In the 1990s, a wave of fear tore through the fabric of American culture. We were terrified by the idea of non-prosecutable children committing murder and other violent crimes. We were constantly being told that gangs – most of which were Latin in origin – were recruiting minors, and the Media was rife with stories of random killings and armed robberies committed by children.
A fearful and punitive nation had to react, and react we did.
By the turn of the century, the idea of children being tried and convicted as adults was no longer news. Teens and tweens – sentenced to LWOP and even death, didn’t horrify us as much as the idea of an arbitrary phantom youth wielding a Tec-9.
On October 19th, 2007, Ashley Smith – while allegedly being monitored on video – tore some strips of cloth from her bed sheets, wrapped…
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