posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 01:19 PM
Well, I must admit folks, I have very mixed feelings on this. Very mixed indeed. First, the meat of the story.
SUFFIELD, Conn. (AP) — When Nicholas Aponte recalls the night in 1995 that sent him to prison, he describes an immature 17-year-old who told
himself he was tough but in reality lacked the nerve to say no to a cousin he admired for being a troublemaker.
Sitting with a group of boys on a porch, playing cards and drinking, the cousin said he needed to "do a robbery" and asked if Aponte wanted to tag
Just an idiot-stick 17yr old kid who made a terminally bad decision which resulted in one man dead and a number of lives destroyed in the aftermath.
The thing is, he didn't pull the trigger. He cousin did.
The plan failed. A 28-year-old sandwich shop assistant manager was killed during the robbery. Aponte was later arrested, as was his cousin,
younger brother and a friend. Even though Aponte didn't fire the gun, prosecutors considered him the ringleader. He was treated by the courts as an
adult and sentenced to 38 years without parole. That means he will be 55 when he's freed.
Should that make him innocent? Oh absolutely NOT. Should that give him 38 years in prison? I don't believe so. Give him LIFE or give him something
realistic....but a sentence like 38 years to a 17yr old *IS* life. At least anything remotely like a productive life, is gone. Forever. If he pulled
the trigger and was an adult? I'd say GOOD and chuckle over his sorrow at losing it, too. Taking someone else's warrants no sympathy. Should the same
apply for kids, often caught up in a bad thing but not central to what made it particularly horrible?
In Connecticut, where Aponte is among about 200 inmates who could be affected by the high court's ruling, a proposal that would have allowed
parole hearings for teen offenders who've served at least 12 years or 60 percent of their sentence died this year. There are plans to resurrect the
bill next year.
Never a rabbit to suggest a problem without a solution, I say they already found it. They just need to PASS it to set this right, in my personal
opinion. Juvies SHOULD have the chance to get out when their own hands didn't take life, in particular. I was first thinking 10 years as accomplice to
what the story described...and the bit above for the law proposing 12 years to first parole hearing sounds reasonable. Generally speaking? That'll
have a kid pushing 30 before even having the chance to get out ..and if he's not safe to release, then don't.
Mandatory sentences themselves were simply the lawmakers answer to weak judges and a system that wouldn't put criminals in prison. The answer has
become so much worse than the original problem by both totally destroying lives which may well have had potential after some years to serve for a
mistake ...but also by the obscene costs and overcrowding this has resulted in.
Thoughts? Should Juvies go down in the same 'throw away' style as adults do on a given range of crimes? Should the immaturity and inability to fully
grasp one's own actions BE considered as the 2012 Supreme Court Decision of Miller vs.
* A point to clarify. I'm not suggesting and nor are those in the article suggesting that anyone get away with anything. Prison is a part of the crime
result, no matter what here. The question is simply whether statute law should determine whether the kid has no realistic future left, before
adulthood even begins....or should the Judge and/or system at least have the ability to consider all factors in sentencing and possible release some
edit on 18-8-2013 by wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)