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David CO

Eagle Scout Shown Leniency

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11 hours ago, Liz said:

If anything, having gone through all it takes to become an Eagle Scout, he should have known better even moreso than other boys his age. 

I would be more inclined to hold him MORE accountable, not less.

So you feel there should be separate standards of justice?

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I don’t know. Maybe? It seems like I might be more inclined to grant leniency to someone who did not have the advantages of a good family and Scouting to teach right from wrong I guess. 

But I certainly wouldn’t give it to someone who had every opportunity to learn tight from wrong. 

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44 minutes ago, SSF said:

So you feel there should be separate standards of justice?

Over on this side of the Atlantic I spent 17 years working for HM Revenue and Customs, broadly the equivalent of your IRS.

On tax fraud there was a much lower threshold for making it a criminal prosecution (as opposed to a civil matter settled out of court) for accountants, lawyers and in particular HMRC staff on the basis that they should know better.

So certainly there are examples of different standards of justice out there.

Should that be the case here?

Certainly not in terms of being more lenient on an Eagle Scout. Should he be treated more harshly because of it? I’m Not convinced but I do have an element of sympathy for it.

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To be clear, the initial judge didn't give the boy a "get out of jail free" card or "a pass."  The judge was deciding whether to allow the prosecutor to try the boy in an adult court.  The judge made one decision, the appeals court overruled.  The system worked as designed.

It is an interesting time.  I hear a lot of talk about the ills of the Clinton-era crime bill taking away judicial discretion, imposing mandatory minimums, three strike laws, etc.  And those things deserved to be debated, especially as to how they were applied differently in different communities.  The flip side though is we will have cases like this where a lower court judge makes a decision that is appealed and overturned.  Ultimately it comes down to the balance we want for retributive or rehabilitative justice, and attempting to ensure the balance is the same across all communities. 

The first article posted had a link to "studies" showing teenagers tried in adult courts are more likely to become repeat offenders.  Unfortunately it's behind a paywall for me now so I can't reference the link.  Here's one take on the issue from the ABA website, https://www.americanbar.org/groups/litigation/committees/childrens-rights/articles/2016/should-juveniles-be-charged-as-adults/.  

 

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7 hours ago, Cambridgeskip said:

 

On tax fraud there was a much lower threshold for making it a criminal prosecution (as opposed to a civil matter settled out of court) for accountants, lawyers and in particular HMRC staff on the basis that they should know better.

 

That makes sense. A tax accountant should know better. Tax accountants have specific training in this area. Does a tax accountant have any sort of special training in the area of sexuality? I don't think so. So I would hold an accountant to the same standard in regard to sex offenses.

 

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7 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

 

The first article posted had a link to "studies" showing teenagers tried in adult courts are more likely to become repeat offenders.  

 

That makes sense. Only the most egregious cases get sent to adult court. Those offenders are more likely to be repeat offenders regardless of which court hears the cases.  

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There's a weird thing going on in our justice system lately. This all reminds me of the case of that college kid who was given a 6-month sentence for rape because of his student athlete status and the judge's belief that he's not a danger to anyone. 

The idea that judges are now passing sentences based on some sort of personal belief of future life potential rather than the facts of the case is disturbing. Especially when the facts of the case, such as this Eagle Scout case, seem to suggest otherwise. The kid not only bragged about the assault but he seemed to be proud of it, based on the text messages he sent to friends afterwards. Scary behavior, certainly not anything that would make me think he'll live out the rest of his life crime-free.

It says something very "Minority Report"-esque that our legal system takes into account the subjective views of judges who think they have some crystal ball to see the potential future of the accused and judge current cases based on those views.

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2 hours ago, FireStone said:

The kid not only bragged about the assault but he seemed to be proud of it, based on the text messages he sent to friends afterwards. 

I've been thinking about that. I really hope that these friends weren't other boy scouts.

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If there is not already a process or rescinding 'Eagle', this situation makes a good case for one.

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9 hours ago, JoeBob said:

If there is not already a process or rescinding 'Eagle', this situation makes a good case for one.

Not that I am aware. Maybe as a start, anyone designated an Ineligible Volunteer ("Perversion Files") and is found to be an Eagle has that rank rescinded? 

My $0.02,

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6 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

Not that I am aware. Maybe as a start, anyone designated an Ineligible Volunteer ("Perversion Files") and is found to be an Eagle has that rank rescinded? 

My $0.02,

I don't see the point in rescinding a rank. It won't keep the media from pointing out that the offender was a former eagle scout. 

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I would hope a more accurate description would take hold. The offender is now an expelled/dismissed/defrocked Eagle Scout who can never again be a member of Scouting, BSA.

 

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11 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

I would hope a more accurate description would take hold. 

 

I can think of a more accurate description, but I can't say it on this forum.

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Posted (edited)

There is Justice, and there is Mercy and there is Grace.   The three concepts are often conflated.

Mercy is called for when the accused individual was not aware of his transgression, not aware of his situation. Perhaps not aware of alternative actions, or not responsible due to immaturity ?   If a young child might somehow cause the death of someone thru their ignorance of the results of their action.... 

Grace is concerned with forgiveness, This is for the other person (if any) involved  and with the accused's Creator, God, Spirit  to consider. Can the accused be forgiven? 

 Justice thru the courts and state is never involved with Grace/forgiveness,  it  should only be concerned with responsibility of action, with "making the injured person whole", if possible.  Mercy? Perhaps, but not "officially".  If the state, thru it's intelligence, has declared the punishment for a declared crime, then that is what the accused should expect IF HE GETS CAUGHT and CONVICTED.  

For a judge to declare the accused and convicted to be given leniency, in effect mercy, due to his prior good behavior or future possible  good behavior is questionable.   One's future behavior is predicted by their past behavior.  Ya gotta change the future past behavior by behaving in the future  the way ya want to be judged by your past behavior !

As I said before, for an Eagle Scout to behave as this fellow was accused and convicted , I still ask, From Whom Did He Learn This Behavior?

 

 

Edited by SSScout

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