started drinking or doing drugs at age 8. So maybe if they're exposed to the right (wrong) surroundings they are aware of what they are doing. I think before being prosecuted a psychologist needs to seriously evaluate them.

    ReplyDelete
  7. That is so tragic and shocking. How mess up is the world today that someone barely hits a teenage age do something like that? I don't know what to think anymore. But rape and murder are high level of crimes, I don't think people who do these can change their natures so easily.

    Honestly I think they all should be isolated, like in Shutter Island you know? Damaged soul.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Psychologists say that the urges/issues that make someone want to do things like rape being in childhood but usually aren't manifested until sexual maturity. Seeing as how sexual maturity occurs at younger and younger ages (mostly due to technology), it's unfortunately not surprising to hear that this happened.

    I don't think they should get such an exception because they're younger without an attached provision of serious therapy.

    Once again, the law is behind the advances (and regressions) in society and technology.

    A Researcher of Life

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think a 10 year old knows that they are doing something wrong. I'm livid right now knowing that they'll probably get a minimal punishment. These kids deserve to be treated as a 16-18 year old would be.

    The crime they committed is very adult in nature, the time they do should be as well.

    No excuses.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The only way I can even begin to get my head around it is to try very hard not to judge anyone for anything. Because if I judge one then it measures up against another, sometimes me. And that's not my right. So yes it's sad and truly appalling, but as for judgement, I can't answer 'too young' because I'd probably say that for my own judgement they're always too young. Not sure that makes sense though... I'll think on it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is such a horrific story. What I can't get my head around is how young children of that age even know what sex/rape is! What on earth have they been exposed to at such a young age to think that they could do something like that?

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am a bit surprised that nobody has come out in support of these kids not being tried as adults and potentially not having a tight grasp on acceptable behaviour.

    I'm not excusing what has happened, but why is nobody asking what has happened to these two boys to make their interpretation of reality so warped? What sort of role models are in their lives? Where indeed, as people have asked, does a 10-year old learn HOW to rape someone?

    Children learn as they grow up, they mimic the people around them, they are shaped by their environment. Sure, there are always 'bad eggs' in the world, but psycho assessment will determine whether these boys are psychopathic or damaged children.

    Most of the time, abusive behaviour stems from the abuser actually being a victim of abuse himself.

    The media will only report what it wants to report, it will report what will sell the papers and, frankly, a sob story about the hard lives of two rapists will not cut it with the braying public.

    I do not condone what they have done and they will need punishment and rehabilitation, but we are probably only hearing bits of the story.

    As for young offenders reoffending and one of James Bulger's killers going back inside, that's a failing of the detention service and a whole other can of worms...

    ReplyDelete
  13. I think a punishment of ten years is OK. But I think it is important that during their time served they are followed and get some sort of therapy.
    If the time spent in jail they learn remorse, respect and prepared for when they do get out to become better people. I do think it is possible at that for any person to learn how to change for the better if the right people surrounds them.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I guess the question you need to ask is whether all children are 'born good' and it is life that makes children 'bad'.

    General opinion is that that it is life that does it, but i dont agree. So IMO there are children that are inherently bad from birth and if this is the case they should be prosecuted on this basis.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I;ve just read on BBC News that the girl lied...

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8680370.stm

    Now I suppose the whole debate is turned on its head.

    She's 8, just two years younger than the boys she accused. Should she be tried for this coming to court - wasting taxpayers' money, time for the CPS and potentially scarring the accused for life?

    So, where does the line get drawn?

    ReplyDelete
  16. I was really horrified by this story. When I was ten I didn't know what rape was! I'm also slightly puzzled that a child of ten can physically rape someone else, but I guess puberty is getting younger and younger.

    I don't think youth is an excuse - even if they didn't know what they were doing was illegal, they were clearly upsetting and hurting the girl so should have known it was wrong.

    My heart goes out to that poor girl who will have to live with this for the rest of her life.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Certainly something should happen to her. I'm not sure entirely what. Therapy? Parents getting charged? The fact she seems to know what rape was, at such a young age, is rather disturbing. Even more disturbing than the idea that the boys knew how to rape someone.

    More than anything, this sounds like a game of doctors and nurses gone too far now. But I certainly don't think the little girl should get away with this if she did lie. Just as I didn't think the boys should when we were being told they were rapists.

    That being said, i bet she'll get away with this.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I knew what rape was when I was that young. And not because my parents let me watch horrible tv programs. But they explained it to me. I was a latchkey kid and I think it was their way of making me aware of possible dangers. I didn't understand the gravity of it. It was on the same level of not answering the door for strangers. As I got older, I became glad I knew what that type of stuff was because I felt it made me more likely to be wary of suspicious characters.

    But the girl was so wrong to lie. I wonder what made her do it, if she completely made it up, if she was confused because rape was improperly explained to her, or if they did something just short of rape and so she was just wrong not lying.

    Once they know for sure, they should respond accordingly. If it's an outright lie, hopefully London has laws on the books about filing false police reports. Whatever the punishment is for that should be her punishment, plus therapy (because she's so young).

    ReplyDelete
  19. Things like this just reinforce why I actively avoid newspapers sometimes.

    It's utterly horrific. So many of us lament that there's no freedom for kids to go out and play and be innocent these days, but obviously these parents have decided to allow the kids to do just that and look what's happened.
    Parents think adults are the threat, whereas it's becoming more clear that it's quite likely that another child will cause harm.

    I'm going to crawl back into my fake Jack D bottle now and pretend the world is awesome...

    ReplyDelete
  20. I read an article about this today where the girl recanted her story. I wonder if it's true but she's just too scared to tell the truth or if she really did just make it all up. So sad, either way! This will change all of their lives forever.

    ReplyDelete

You wanna leave me a comment? Come on, you know you want to really . . . ;)