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Criminal Children: The Lunacy Of Leniency

By Dr. Don Boys
© 1997 Cornerstone Communications

Our city streets are dark, dirty, dangerous and are often dominated by raping, robbing and rampaging children. In 1992, juvenile courts handled 2,500 criminal homicides and over a million cases of lesser crimes. 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.

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 all people are basically good – then we 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 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. 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 non violent 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 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 reply is poppycock, balderdash and a generous portion of 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 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.

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 most dull teen will understand that society considers leniency lunacy and a thing of the past.

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 bleeding 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.

Copyright, 1997, Don Boys, Ph.D

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