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  #1  
Old 03 June 2014, 01:58 AM
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Yow! Girls Charged in Stabbing Allegedly Tried to Kill for 'Slender Man'

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Prosecutors say two 12-year-old southeastern Wisconsin girls stabbed their 12-year-old friend nearly to death in the woods to please a mythological creature they learned about online.

Both girls were charged as adults with first-degree attempted homicide Monday in Waukesha County Circuit Court; they each face up to 60 years in prison if convicted. A court commissioner set bail at $500,000 cash per child. According to a criminal complaint, the girls had been planning to kill their friend for months and finally made the attempt in a park on Saturday morning, after a slumber party.
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/1...times-23959855

I'm reminded of a story a while ago about a would be 'rap star' who killed someone as a 'sacrifice to the Illuminati'.
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  #2  
Old 03 June 2014, 02:37 AM
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I don't think Slender Man meets the qualification for "mythological creature." A little too recent, a little too obviously fictional.
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Old 03 June 2014, 03:06 AM
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I don't think Slender Man meets the qualification for "mythological creature." A little too recent, a little too obviously fictional.
I don't think timeline and artificiality are barriers to myth status. Kids apparently believe that he really exists, that's what escalates Slenderman from a meme to a myth.

The Slenderman story has really taken off in crazy and unpredictable ways. I remember when he started out on somethingawful.com a few years back and now you can buy Slenderman halloween costumes and there's been a few computer games and movies made about him. It's crazy.
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  #4  
Old 03 June 2014, 12:38 PM
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I'm really skeptical about stories like this because so often it turns out that the "Cause" is just something that just gets mentioned in passing and latched onto by others.

It's a weird analogy but it reminded me of a story that Stephen King related one time. He was on a panel of writers doing a Q&A and the question was asked if he had experienced anything particularly traumatic in his childhood (Which King pretty much summed up as "Lay down on the couch, the Doctor will see you now.") He didn't really remember anything but after being pressed told a story that had his mother had told him years ago, that when he was very young he had gone out to play with a friend and had come back some time later, white as a sheet and obviously terrified, refusing to talk about the incident. His mother later discovered that his friend has been run over by a train.

King stated he has no recollection of the event and only knows the story second hand and said to the best of his knowledge has not influenced his writing, at least on any level he is aware of. But he said immediately another of the panelist spoke and said “But you’ve been writing about it ever since!” and the crowd basically murmured in approval, willingly accepting it basically, as King said, as a motive with King describing it with something to the effect of “Here was a cause. Here was a by gum motive. I destroyed the world with plague in the Stand and a town with vampires in Salem’s Lot because I saw my friend get killed by a train when I was young.”

Even within the framework of someone without a firm grasp on reality versus fantasy the... scenario just doesn't play out for me as easily as it seems to for others. Even if the Slenderman Mythos were a central catalyst for these tragic events played out how exactly the information came out doesn't work that well for me. This doesn't seem like the sort of information that two boys in question would so readily admit to or volunteer up.


Now to be clear I am not dismissing the possibility. There is great chance I'm completely wrong here. And of course if we are dealing with some sort of mental disorder trying to look for logical flow of information isn't reasonable.

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Old 03 June 2014, 12:48 PM
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What is the point of having a separate justice system for children if you can decide to try them as adults?
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  #6  
Old 03 June 2014, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Chloe View Post
What is the point of having a separate justice system for children if you can decide to try them as adults?
I agree. I always thought it was rather hypocritical of the Justice Systems (and I suppose society by extension to some degree) to retain the right to go "We're going to hold you accountable for doing negative action X because I've up and decided that you are mature enough to understand what you did" with no way for a child to go "I want to argue that I'm mature enough to vote or drink or whatever..." I don't like the whole "You're never an adult before the arbitrary time limit... except when you do something wrong."
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Old 03 June 2014, 01:09 PM
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Absolutely. It's not about that alone, though: it's also about to what extent a 12 year old (12, for chrissake) can make decisions about waiving rights, understands what's going on, and can aid counsel in her defense. Is they are convicted as adults, do they go into adult prisons?
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Old 03 June 2014, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
I'm really skeptical about stories like this because so often it turns out that the "Cause" is just something that just gets mentioned in passing and latched onto by others.
I dunno, there was a lot of fairly specific information there and not just a passing mention of Slenderman. The report says that the information comes from the criminal complaint which shouldn't be that open to interpretation.
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  #9  
Old 03 June 2014, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Chloe View Post
Absolutely. It's not about that alone, though: it's also about to what extent a 12 year old (12, for chrissake) can make decisions about waiving rights, understands what's going on, and can aid counsel in her defense. Is they are convicted as adults, do they go into adult prisons?
They often go to a juvenile prison and at 18 go into an adult prison.

