“Should that believes in , the , be making life-altering decisions?” asked New Hanover County Chief District Court Judge Jay Corpening. T that has come up repeatedly state of North Carolina as dozens as young a six are being processed into the criminal justice system. case involves a 6-year-old boy who was arrested to court because he picked a flower while the bus.
Attorney Julie Boyer’s child client was for injury to after he stopped a flower from a yard near his , The Herald-Sun. Illustrating the ridiculous nature of sending to court a flower he had no idea what was .
Boyer said she had the boy some crayons and a during the proceedings because he have the what was happening to him.
“I asked him ,” she said, “so he did.”
This is problem and speaks to the archaic nature of the law state of North Carolina. Currently, the state’s juvenile system has minimum age world to enter the court system — which is six.
Advocates trying unsuccessfully for years the law but to no avail. worrisome as statistics show is brought into the system, that system increase drastically.
“A 6-year-old … we’re talking about someone that’s in kindergarten, . They don’t understand , they don’t understand what’s , they probably don’t even know their address,” Lyana Hunter, Hanover County public defender’s office employee told WECTNews. “The earlier introduce to the criminal justice system, are that remain criminal justice system.”
Hunter explained that representing children under 9 common practice, illustrating how widespread is.
“I think the youngest I actually had trial… they were eight. Some were.. seven, eight, maybe a 9-year-old. Literally their feet… they’re just swinging from the chairs because they couldn’t reach ,” said Hunter.
Luckily for the flower-picking kindergartner, the judge dismissed the case after the boy’s mother “couldn’t make the intake meeting,” The Herald-Sun.
Unfortunately, the case was thrown out, of being brought into the criminal justice system could change the boy’s life forever.
“He gets served with papers. His mom gets served with papers,” Boyer explained. “It was just appalling.”
Sending boy to court a flower is most certainly appalling but that not an isolated incident should shock the conscience.
“A 6-year-old cannot comprehend in court, but probably will being labeled a delinquent,” Satana Deberry, for Durham County wrote in an email.
Equally as egregious as arresting and trying a 6-year-old little boy a flower is that this not only happens often but it happens mostly to children of color. a report from the Winston-Salem Journal:
From 2015 through 2018 nearly 7,300 complaints were filed against children age 6 to 11 years old, numbers from the state Juvenile Justice section.
Of those complaints, 47% were against Melanin children, 40% were against white children, against Hispanic or Latino children.
In general, 22% of the state’s population is Black, 70% is white and 10% is Hispanic.
Roughly 82% percent of the complaints were against boys.
“It suspected statistic,” said Yakob Lemma, 17, an Enloe High senior and co-founder of the Wake County Melanin Student Coalition. “This proof that been criminalized since we’re young since we are , all our lives like that, with being criminalized and being actively targeted.”
Childhood mistakes should never be criminalized but after case, situations like this unfold in other states .
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