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Published:March 2nd, 2006 10:58 EST
The Development of a Killer

The Development of a Killer

By Saly Alhady

Over the last ten years, we noticed an increase in new kinds of violent crimes done by teenagers, especially against relatives; it has become common to hear that a teenager killed one or more of his family, and some times the whole family.  However, more troubling is that about 9,700 American prisoners are serving life sentences for crimes before the age of 18.  More than a fifth has no chance for parole.

In addition, according to a survey by The New York Times, juvenile criminals are serving life terms in at least 48 states.  We all believe that the juvenile crime laws are to protect them from legal abuse, other people, their young age, and unstable emotional situations associated with this period of their lives.  On the other hand, it does not mean that they are not responsible of their acts, maybe the violence in the movies or video games, combined with drugs and absent or uninvolved parental control take apart of the responsibility, but individuals are still held accountable. 

On July 5, 2004, on Sam Donaldson`s New Mexico ranch was one of the famous juvenile crimes when 16 year old Cody Posey, the boy who has admitted to fatally shooting his father, Paul Posey, his stepmother Tryone, and stepsister Marilea Schmid (13 years old).  The crime came after a fight with his dad over cleaning the horse stables, in which he said his father slapped him across the face.

According to a court transcript of the statement, Cody said that he got a gun from his stepsister`s saddlebag and waited in the house until his father returned, "get him off this planet, `cause I`d be better here without him. "  At this point, Cody shot his father, then went to his stepmother and shoots her twice in the head, as she sat reading a book on the couch.  After that, he went to kill his stepsister.

Following a lengthy trial, Posey`s punishment was to be sentenced to the custody of the state`s Children, Youth, and Families Division until he reaches the age of 21. 
 
In Fayette County Court, there was another trial of two teenage girls-- Holly Harvey and Sandy Ketchum-- who entered guilty pleas for brutally killing the grandparents (Carl and Sarah Collier) of one of the girls, in a vicious act spurred by love, investigators say.

The grandparents confronted Harvey, who had a knife, as Ketchum-- armed with another knife, waited under the bed.  Then Holly stabbed her grandmother in the back at least 15 times, and at the same time, Harvey followed her grandfather and stabbed him, then they both took their grandmother`s jewelry, and escaped to Tybee Island, located on Georgia`s east coast. 

To be sure, teen murderers today are not the same as murderers of yesteryear; they shoot seemingly at random and without cause, so they deserve to pay for their crimes, and for us to deal with them as adults.  They should not be treated as juvenile offenders and sentenced as such, because we need to protect the community from this kind of criminal, and to give a hard lesson to other teenagers that they have to think well before they do this type of crime, since they would spend the rest of their lives in prison, not only a few years. 
 
Actually, there are many cases like these, of teenagers in the courts for violent criminal offenses, and many minors awaiting punishment between juvenile and adult sentence, according whatever to the state`s law or the judge`s personal opinions.