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encycloped...urt-32226.html

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Pros and Cons of Transfer to Adult Criminal Court
Usually, juveniles and their attorneys fight to keep a case in juvenile court. But there are also advantages to being tried in adult criminal court. Here are some of the pros and cons for juveniles whose cases are waived to adult court.
Advantages of Adult Criminal Court
Sometimes, it can be advantageous for a juvenile to be tried in adult court. Here are some reasons why.
Minors have the right to a jury trial in adult court (most states do not provide a right to a jury in juvenile court see—Do juveniles have a right to trial by jury?)
Juries in adult court may be more sympathetic to a minor.
In some jurisdictions where dockets and jails are crowded, the court may be inclined to dispose of the juvenile's case more quickly and impose a lighter sentence.
Disadvantages of Adult Criminal Court
Some of the disadvantages for juveniles in adult court include the following:
The juvenile is subject to more severe sentences, including life sentences.
Judges in adult court do not have the wide range of punishment and treatment options that are available to juvenile court judges -- such as imposing a curfew or ordering counseling instead of jail time.
The juvenile may have to serve time in adult jail or prison, rather than in juvenile detention centers.
A conviction in adult criminal court carries more social stigma than a juvenile court judgment does.
Adult criminal records are harder to seal than juvenile court records -- sealing or "expunging" records makes them unavailable to the public.
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  #10  
Old 03 June 2014, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Chloe View Post
What is the point of having a separate justice system for children if you can decide to try them as adults?
To protect the other 99.999999% of children from the adult correctional system.

I have no issues evaluating certain cases by their merits to determine if longer incarceration is warranted.

This isn't a simple case of juvenile mischief or delinquency. It's premeditated murder.
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  #11  
Old 03 June 2014, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Chloe View Post
Absolutely. It's not about that alone, though: it's also about to what extent a 12 year old (12, for chrissake) can make decisions about waiving rights, understands what's going on, and can aid counsel in her defense. Is they are convicted as adults, do they go into adult prisons?
less important, their names and images are now eligible to be broadcast freely in association with this case. If they were being charged as juveniles, this wouldn't be happening, and they and their families will have to deal with the stigma of this regardless of the outcome. One can't go back and make their names and images private again. I don't believe that these girls can possibly understand the gravity of their actions. It is quite possible that one or both have issues related to mental illness that would be better handled by medical proffessionals than the criminal justice system.

It just makes no sense to try 12 year olds, or any child, as an adult.
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  #12  
Old 03 June 2014, 05:21 PM
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It sounds like the attorney for one of the girls is trying to get her tried as a juvenile but it's not going so well so far. From the article in the OP:
Quote:
One of the girls' attorneys, Donna Kuchler, asked Pieper to remove reporters from the courtroom Monday because she planned to attempt to get her client waived into juvenile court, but Pieper refused. Kuchler escorted the girl's family out of the courtroom, telling reporters only that the family was horrified at what happened.
Everything about this case is dumb and horrible and regrettable.
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  #13  
Old 03 June 2014, 05:29 PM
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The rush to try young people as adults should be tempered. There is a lot that can happen in either system that can be good or bad. A jury may be a good thing or not for a given defendant. So too is the ability to get treatment and care as a juvenile.
From the OP there seems to be some question about the maturity and competence of these 12 year olds. Locally, a 16 year old girl is being held, apparently for the death of her father. The prosecutor is planning to try her as an adult, but there is not much evidence out in the public eye about this death, versus the OP. Sixteen can be a lot older than twelve, or not.

