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Re-thinking things from yesterday...

Yesterday, I told the story of a 12-year-old Boston boy arrested for carrying a loaded, recently-fired gun. After the prosecutor requested $5,000 bail, the judge set it for $250,000. I had speculated that the kid's lawyer had asked for release to his mother.

It turns out I might've been wrong about that. The followup in this morning's Boston Herald actually went and talked to his mother, and it paints a bit of a different story.

The mother is from Jamaica, and she's divorced. The kid's father is in Canada, and hasn't been in touch with the family for some time. And she just has two words for the judge who effectively locked up her son, her flesh and blood, until his trial:

"Thank you."

The kid, as they say, "has issues." A year ago he tried to smother his now-three-year-old brother with a pillow. He has a long record of other problems, and the mother's at her wit's end on handling him while also taking care of her younger son.

She says she's glad he's locked up, because at least she knows he's safe -- and can't threaten her or his brother. And she's hoping that he might be "scared straight" by the experience.

It's looking like the judge might have made a pretty good move here. By setting such high bail, he brought a lot of attention to this kid's situation specifically -- and the problem of violent kids that young, by extension.

If we're lucky, some good might actually come of this.

Jay Tea blogs exclusively here at Wizbang!, and actually has walked around the block every time he has received a hate e-mail -- which so far is exactly zero. He feels so unappreciated...

Comments (19)

If anyone ever wondered abo... (Below threshold)

If anyone ever wondered about honesty and accountability JAYTEA shows it. Admitting and following up on a story to show us all as much as he learns.. That is Character

Something I was thinking ab... (Below threshold)

Something I was thinking about when you originally posted about this. As someone who supports gun ownership, I don't have a problem with judges who throw the book at gun abusers.

I think, that in order to maintain the right to gun ownership, in a world where people don't understand how important it is, we have to work hard to prevent gun abusers from using guns and abusing them.

That said, I believe that if a person obtains a concealed carry permit, and then uses a gun to commit a crime, they should receive a ridiculously large sentence. If you choose to get a concealed carry permit, yours is a SERIOUS responsibility, and if you abuse it, you should pay.

This would be a sliding scale, and legal owners would also get more serious sentences, but not as serious as concealed carriers. I think the mandatory sentence for people who use guns in crimes at all is sufficient.

Guns aren't just a right, they're a RESPONSIBILITY. if you can't handle it, you shouldn't have one.

But, the issue you raised -... (Below threshold)

But, the issue you raised -- original/first thread about this boy's situation -- was to compare his sentencing for what actions to those of another: a sexual predator guilty of molesting a child who was given a lighter sentence than this boy was.

And, a twelve year old "in prison" can be unproductive, to understate the obvious, particularly if this child has some organic problem combined with the obvious psychological problem/s.

Separating him from his family circumstances is probably a good thing, but it'd be far better if he was sent to some type of incarcertation where he'd receive care, rather than punishment. He deserves it at twelve, is my point, while by eighteen without any intervention he'll likely be facing felony charges for other acts.

Do you REALLY want hate mai... (Below threshold)

Do you REALLY want hate mail, Jay Tea?

In my experience, the hate messages arrive in the comments section/s because most who are responsible don't want to "reveal" an email address with IPA. While MT reveals an originating IPA but in my experience, the random group who writes me hate comments does not appear to be aware of that.

You should move to CA. Get all the hate comments you want, seems to be the thing that many in CA do to random sites and bloggers.

Watch out now Jay -- perhap... (Below threshold)

Watch out now Jay -- perhaps the DSS will take issue with the mother's parenting in permitting her son to remain locked up instead of having a lawyer appeal the bail. If it's illegal to keep a kid in a squalid home, they'll think it's worse to keep him incarcerated.

Oh, Jay, why didn't you tel... (Below threshold)

Oh, Jay, why didn't you tell me? I'm happy to share some hatemail with you. All of the hatemail that comes to the generic Townhall address comes to my inbox. It comes from enraged lefties who wander onto the site, and it's usually addressed to no one in particular, so it could easily serve as hatemail for anyone with rightward leanings. Just say the word.

I wonder if Pat Robertson w... (Below threshold)

I wonder if Pat Robertson will get the same appreciation for bring attention to Hugo Chavez.

Jay Tea,If you rea... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea,

If you really want hate mail that badly, I will send you one... does it have to be sincere hatred? If so, my efforts won't count anyway.

The problem is that the boy... (Below threshold)
Neil S:

The problem is that the boy is mentally ill. Being in jail will probably make an impression, but it will not solve the problem. To 'cure' the boy (if that is possible) will require some combination or drugs and therapy. That will be expensive and I'm guessing that his mother will not be able to afford it. Social services will have to provide it. I hope that your readers remember this the next time that they gripe about the high cost of welfare. We can pay for it up front, or wait until he has killed someone and then pay for it when he is in jail. The latter is more cost effective because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

See the AP story just relea... (Below threshold)

See the AP story just released. Not one word about the mother's take on the bail.

My mistake. I meant that th... (Below threshold)
Neil S:

My mistake. I meant that the 'former' is more cost effective.

If his mother wanted him ke... (Below threshold)

If his mother wanted him kept in jail all she had to do was not pay any amount of bail, makes no difference if it was $500 or $500k, unless the kid gets quite a bit more allowance than I did whe I was growing up. The only thing I can see is that if she has a change of heart she'll be filing a complaint against the judge for setting it too high, which I expect to read about by the weekend.

