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    Speak Up! - View Question #585

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    Question: Are minors punished the same as adults if they commit murder?

    Answer: It depends. Arizona Law (ARS §13-501) states that kids over 15 that commit 1st or 2nd degree murder are automatically tried in adult court. If the minor is 14, the county attorney has discretion to charge in adult court. If the minor is younger than 14, the state can still try to charge the minor as an adult, but they must first go through a transfer hearing and it is a judge who finally decides.

    There are four basic types of homicide in Arizona:

    Negligent homicide (ARS §13-1102);

    Manslaughter (ARS §13-1103);

    Second degree murder (ARS §13-1104); and

    First degree murder (ARS §13-1105).

    The circumstances surrounding the homicide and state of mind of the defendant create the distinctions.The most serious offenses are first and second degree murder.

    If the minor is young enough and the circumstances warrant it, (there are enough mitigating factors) a minor who remains in juvenile court would have consequences until his/her 18th birthday. Arizona Law (ARS §8-341 - §8-342 - §8-343) lists the consequences which a juvenile court judge can impose.

    If the minor is tried and found guilty in adult court, the sentencing statute states the punishment shall be the same as that for an adult (life imprisonment, life without parole, or the death penalty are the usual punishments for first degree murder (ARS §13-703)). However, if the defendant was under the age of 16 when the offense occurred, the death penalty is not available. See Thompson v. Oklahoma, 487 US 815 (1988).

    The punishment for second degree murder can be found at ARS §13-710. All other homicides' punishments are determined by the sentencing statutes ARS §13-604, ARS §13-701, ARS §13-702, ARS §13-702.1, ARS §13-702.2

    1 thru 5 of 76 comments    [ 1 ]  2   3   4   5  ...   
    On 05/25/09
    Jeremy from MD said:
    First, what makes you an adult? Does driving, buying cigs, or even voting make you an adult. I served with plenty in Iraq that were not old enough to drink. They took on a responsibility. Once a child makes the decision to kill, harm, or rape another human being then that child takes on the responsibilities of an adult and should be punished as such.
    On 11/09/07
    shank from MO said:
    you people are crqazy minors should not be tried as adults no matter what
    On 11/06/07
    Di Mc from MO said:
    I feel that age should not play in as a factor on how a person is tried. It should be based on their knowledge of wht is right and what is wrong.A person who knew what they were doing, but didn't care or ponder about the consquences should be put away no questions asked.
    On 10/17/07
    Jamie from KY said:
    Ok Tamaree from Texas I hope that your school is teaching you better typing skills. Even in the texting world that was not understandable. Getting back to the topic I understand that kids are picked on and bullied more so than they were years ago but kids today are still equiped with the same brain and common sense. Make the right choices. Just b/c someone trips you in the hallway or laughs at you when you walk by doesn't make it right to bring a gun to school and shoot someone. You take more than one life that way. Their life, their family's, your's..., your family's. It's not worth it.
    On 10/14/07
    maggie from PA said:
    I recently have experienced a family membered who was murdered by a minor. No question - Murder is a capital crime and the maximum punishment should be given - which I feel should be death. If you commit that heinous of a crime you should pay with your own life. These discussions are ridiculous. MURDER is WRONG. No excuses. No age limits. No leniency. Bottom Line! If there were tougher laws then I guarantee you that people would think twice and learn to respect human life. Not take the life from some perfectly innocent victim.
    1 thru 5 of 76 comments    [ 1 ]  2   3   4   5  ...   

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