Ali
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Old 03 June 2014, 05:52 PM
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I used to teach Middle School. I can remember some girls about whom, if I heard a similar story, I would not be surprised. So many girls that age behave like little sociopaths; most of them, fortunately, grow out of it.
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Old 03 June 2014, 06:11 PM
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These two girls are too young to face justice, but their victim wasn't too young to get stabbed 19 times? You're preoccupied with looking out for the rights of entirely the wrong people. Trying them as children means we have a couple of unrepentant, premeditated, murdering psychopaths walking free after 6 years of state boarding school. They shouldn't get another crack at murder so soon after the first one. The juvenile detention system is not adequate for the severity of what they did.
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Old 03 June 2014, 06:16 PM
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I think in theory it makes sense to have a system to waive juveniles into adult court if they could be shown to have the maturity, sophistication and judgment of an adult, and were treating the juvenile system as a joke. In practice, however, it seems that elected District Attorneys (and judges, for that matter) cannot resist using the waiver system for crimes they, or the public, see as particularly heinous, which of course has little to do with those characteristics in the offender. (In fact, I'd bet that there's often a negative correlation--my suspicion is that the more heinous juvenile crimes, like this one, tend to correlate with immaturity, lack of reasoned judgment, and other stunted or disordered mental functions.)
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Old 03 June 2014, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Errata View Post
These two girls are too young to face justice, but their victim wasn't too young to get stabbed 19 times?
Of course she was (assuming that one somehow deserves to be stabbed more the older one becomes, which I don't subscribe to). Juvenile justice is also justice; justice for juveniles, which they are. Trying these children as children won't make their victim any more or less stabbed.

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You're preoccupied with looking out for the rights of entirely the wrong people.
Are there people who don't have any rights? Who?

Quote:
Trying them as children means we have a couple of unrepentant, premeditated, murdering psychopaths walking free after 6 years of state boarding school. They shouldn't get another crack at murder so soon after the first one. The juvenile detention system is not adequate for the severity of what they did.
Aren't those conclusions what the whole trial thing is for? If not, why bother?
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Old 03 June 2014, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by erwins View Post
I think in theory it makes sense to have a system to waive juveniles into adult court if they could be shown to have the maturity, sophistication and judgment of an adult, and were treating the juvenile system as a joke. In practice, however, it seems that elected District Attorneys (and judges, for that matter) cannot resist using the waiver system for crimes they, or the public, see as particularly heinous, which of course has little to do with those characteristics in the offender. (In fact, I'd bet that there's often a negative correlation--my suspicion is that the more heinous juvenile crimes, like this one, tend to correlate with immaturity, lack of reasoned judgment, and other stunted or disordered mental functions.)
Indeed: I suspect it may actually have more to do with the sensationalism of the crime, the publicity it has gotten, and the likelihood of a PR backlash. IOW, politics, not justice.
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  #19  
Old 03 June 2014, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Chloe View Post
Trying these children as children won't make their victim any more or less stabbed.
Putting them in prison makes their next victim less stabbed, which trying them as children doesn't accomplish. But you care more about the murderers rights.

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Originally Posted by Chloe View Post
Aren't those conclusions what the whole trial thing is for? If not, why bother?
If they're found not guilty, the distinction will be irrelevant. If they're tried as children, then even when found guilty they will get a slap on the wrist.
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Old 03 June 2014, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Errata View Post
These two girls are too young to face justice, but their victim wasn't too young to get stabbed 19 times? You're preoccupied with looking out for the rights of entirely the wrong people.
You're confusing the issues that because people are troubled by children being tried as adults that there isn't justice to be served, that there aren't other possible issues that need to be addressed, and that there is a victim. She won't be made well by proceedings with prosecution in any manner, however, the two girls, who aren't even teens yet, are not adults and should not be treated as such.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Errata View Post
Trying them as children means we have a couple of unrepentant, premeditated, murdering psychopaths walking free after 6 years of state boarding school. They shouldn't get another crack at murder so soon after the first one. The juvenile detention system is not adequate for the severity of what they did.
You don't know any of that. If either or both are socio- or pyschopaths, they are better served by the mental health system. In any event, trying them as adults would not result with adult level punishment, it is not likely to get them life in prison. Likely, if they are found guilty, it would have them sent to a juvenile facility until they reach 17 or 18, then transfer to an adult facility to serve the remainder. Neither of these places are ideal for possible rehabilitation of these girls, but it is likely that a juvenile facility would be better at it.
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