Twelve year old children do... (Below threshold)

Twelve year old children do not "go bad" on their own, unless they have a medical condition. My guess is that this boy has had a childhood that has been very stressful on him.

Is the three-year-old by his Father, or some transient in his and his Mother's life? Does he have an absentee Father, and a step-father that makes his life unbearable?

I'm not making excuses for the offending child. I think the gun issue was his cry for help. Hopefully, someone will listen.

** Official Hate Mail **</p... (Below threshold)

** Official Hate Mail **

... for no damned reason, now get to walkin'.

Sound like this kid could u... (Below threshold)

Sound like this kid could use some serious psychiatric treatment. Everything known so far indicates that this kid is already a sociopath. Regardless of the causes, if they don't straighten this kid out (and scaring him won't work, sociopaths, by definition, don't care about consequences) or lock him up for the rest of his life, he WILL kill someone.

Maybe because it's late or ... (Below threshold)

Maybe because it's late or this is just plain weird to me, but I have had a hard time trying to figure out what this kid actually did that was wrong. I haven't read each and every article and comment about this matter, but it does't seem like this kid is getting a fair shake. After clicking around this blog and finding the Boston Herald article, I had to paste this quote:

"In February 2004, the stay-at-home divorcee said, the oldest of her two children tried to smother his now 3-year-old brother with a pillow while they were playing in their South End apartment.
But instead of running away, the boy ran to find a cop - just as he did Monday night, when he allegedly hand-delivered a Smith & Wesson revolver wrapped in a bandanna to police investigating a possible shot fired. "

It seems like all we know about what happened is from poor old mom. Call it speculation, but maybe he is a decent kid with a twisted, scheming skank of a mom who wouldn't mind selling him out to benefit herself. I'd like to learn otherwise, but a divorced Jamacian immigrant with two kids in Boston probably has an army of social workers and other government appointed nannies to look after them. Would they have been informed of the smothering incident, as he was apparently then sent to a foster home, then returned to a single mother? Were they approached for comment?

Don't you think it would be appropriate to get some information about these events from somebody other than his mom?

I'm also inclined to belive that would-be criminal punks don't voluntarily and repeatedly run to the nearest authority figure to report their crime or hand over evidence of their crime. Does this seem like typical behavior for a juvenile delinquent destined for prison?

Don't know much about the judge or the mom from the article either.

"The heartbroken mother, an aspiring nurse who spoke to the Herald on the condition her family not be identified by name, visited her son last night in a juvenile detention center. "

So I don't know who she is, what she does (except aspire to be a nurse while being a stay at home mom!) or much at all about her background. I can understand why a young, single Hatian immigrant mother of two would not want to reveal her name, but no reasons were entertained. Did the paper even pretend like it was looking after factual matters, for example, quoting other people or using other sources of information? Surely some young, eager ACLU go-getter could build his career pimping out, err... representing somebody with that kind of pedigree.

In other words, I'm enterta... (Below threshold)

In other words, I'm entertaining the possibility that this kid, raised in a chaotic environment, might be taking the fall for crimes committed by her or her latest boyfriend, and too young or scared to know what to do about it. Or maybe the fact that he does know what to do, and goes to the police for help, is a reason for her to want to be rid of him.

Or maybe he really IS just another callous little bastard who knows excactly what he can get away with while he's still too young to do hard time.

Do you really believe, as m... (Below threshold)

Do you really believe, as mama said, that a 'developmentally delayed' 12 year old would actually be suspended from school for the crime of not listening to the teachers? Which particular Boston area school is it, and do they have documented disciplinary problems? Any quotes from these mean teachers who wouldn't make extra time for her boy?

Do you really believe a judge is trying to do anything other than grab the spotlight by imposing a quarter million dollar bail, on a 12 year old when mama can't afford summer school? For 'packing a loaded pistol' he hand delivered (sorry, allegedly hand delivered) to investigating police, apparently without incident? Uh, that's kind of a vague charge to warrant a bail amount normally reserved for a serial rapist, and I thought there had to be and actual charge filed against you in order for that to happen, but maybe it works differently for minors. But why not state the actual law that was allegedly violated?

So what exactly happened? Did somebody get shot? Where did the bullet go? Any witnesses to put him near the scene or see him fire the gun? If not, and if he did hand over -voluntarily- a gun to police investigating a 'possible shooting' they probably would be either bewildered if he was the suspect shooter, or thankful for his cooperation if he wasn't. We're left to assume that the kid used that particular gun to make that particular gunshot that prompted the call. And what about the cops she 'reached out' to, the counselors she mentioned, the church she attended...any names? Incidentally, if this incident happened when he was under foster care, is bail applicable or is it back to mama?

I think it's hard to not notice the Herald's lack of interest in where a 12 year old would get a nice shiny revolver and bullets...in Boston, which probably has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the US. Unless people trip on all those stray guns walking the streets of Beantown, which would say more about gun control than this kid's problems, the logical explanation would be gang involvement. No mention of it except the 'Bad, bad, bad kids he's been hanging out with' Again, according to mama.

Or maybe the Herald thought... (Below threshold)

Or maybe the Herald thought they could get more mileage from the weepy-mother-beyond-reproach angle currently being exploited in Crawford by rebranding her to be sorrowful, yet compliant with the idea of 'losing her son' to guns and violence. Throw in Hatian immigrant and single mom, and she's almost bulletproof to having her motives questioned or facts checked. That was kind of mean, but the comparison seems apt. However, the important difference to the Herald is that she is losing him in a way that supposedly benefits everyone: enforcement of a gun law.






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