What Is This “Criminal Intent” Of Which You Speak?
I thought these were diamonds, rubies and topazes, since I was still young enough to consider the world the sort of place where a kid could find millions of dollars’ worth of jewels lying in the street and the grownups wouldn't notice. One day I even filled a church offering-envelope with this accident detritus and gave it to the minister, telling him “They’re JEWELS! You can sell them and use the money for the church!”
The minister, to his credit, was kind enough to smile and say thank-you rather than give me an angry lecture on the difference between gemstones and street garbage. Thank God I grew into adulthood when I did — if a kid tried pulling the “fill an envelope with broken glass” stunt today she’d probably be arrested on suspicion of trying to kill the minister. Suppose he cut himself and bled to death!
Get this: yesterday was a bright and sunny one here in
The little boy made no attempt to hide what he’d found, since he had no idea there was anything wrong with bringing a bagful of shiny rocks to class. That’s because the little boy never heard of “crack cocaine.” But the
The 7-year-old boy, whose name was not released, told officers he found the packets of drugs on his way to
on Wednesday, police said. Truman School
"We interviewed enough people that we're comfortable with that answer,"
police Sgt. Rick Rodriguez said. New Haven
But they're still charging a seven-year-old with possession.NEXT-DAY ADDENDUM: I have found a more detailed story in another paper here. This story says the kid is eight, not seven, and offers the following explanation for why he was arrested and charged with a felony:
The boy is charged with a felony, but police decided to arrest him to ensure he receives services from the court, such as counseling, said Police Chief Francisco Ortiz.Oh, Christ. This kid does not need "court services" or "counseling" anymore than I did when I gave my minister a bagful of broken glass. All I needed was somebody to take two minutes to explain why those shiny things in the street are best left alone. And while the boy in this story certainly needs to be told why those pretty rocks he found are not something children should play with, what are the realistic chances that he'll find another baggie of crack the next time he goes to school, anyway? What "counseling" does a small child need for seeing something shiny in the street and wanting to pick it up?
"I was surprised also" that the boy was arrested, Ortiz said. "He was not fingerprinted. The goal here is not to punish the child but to get court services and get support for the child that he might not otherwise get if an arrest was not made."