(Closed) Is this crazy? Can a 5-year-old be charged with murder/drowning?

posted 9 years ago in Legal
Post # 33
Member
2088 posts
Buzzing bee

Maybe I have a different point of view because I’m from a hunting family, so from a very young age (like 3 or 4) I understood the concept of death. I knew that pointing a gun at someone and pulling the trigger would kill them. I understood that if someone died, they were gone. Their body was buried and you would never see them again. 

I fully believe a 5 year old can intend to kill someone. They may not realize it’s murder, or a terrible thing, but they can definitely understand the concept of death=the person going away forever. Of course, this is probably not the case for this particular child (let’s be honest, if her parents dunked her underwater in place of discipline I doubt they were the kind of great open parents that were having discussions about the life cycle and death with her).

 ETA: She did murder the toddler, there is no disputing that. But she probably didn’t intend to, and will 100% not be charged. But I’m seeing a life of therapy ahead for this child.

Post # 34
Member
3518 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

This isn’t going to be a popular opinion, but regardless of her intent, the five year old child DID kill the baby.  I’m not saying she should be put away for life, but it is something that she did, in fact, do.  This is incredibly tragic, and the babysitter should also bear some sort of neglect charge, but the child is not innocent in this case.

Post # 35
Member
4369 posts
Honey bee

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@Gingersnap: I don’t think we can say she did “murder”, since that is legally an unlawful killing with intent, and that is for a jury to decide. What we do know is that she killed. I think most legal cases say that children don’t really have the cognitive ability to intend to kill until about 7 or 8. But we will see what happens, I suppose.

Post # 36
Member
1927 posts
Buzzing bee

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@MrsLongcoatPeacoat:   I agree with you completely. 

This girl needs to get some serious treatment.  And honestly my biggest concern is about rehabilitating her before she becomes a major threat to society more than that I’m concerned about her being upset by the event.  This action shows some serious anger and violence issues.  Are her parents to blame that she bahaves in that way?  Absolutely!  But regardless of how she got to this point she is there and she needs to be treated.

Post # 37
Member
4800 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

The parents should be in the biggest trouble here – who leaves a developmentally disabled 16 year old to babysit a five-year-old and a baby?! But something still needs to happen tot he five-year-old, rehabilitation or something.

Post # 38
Member
2088 posts
Buzzing bee

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@SoupyCat:v Okay, true. She killed the child. 

Post # 39
Member
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

This sort of reminds me of the Mary Bell case, although obviously she was slightly older http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/famous/bell/index_1.htm

I agree with 

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@Moose1209, probably best that they attempt to sort through whatever issues this child has before she becomes a threat to others as she gets older. She may not truly understand what she did, but that makes it even more worrying IMO.

Have to wonder what has happened to her to make her think that putting a baby’s head underwater would silence it.

Post # 40
Member
1175 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

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@AlmostMrsJames: Ahh, I don’t think it’s similar. Mary Bell obviously had a serious psychological issue, like conduct disorder or something. There’s a difference between murder and mutilation, and what the 5-year-old in this case did. But I see what you’re saying.

Post # 41
Member
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

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@Mrs. Puffin:Yeah I guess the only sort of similarity is that no-one would think a child could be capable of wanting someone to die or even understanding the concept of it. 

You’re right, there’s totally a massive difference between the two.

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