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Thread: 9-year-old to face 5 murder charges

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    Default 9-year-old to face 5 murder charges

    EUREKA, Ill. (AP) A 9-year-old child accused of causing a mobile home fire that killed three children and two adults in central Illinois has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder.

    The juvenile also was charged with two counts of arson and one count of aggravated arson, the (Peoria) Journal Star reported.

    The April 6 fire killed a 1-year-old, two 2-year-olds, a 34-year-old man and a 69-year-old woman at the Timberline Mobile Home Park near the village of Goodfield, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) southwest of Chicago.

    Woodford County State's Attorney Greg Minger would not reveal other details about the suspect, including a possible relationship to the victims.

    No child as young as this one has been accused in a mass killing since at least 2006, according to the AP/USATODAY/Northeastern University mass murder database. It tracks all U.S. homicides since then in which four or more people were killed (not including the offender) over a short period of time (24 hours), regardless of weapon, location, victim-offender relationship or motive.

    (https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/lo...e-764e5730318b)
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    In your opinion, is a nine-year-old even old enough to understand fully what he/she did and why it deserves punishment?
    Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. -- Gandhi

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    This is total absurdity.

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    That's insane. They're going to ruin this child's life over something it probably didn't even understand.

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    This is a serious crime. At first it sounds horrible to do this, but when I read more of the story the action sounds more appropriate. The child is not being charged as an adult, but being made to answer for the crime in what sounds like a very appropriate way. Obviously, this child needs counseling. What a difficult case. Something needs to be done. Society cannot just look the other way and pretend it never happened. The child won't even be sent to Juvenile Detention:

    "If convicted, the child could be placed on probation for at least five years but not beyond the age of 21, Minger said. Therapy and counseling would be likely.

    "Probation, given the age, is about the only outcome that could happen here," he said.

    No arrest warrant is to be issued for the suspect, Minger said. The suspect will be appointed an attorney and will be subject to a bench trial, in front of a judge, he said.

    Under Illinois law, a suspect younger than 10 cannot be detained. And a minor is not given a public jury trial and not entitled to one — unless the minor is charged as an adult.

    The filing of murder charges against children under 10 is rare but not unprecedented.

    Last month, a Michigan judge dismissed a murder charge against a 9-year-old accused of fatally shooting his mother in their home near Sturgis. St. Joseph County Family Division Judge David Tomlinson ruled that, under Michigan law, the boy was presumed incompetent for trial because he's not yet 10.

    "This case disturbs me more than any case I've ever dealt with," the judge said."
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    I would not want to be the prosecutor or judge on this case. There's so much we don't know. Did the nine-year-old have a history of arson and/or violence, or was he/she otherwise a troubled child with issues at home and school? Did he/she set the fire knowing that it would kill the family? If the people who died were not his family, where WAS his family? Can he be rehabilitated with therapy?
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