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Can children be terrorists?

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posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 02:04 AM
I was reading the following article, when something odd occurred to me...

NJ teens charged under terror law

Four teenagers accused of plotting to kill about 25 people in a lunch-period massacre at Winslow Township High School were charged today with terrorism, a crime no one has ever been convicted of in New Jersey.

The boys, between the ages of 14 and 16, were arrested Wednesday after police heard about the alleged plot from administrators at the school, where three of the teens are students. Authorities did not release their names because of their ages.

The boys initially were charged only with low-level crimes and were not eligible to be moved to adult court. Authorities said the teens planned to target students, and teachers and others.


Note they were charged under the terrorism law to increase the possibility they could be tried in "adult" court.

The article continues:

The terrorism charge and other charges added Thursday -- two counts each of conspiracy to attempt murder -- are serious enough that prosecutors could ask a judge to move the case from family court to adult criminal court, where the penalties could be much stiffer.

Prosecutors have 30 days to consider whether to request moving the case; no decision on that was made by Thursday afternoon.

Clearly, asking to have this moved into adult court is a discretionary decision of the prosecutor.

Does that mean, then, that children can be charged in juvenile court with terrorism?

I think if you're going to charge someone with terrorism, that earns you an immediate, non-discretionary ticket to adult court...where the identities of the accused are not withheld and the proceedings are made a public matter.

Otherwise, the outcome is one where children can be prosecuted for "terrorism" in what are essentially secret courts.

Now that is odd, isn't it????

[edit on 7-4-2006 by loam]

posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 02:18 AM
My fault. The title of the thread confuses the issue I tried to raise in the text of my post.

Shouldn't terrorist offenses only ever be tried in adult court?

Think about that for a moment...

If not, children would not receive the benefit of a trial by jury, and their cases would not be open to public scrutiny.

What that essentially means is that children who are charged with terrorism would be have less rights than adults charged with the same very serious crime.

[edit on 7-4-2006 by loam]

posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 02:22 AM
Asking to move the trial to adult court is a formality. You can't automatically try a minor as an adult. IIRC, they're required to go in front of the judge and request that the judge move the trial to adult court, at which point the judge will rule that it will be.

posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 02:25 AM
No, Zaph. The article clearly states that the prosecutor makes the decision whether or not to ask to have it removed to adult court. Thereafter, it's the judge's call.

posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 02:36 AM
That's what I mean. They can't automatically take it to an adult court. The prosecutor makes the decision to take it to adult court, but they can't just automatically move it. They take their evidence, and put it to the judge, and the judge orders it moved. In terrorism cases it's going to be an almost automatic move, but they still have to follow procedures.

posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 03:11 AM
does it say anywhere how old the 'children' are. i mean a 17yo is still legally a minor,but his/her sense of right/wrong is more formally established, than say, an 11 yo's. it seems to me that the incident took place at a highschool (i only skimmed da acticle, so it may or may not have specified) or what?
to me, the age, both physical and psychological, of the children should decide which kinda court the trial takes place in, not the type of crime.

Boots out.

posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 03:26 AM
The youngest was 14, the oldest 16. That's old enough to go to adult court IMO.

posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 05:08 AM
Well, with just what is written in this article, seems to me that they have a weak case for anything really.

a few people heard them talking about a mass killing, hey, ya know, I heard you talking about that yesterday!!! and well, how do they know that one tried to buy a handgun, another kid heard them ask around about it??

is there any real hard physical evidence in this case, or is it just a bunch of allegations? as far as the kid grabbing the girl by the neck and threatening her. well, this happens all too frequently in the school today. it shouldn't happen I agree, but if that implies terrorists, then we have alot of terrorists in our schools!

I think it's a weak case, which is probably why they want it related to terrorism, once that is done, they have a great record of holding people indefinately with cases so weak you might as well say they have no case!

if the same standard was used here on these boards.....I think we have alot of conspirators plotting alot of nasty events....we have alot of terrorists right here.

seems to me, that at least having the means to back up your bs would be a requirement??

posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 05:15 AM
They don't exactly list all their evidence in the papers before a trial. How do we know they DON'T have more than you think they do. They're not going to show all they have until the actual trial starts.

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