SC Law Blog

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Suspected Socastee HS shooter to be tried as adult

Today, Judge Anderson found that the Socastee teen accused of firing a gun at a school resource officer last year will be tried as an adult.  This decision came after testimony of parents, classmates, and the school resource officer among others.  The teen was 14 at the time of the occurrence and is now 15.  I know the Judge made the decision on what she heard from the testimony and the circumstances of which I am not privy however, I hold a different opinion on how this should have been handled.  

According to scientists, the adolescent brain undergoes tremendous change and does not reach maturity until 20 to 30 years of age.  With this being said, coupled with what is readily available to children on the internet, it is not surprising that kids who have been bullied would take this type of action.  I can only suspect that the Judge was taking into consideration that the teen would not be given a harsh sentence when and if he is found guilty and sentenced as an adult.  Had he been tried in the juvenile system he may have gotten the help he needed to cope with whatever perceived threats he had.  I think this would have been a better alternative for the child.  Somebody, somewhere failed this child and certainly I would have taken a different approach in what forum to try him. 

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