Murder is unquestionably the most serious crime that can be committed
by the human hand. So how do we punish the criminals who are
responsible? How do we, as humans ourselves, put a price on another
person? Do we kill them for killing? Do we institutionalize them
for being insane enough to kill, or do we just shut them up in
Obviously, age is taken into account, but how much should
it matter? If a 30-year-old kills, he is imprisoned. If a 20-year-old
kills, he is imprisoned. If a 15-year-old kills, imprisonment
might be debatable.What about a 13-year-old, a 10-year-old, or,
here's a new one, a 6-year-old? How do we punish a 6-year-old
child who intentionally commits a murder?
On February 29, people in the community of Flint, Michigan,
were faced with this exact issue. A 6-year-old girl, Kayla Rolland,
was shot in the back of the neck by a fellow classmate of the
same age after she yelled at him for spitting on her desk. The
class was preparing for a trip to the library when he pulled
a .32 calibre gun out of his pants and pointed it at Kayla and
her friend, Haili Durbin. The single bullet went into Kayla.
She died a half hour after the attack.
According to Haili, the boy often "spit on people, hit
people, cursed and stuck up his middle finger." His father
is currently in jail and the child was living in a crack house
with his mother, until the state child-welfare agency took him
into custody after the shooting. He won't be held responsible
for what he has done, says Arthur Busch, Genesee County prosecutor,
but someone might be facing charges for enabling him to get a
hold of the weapon.
Whatever happens though, there is no way to change the fact
that a little girl is dead. The question remains, could this
have been avoided? We need to start recognizing what is going
on with today's children and try to help prevent situations like
this one from happening again.