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No.25 "Kids--They Grow Up So Fast These Days"
(By JESSICA REAVES,, Friday, Nov. 19, 1999)

副題、A 13-year-old is charged -- and convicted -- with murder as an adult. Has this trend gone too far?「13歳の子供が、成人として殺人(謀殺)罪で告訴され,しかも有罪を宣告された。この趨勢には手の施しようがないのか。」

Boys will be boys -- except in a growing number of courts, where they are men.


  (注)A baby will cry.「赤ん坊は泣くものだ」という will。



Two years ago, the then-11-year-old Abraham borrowed a .22 caliber rifle, sat on a hillside in a Detroit suburb, and shot stranger Ronnie Greene, Jr. in the head.


The trial ended Tuesday with a verdict of second-degree murder.


The trial became a case study of sorts. Under the microscope: A three-year-old Michigan law, the most stringent of its kind, which permits prosecutors, with a judge's permission, to try children as adults.


(注)put O under the microscope「〜を詳細に調べる」


"The theory behind this law," says TIME Detroit bureau chief Nichole Christian, "is that because more and more children nationwide are committing crimes that we generally think of as 'adult crimes,' these kids should be tried as adults." .


(注)think of A as B「AをBとみなす」

For instance, says Fieger(Abraham's defense lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger), an adult with the mental age of an 11-year-old could present a "diminished capacity" defense, so what's the logic in assigning adult capabilities to an 11-year-old? (Especially one who is, according to defense psychologists, operating on the level of a six-year-old?)


(注)diminished capacity「責任を負う能力が十分にはないこと」;assign A to B「AをBに設定する・割り当てる」


prosecutors indicate they may be willing to ease up in the sentencing phase, offering the possibility of eight years of juvenile detention followed by a psychological reassessment and, potentially, parole.


(注)juvenile detention「少年院送り」

"It's too early to say how the judge will sentence Abraham," says Christian(TIME Detroit bureau chief Nichole Christian). "But there is a realization, in this case, at least, that this boy is still a boy."



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