Thursday, June 14, 2012

A History of Violence & Defying Authority

18 Year-Old Killer of Eight
Hammad Memmon was 14 when he shot and killed Todd Brown, the minimum age that can be tried as an adult in Alabama. Originally charged as a juvenile, his name was not released until a judge ordered his case transferred to an adult circuit court docket. Now if found guilty, he can be sentenced to Life Without Parole--a sad fate for an individual so young. Yet, psychiatrists who have examined Hammad have stated he has a history of violence and defying authority.

Let's look at another young man. We'll call this hypothetical teen Dakota Holt. He has a similar history of violence and defying authority. Just a few months ago he attacked his own father, breaking the older man's ribs. For whatever reason, no charges were filed. What a mistake that turned out to be.

Now Dakota has admitted he shot and killed a young man whose only crime was to befriend him...and Dakota's mother has allegedly attempted to cover up her son's role in the death. Yet Dakota is ten months shy of his 14th birthday; he can legally be tried only as a juvenile and be held only until his 21st birthday.

There's an old Southern saying that every tub has to stand on its own bottom. Yet the hypothetical parents of any child of 13 who commits murder have a great deal to answer for. We can't help but wonder if Dakota's victim would be alive if only his father had pressed charges against him. That's obviously something we'll never know.


Juvenile Killers in Alabama:

  • Imposes JLWOP (discretionary). Minimum age is 14.
  • Ala. Code § 13A-5-40 (LexisNexis 2005 and Supp. 2007) (LWOP for murder); see also §§13A-5-6, 13A-5-9 (LWOP habitual offenders).
  • Ala. Code § 13A-15-34 (LexisNexis 2005 and Supp. 2007). Prosecutorial discretion to transfer any child 14 years or older to adult criminal court; transfer hearing required.
  • 62 youths serving JLWOP sentences.


No comments:

Post a Comment