I had a very interesting discussion with 3E2 about the recent case involving a 16-year-old who murdered his lover’s husband. Leaving aside all the steamy details (yeah, yeah, I know those are the ones you enjoy reading about) I think the issue that struck me was that he would be tried as an adult. This is in accordance with our penal code. The class was pretty much divided over whether or not it was right to hang a 16-year-old. At 15 (almost 16) none of you feel like adults, right? Your parents still protect you, pay your bills, feed you, nag you about schoolwork and do all the million and one things for you that real adults have to do on their own. No wonder then that so many feel that 16 is too young to die.
But another group expressed the opinion that if 16 is old enough to commit murder then surely the young man in question should be handed the death sentence if convicted. And I think this is a very valid point. There is a saying that goes “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time”. This is very apt, don’t you think?
I guess what it comes down to is this: by murdering a man this particular 16-year-old has clearly left his boyhood behind. On what basis then can we argue that that discarded boyhood should be reinstated just to avoid making him pay the price?
We do not have all the facts, and I am not sure if we want them. This is a bad business all round. Part of me feels that the one who should bear the blame is the adult woman who should have known better than to consort with (and possibly corrupt) a young person who is in that no-man’s land between childhood and adulthood.
I’d like to know what you think.