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Compare these two cases:

Officials: 3rd Graders Plotted to Kill Teacher

Officials in Georgia have thwarted a plot by a group of third-grade special education students to kill their teacher.

Officials at the Center Elementary School in Waycross, Ga., learned of the plot on March 28, when a student told authorities about the plan before the start of the school day, the Waycross Journal-Herald reports.

The plot by as many as nine boys and girls was a serious threat, Waycross Police Chief Tony Tanner said Tuesday.

The students allegedly brought to school a broken steak knife, a roll of duct tape, handcuffs, ribbon and a crystal paperweight in a bid to kill their teacher, Belle Carter, the paper reports.

“We did not hear anybody say they intended to kill her, but could they have accidentally killed her? Absolutely,” Tanner said. “We feel like if they weren’t interrupted, there would have been an attempt. Would they have been successful? We don’t know.”

The children, ages 8 and 9, were apparently mad at the teacher because she had scolded one of them for standing on a chair, Tanner said.

“It’s our understanding that she did in fact discipline one of the students, and they did not like it, he told FOX News. “After that, she began to plot revenge on the teacher.” […]

They could be expelled, but a prosecutor said they are too young to be charged with a crime under Georgia law. […]

Tanner said the scheme involved a division of roles. One child’s job was to cover windows so no one could see outside, he said. Another was supposed to clean up after the attack. […]

The parents of the students have cooperated with investigators, who aren’t allowed to question the children without their parents’ or guardians’ consent, he said. Authorities have withheld the children’s names.

Police expected to forward the results of their investigation to prosecutors, Tanner said.

Children in Georgia can’t be charged with a crime unless they are at least 13, District Attorney Rick Currie said. […]

Then, there’s this:

Md. Boy, 12, Kills Man Attacking Mother

The 12-year-old boy had finished his homework and was playing a video game when he heard his mother cry out. Rushing to her aid, he found her on the kitchen floor, straddled by a fellow resident of their Prince George’s County boarding house, the man’s hands wrapped tightly around her neck, the boy said yesterday.

“I kept saying, ‘Stop! Stop! Stop!’ ” the boy said, describing the events of Monday night. “But he just ignored me. He didn’t stop. He just kept hurting her.”

The boy said he grabbed a knife and swung, slashing 64-year-old Salomon Noubissie across the neck and opening an artery. Noubissie was fatally wounded.[…]

Law enforcement officials were reviewing evidence yesterday and had not decided whether to file charges. Their preliminary account of the incident broadly matches that of the boy and his mother.

The case presents exceedingly unusual circumstances: Rarely is a 12-year-old implicated in a homicide, and even less often does a child that age take a life to protect his mother. […]

In Georgia, they’re too young to be prosecuted for conspiracy to commit murder. In Maryland, self-defense that results in a fatality is not okay, even if the person doing the defending is only twelve.  The reasoning behind the considerations is that he wasn’t the one being attacked. Okay, so, he stands there and let’s a man kill his mother. What’s his chances of being next?

3 Responses to The politics of killing.

April 2008


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