By Don Boys, Ph.D.
Yesterday something interesting happened to me while working in my library. I sat down to write about the shooting in Santa Fe and stumbled over an article I wrote in 2004 titled, “Should Teens be Executed?”. It appeared on my website cstnews.com and was soon published in a Chattanooga newspaper under the title “Should Children be Executed?”. The response from every source was huge—almost all critical!
After a couple months, I received a call from a publisher who was interested in using the article as a book chapter dealing with teenage crime. He sent me a $500 check and I forgot about it. I don’t know the title of the book, but I received critical comments for years.
Yesterday, when I went to my website, I discovered the article and saw 50 replies that had been added over the years. The comments that I had never read were pathetic and make curious reading—the poor grammar, punctuation, logic, etc. Anyway, I decided to update and rewrite the original column as reproduced below since it is so timely:
Our city streets are dark, dirty, dangerous, and often dominated by raping, robbing, and rampaging children. Juveniles under 18 accounted for almost 14% of all violent crime arrests and over 22% of all property crime arrests according to the CDC for 2010 and 784 teens were arrested for murder! We are seeing more and more very young people commit serious, sordid, and sadistic crimes–some kids as young as six! As families, homes, and churches implode, a subculture of juvenile criminals has developed.
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Juveniles used to be considered young, athletic students with ruddy complexion, squeaky voice and acne, but now they are often vindictive, vicious, and violent criminals.
We have been assured that “there is no such thing as a bad boy” (or girl); however, the fact is, there is no such thing as a good boy (or girl). No kid has to be taught to lie, steal, talk back, rebel, etc. It is human nature. Theologians call it the “fallen nature,” as a result of original sin. But since that is not politically correct, men have been conned into believing that all people are basically good–then they try to justify and explain why “good” people commit outrageously brutal crimes.
Part of the problem of juvenile crime is the criminal justice system itself. While ours may be the “best in the world” (what does that say about the rest of the world?) it is long overdue for a major overhaul. It is part of my recommended crime bill to insist on that overhaul.
Kids must no longer have a free ride until age 18. They must get the message that they will be held accountable for their actions with their names and photos published in the media, and their record following them if they continue into adult crime. Of course, they should not be glorified. Studies show that a juvenile’s crime record is one of the most valid predictors of repeat adult crime.
Young criminals should not be in school, and while the bleeding hearts whine about those kids, I prefer to show my concern for the large group who want to learn. Put the violent kids in a boot camp where they can be made into “young marines” under the tutelage of a traditional leatherneck trained at Parris Island.
Get them up at 5:00 a.m., feed them a big breakfast, and work them until they drop. Absolutely no back talk and only magic words such as “yes sir,” “no sir,” “please,” and “thank you, sir” would be permitted. And no psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, or lawyer within 100 miles!
Those kids who are involved in nonviolent crime would be treated less severely. They would be forced to make restitution to their victims, clean up any mess they made and spend time in structured community service.
Kids must learn that justice will be swift, sure, and severe in the courts if not at home and school. Personal accountably will be the reality from now on. That will appall many social scientists and psychologists who tell us that a youth person is not responsible for personal actions. It all goes back, we are told, to poor potty training, low self-esteem, poor living conditions, etc., so a young person should not be held to an accounting for his crimes. My intellectual and scientific reply is poppycock, balderdash and a generous portion of hogwash—especially hogwash.
We are told that kids murder, mug, and maim because they grew up in poverty; however, poverty doesn’t cause crime; crime causes poverty. Juveniles, like adults, commit crimes because they choose to do so. And they must be held accountable.
When young criminals kill and rape, they should be treated like adults, even executing them! Most of us are horrified at that thought but if capital punishment can be defended (and it can be) then who is to say one must be 21? If a 16-year-old commits a vicious murder, who says he should not pay with his life? Of course, there must be an age below which a child would not be executed, but that is a political decision made in each state. Sadly, few politicians have the courage to make difficult decisions.
So the message to kids should be clear, concise, and conclusive. No free ride until 18. No anonymity. No blaming poverty, parents, or potty training for criminality. No more community service for rape and murder. Even the dullest teen will understand that society finally considers leniency a thing of the past. Hopefully such prior leniency will be considered lunacy.
Kids think they can get away with murder and they will continue to believe that until citizens force the criminal justice system to get its act together. When a few teens “walk the last mile,” other teens will get the message that sane, sensible, and scared people are taking over from the bleating hearts
The radical leftist, upon reading this, will stand up and on cue, bleed all over himself; however, my heart bleeds for the innocent victims–not for criminals, young or old.
Boys’ new book Muslim Invasion: The Fuse is Burning! was published recently by Barbwire Books; to get your copy, click here. An eBook edition is also available.
(Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives; ran a large Christian school in Indianapolis, wrote columns for USA Today for eight years; authored 18 books and hundreds of columns and articles for Internet and print media publications; and defended his beliefs on hundreds of talk shows. These columns go to newspapers, magazines, television, and radio stations and may be used without change from title through the end tag. His web sites are www.cstnews.com and www.Muslimfact.com and www.thegodhaters.com. Contact Don for an interview or talk show.)