There are numerous documented cases that involve juvenile crime. I chose to discuss the case that triggered my disbelief and loss of faith in the Criminal Justice system. In the year 2000, 12-year-old Lionel Tate beat, kicked and slugged six-year-old Tiffany Eunick to death. Her injuries included but were not limited to a smashed skull, lacerated liver, and broken ribs. Tate would later use the defense of "imitating wrestlers". The jury did not buy Tate's explanation and he was found guilty. Tate was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. In my opinion, the verdict was more than fair, because at least his mother would get to see him grow up over the years; whereas Tiffany's mother would never see her again. The case should have been closed forever, but now add a new twist. In Feb 2004, Tate was released from prison at the age of 16 after it was discovered that proper procedures were not followed during the trial process. Don't get me wrong, I don't believe Tate intended to kill Eunick, but the fact is that he did. Didn't he know that a 12-year-old boy overpowers a 6-year-old girl? Was the boy mentally challenged? Fortunately for Tate, his family can now go on with their lives. The question remains to be answered on who will console Eunick's family? Where does their faith in the Criminal Justice system go? This is something to think about if "we" are ever in a position on either side of this story.
What is the reason for juvenile delinquency? How does a juvenile explain committing a (violent) crime? After conducting research on several case studies, I found that none of the youths had valid reasons to justify their actions. The Criminal Justice system is twisted and seems to let some people get away with too much until it's too late. Juveniles are already excused from the death sentence due to their age (16 and under) and mental capacity, no matter how heinous the crime.