When I was in the police academy, we discussed Texas penal code, and the assistant district attorney made a point. Children were classified as those under ten years of age (i.e. nine years and below), and the could not held criminally responsible for their actions. A eight year old shoots someone, he cannot be put in jail for murder, aggravated assault, etc, because he is too young to understand his actions. Now the state can take civil actions against the child, such as placing him into a reform home, removing him from his parents, etc. Juveniles (ten to sixteen years of age) could be held (to a degree) responsible for their actions.
Now comes from North Carolina one screwed up abuse of the law.
Virginia Bridges The (Durham) Herald-Sun
DURHAM — The 6-year-old dangled his legs above the floor as he sat the table with his defense attorney.
He was accused of picking a tulip from a yard at his bus stop, his attorney J Boyer said, and he was on trial in juvenile court for injury to real property.
The boy’s attention span was too short to follow the proceedings, Boyer sai she handed him crayons and a coloring book.
“I asked him to color a picture,” she said, “so he did.”
He didn’t know it, but no matter what the judge decided, the experience could change the boy’s life, from how he sees the court system to increasing his chance of getting into trouble again and being sent to alternative school.
Boyer and others say children that age don’t have the mental capacity to understand the juvenile justice process and its consequences. They can’t make informed decisions, like whether to talk to police and what to tell them, when to go to trial and whether to admit to the accusations against them...
...“Should a child that believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the toot fairy be making life-altering decisions?” asked New Hanover County Chief District Court Judge Jay Corpening...
The answer, your Honor, is no. In Texas, we detain/arrest a juvenile, a parent or an attorney must be present because the kid cannot make informed decisions. That's why children cannot vote, sign contracts, or decide they want to change their sex (sorry, had to put that in).
I'm just shocked (couldn't find the full detains of the arrest) that this was ever brought to the cops. If someone had called me, I would have told the complainant to get with the parent and you two work this out (I assume a six year old has adult supervision nearby).
The article mentions a Democrat member of the legislature is working on correcting this. Let's hope it happens soon. This is an abortion of law, and something that brings disrespect, and disregard, for the law.