Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Prosecutorial Excess


Okay... CNN is a bit ambiguous in this first part:
Two boys were arrested for making pencil-and-crayon stick figure drawings depicting a 10-year-old classmate being stabbed and hung, police said.
But we'll proceed on the assumption that they meant "hanged".

While certainly a child's artwork may be indicative of psychological issues (apologies for the pop culture reference), sometimes it just means that the kids were drawing pictures. The report indicates, "The children, charged with a felony, were taken from school in handcuffs." Um... excessive?

As I look back on some of the pictures my classmates were drawing at similar ages... well, let's say that little Colin's daily drawings of military hardware in action probably would have inspired Florida to classify him as a habitual felon.

4 comments:

  1. Some more details on this story, including an example of the "artwork" at issue.

    The special education students used pencil and red crayon to draw primitive stick figure scenes on scrap paper that showed a 10-year-old classmate being stabbed and hung, police said.Geez... again? You would think that at least one news agency would know the difference between being hanged and being "hung". But again... somewhat beside the point, save for the observation that if the word "hung" were apt they would probably have also charged these kids with "production of child pornography."

    The special education students used pencil and red crayon to draw primitive stick figure scenes on scrap paper that showed a 10-year-old classmate being stabbed and hung, police said.

    "The officer found they were drawing these pictures for the sole purpose of intimidating and scaring the victim," said Ocala Police Sgt. Russ Kern.
    We're carting nine- and ten-year-old special education students off to jail in handcuffs, and charging them with felonies, over this? (Would that picture have scared you when you were ten? That Colin kid I mentioned? He knew how to draw....

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