Juvie For A 10-Year-Old
Here's the really horrible part: these two males are aged 10 and 11 years old. They are students at Fort Colville Elementary School in Washington St. and were arrested on February 7th. A fourth-grade student witnessed one of the boys playing with a knife on the school bus and, thankfully, had the presence of mind to notify a school employee.
Washington's criminal justice system maintains that kids under the age of 12 aren't capable of understanding that they are committing crimes, or even planning to commit crimes. However, a judge can allow prosecutors to pursue a defendant as young as 8, but only if the prosecutors can prove the youths acknowledge the difference between right and wrong.
After researching, I came to the conclusion that the vast majority of child psychologists hold to Jean Piaget's Developmental Psychology Theory.
Per the police reports, the boys have been charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, tampering with a witness, and conspiracy to possess a firearm. When questioned by police officers the boys gave details to their plot: remove the girl from the school while one boy stabbed her and the other kept any bystanders at bay. They also mentioned possibly harming half a dozen other students.
While I am appalled at their behavior, I have to wonder what kind of upbringing these two kids have had...it seems obvious to me, at least, that these two boys should be put on trial (as juveniles). They showed co-operation, planning, and premeditation. Let's hope our judicial system makes a smart move and acknowledges the boys' intelligence, and their severely lacking empathy.