Many people generally associate adolescence with an uncomfortable time between childhood and adulthood. Young teenagers want to be treated like grownups, but they are often too immature and inexperienced to understand just what that can mean. When a young person gets involved in situations far beyond their maturity level, the consequences can be quite upsetting.
Recently, people across New York were likely shocked to hear that a 16-year-old kid was charged with attempted murder. His actions highlight the severity of similar actions as well as the challenges of dealing with young people charged with serious crimes.
According to reports, the teen was charged with attempted murder after a disagreement about a coat. Authorities say that he tried to steal an expensive coat from a 20-year-old, who would not let him have it. The exchange allegedly got quite heated and the teen pulled out a gun and fired at the man with the coat. He shot eight times, hitting the man twice and a 14-year-old teen skating at Bryant Park. Luckily, both survived but they suffered serious injuries.
The case presents a troubling dynamic. Although the crime was extremely dangerous and unlawful, how much does the young boy’s age play a role in the situation? Has he been in trouble before or is this his first run-in with the law? Does he suffer from emotional or mental issues that can be treated with counseling or rehabilitation?
These questions are very important to consider when a young person is charged with a serious crime. In many cases, young people can benefit from alternatives to prison that can help them change their lives and work to never make the same mistake again.
While we want children to learn their lessons after breaking the law, there may be opportunities to help them avoid paying for a mistake for the rest of their lives and help them make a change. This is why it can be crucial for parents of juveniles facing criminal charges in New York to work with a criminal defense attorney to explore their legal options.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Corey Dunton, 16-Year-Old Bryant Park Shooting Suspect, Arraigned On Attempted Murder Charge,” Jane Janeczko, Nov. 12, 2013