Review the article Teen Gets Probation in Ninja Attack.
- What circumstances do you think contributed to the decision of the chosen dispositional option? Was the decision fair?
- What goal(s) would have been accomplished by incarcerating the youth?
- If you were the judge, how would you have sentenced the youth?
- What would have been a fair disposition for an adult facing the same situation? How would an adult have been treated compared to the juvenile?
In response to your peers, provide one additional disposition to consider if they had been the judge on the case. Justify your response with course readings.
Peer post one
Hello Class and Professor,
I regards to the disposition chosen for the young man, I believe the input from the victim and the victim’s family had to have played a major role in the punishment of the offender. This was a brutal attack of a innocent child. The victim was left with a scar he will have for the rest of his life, and according to the article, the attack was potentially fatal. The defendant was described as a good kid with “low risk” and “low needs” (Merlo, et al, 2019). Twenty stitches in the head of the victim of a blind machete attack may damage that assessment, but, mental evaluation and treatment, as well as bolstering his obviously under-developed social skills may be a better call than incarceration.
The incarceration of the offender would have fulfilled the goals of deterrence, retribution and punishment, and incapacitation/control (Merlo, et al, 2019). I would argue that incarceration probably would not have aided in the goal of rehabilitation or reintegration.
A the judge in this case, taking the victim’s family’s wishes into consideration, as well as the past history of the offender, I would have probably made the same decision. I believe it would be the best chance of integrating the offender back into society. I especially liked the fact that the boy had to return to school as opposed to home schooling.
Had an adult committed this crime, the disposition would have been much different, with far less choices. His social skill set is not still developing. He is what he will always be in that regard. I would foresee incarceration or mental evaluation followed by commitment into a secure mental health treatment center.
peer post two
After reading this article I think that there were a couple of factors that came into play when sentencing this young man to probation for his “ninja” attack. Firstly, the fact that he was a juvenile, although 17 years old and getting close to reaching adult status, had to have played a part in understanding his maturity level. Secondly, this boy had no prior police record, and as his father stated “his son has a history of demonstrating exemplary behavior” (Fidlin). Thirdly, the teenager was very cooperative with law enforcement authorities, and very apologetic to the judge during this process. Lastly, the fact that he took a plea deal is the real reason why in the end he was given a sentence of probation. If this case had gone to trial and witnesses were able to testify, which there were 8, then his sentence may have been different. But since a deal was made between both side, the ninja gets a sentence of probation until he is 18, and doesn’t have to go to court.
The goals that would have been reached by incarcerating the juvenile would be setting an example for other youth in the local community, and getting a potentially dangerous person off of the street. I’m sure this boy would have learned his lesson after being incarcerated, but there is no guarantee in that. It could have the opposite affect by being surrounded with other dangerous juveniles.
If I were the judge in this case, and a plea deal was struck, since the boy already spent 2 months in secure detention, I too would have sentenced him to probation, with additional mandatory counseling as well as 100 hours of community service. The reason I would add counseling and community service is because this boy was 17 years old and should know better than to go around hitting people with machetes. He should have to show his interest in rehabilitating himself and being a productive member of the community. Also, that machete is a deadly weapon, and when chopping a 14 year old boy in the head with a machete, the outcome could have been much worse than just 20 stitches. So my punishment for the boy would require more than just probation and not getting into trouble until he is 18 years old.
In this situation, an adult would have been treated very different than a juvenile. This would be an easy case of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and the adult would surely spend some time behind bars after an incident like this. With a machete as the weapon, it could perhaps even be sought after as an attempted murder. He would be treated differently than the juvenile because he would not be looked at as an immature boy who didn’t know he was going to hurt someone and needs to be taught right from wrong. He would be viewed as an adult who knew exactly what he was doing.