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Subject: Only in America rss

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Greg Michealson
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Everything about this story is depressing... and it couldn't happen in any other country on the planet.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/11/us/alabama-boy-murder-charge/

When a 1-year-old girl wouldn't stop crying while her mother was at a club, an 8-year-old boy became annoyed and "viciously attacked" the toddler, beating her to death, police in Birmingham, Alabama, said.
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Walt
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No, I think the parental negligence could happen any place in the world. (Example: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/autistic-boy-died-are-being-bound-...) Charging an eight-year-old with murder, OTOH....

The story that would much more rarely happen outside the US is from Tennessee: Boy who killed girl over puppy got gun from unlocked closet, sheriff says
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Greg Michealson
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Tall_Walt wrote:
No, I think the parental negligence could happen any place in the world. (Example: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/autistic-boy-died-are-being-bound-...) Charging an eight-year-old with murder, OTOH....

The story that would much more rarely happen outside the US is from Tennessee: Boy who killed girl over puppy got gun from unlocked closet, sheriff says
Yes, but I meant everything about the story. The mother was at a nightclub, six kids were home alone and none were older than eight, and Alabama is going to charge an eight year old for murder.

I'll say it again. Only in America.
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Walt
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mrspank wrote:
Yes, but I meant everything about the story. The mother was at a nightclub, six kids were home alone and none were older than eight, and Alabama is going to charge an eight year old for murder.

I'll say it again. Only in America.
Well, if you're going to insist on an exact match of circumstances, then, yes, only in America will Alabama charge a eight year old for murder. But that's not a very meaningful observation.
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mrspank wrote:
Tall_Walt wrote:
No, I think the parental negligence could happen any place in the world. (Example: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/autistic-boy-died-are-being-bound-...) Charging an eight-year-old with murder, OTOH....

The story that would much more rarely happen outside the US is from Tennessee: Boy who killed girl over puppy got gun from unlocked closet, sheriff says
Yes, but I meant everything about the story. The mother was at a nightclub, six kids were home alone and none were older than eight, and Alabama is going to charge an eight year old for murder.

I'll say it again. Only in America.
Nah. As much as I love a good "only in America" sneer, I can just as easily see that happening in the UK and Australia. Hell, I can even name the stereotype / social class labels that would apply (chav and bogan respectively).

Well, actually, the charge-an-8-year-old-with-murder part is impossible in both places (Australian law makes it impossible by definition for anyone that young to commit any form of crime, and UK law is pretty much identical as I recall). But the rest is not unique to the USA.
 
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Tall_Walt wrote:
mrspank wrote:
Yes, but I meant everything about the story. The mother was at a nightclub, six kids were home alone and none were older than eight, and Alabama is going to charge an eight year old for murder.

I'll say it again. Only in America.
Well, if you're going to insist on an exact match of circumstances, then, yes, only in America will Alabama charge a eight year old for murder. But that's not a very meaningful observation.
I didn't mean "only in America" because it took place in Alabama. I meant it because not many countries would charge an eight year old for murder.
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Christopher Seguin
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mrspank wrote:
Tall_Walt wrote:
mrspank wrote:
Yes, but I meant everything about the story. The mother was at a nightclub, six kids were home alone and none were older than eight, and Alabama is going to charge an eight year old for murder.

I'll say it again. Only in America.
Well, if you're going to insist on an exact match of circumstances, then, yes, only in America will Alabama charge a eight year old for murder. But that's not a very meaningful observation.
I didn't mean "only in America" because it took place in Alabama. I meant it because not many countries would charge an eight year old for murder.
Then this is possibly where other countries fail in terms of criminal justice.

Murder is defined as "the killing of another person without justification or valid excuse, and it is especially the unlawful killing of another person with malice aforethought."

Essentially, the prosecution believes (if the initial charge is murder) there has to be "no cause or justification" (which should be the slam-dunk part of the charge), and there has to be "malice aforethought" (that may be harder to prove, as it is quite possible that the boy intended to just make the child stop screaming, not to kill him).

The prosecution will attempt to prove that this young boy did what he did without justification or valid excuse, and that he knew exactly what he was doing would result in the death of the child. It seems pretty straight forward to start the charges at "murder", and then work down from there in terms of a possibly plea deal.

Also, with the child being a minor 10 years removed from emancipation, he will most likely get no more than 10-12 years in "lock up" in a juvenile facility, and then set free.

What appears to have not been discussed is what will happen to the mother, and the remaining children.

Sad case all around. I feel bad for the family (although it is difficult to feel sympathy for the mother without also feeling outrage), and I feel bad for the prosecutor who has to decide on how to proceed in a case involving the death of a 1 year old baby at the hands of their very young sibling. Bad stuff all around.
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mrspank wrote:
Tall_Walt wrote:
mrspank wrote:
Yes, but I meant everything about the story. The mother was at a nightclub, six kids were home alone and none were older than eight, and Alabama is going to charge an eight year old for murder.

I'll say it again. Only in America.
Well, if you're going to insist on an exact match of circumstances, then, yes, only in America will Alabama charge a eight year old for murder. But that's not a very meaningful observation.
I didn't mean "only in America" because it took place in Alabama. I meant it because not many countries would charge an eight year old for murder.
Yes. Let's all gloat at how great other countries are at treating their children.

You're right! In Chad, kids aren't charged if they're troubled enough to murder a sibling at that age... instead, they're put down.

It's not often that I defend the US, but cherry picking stories always tickles my balls.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Tragic, but no not only in America (apart from regarding an 8 year old as an adult).
 
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slatersteven wrote:
Tragic, but no not only in America (apart from regarding an 8 year old as an adult).
As to only in America (yes I know, not all states) the following countries would also consider an 8 year old criminally responsible - India, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, Sudan, Tanzania, Antigua and Barbuda, Indonesia and Kenya.
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mrspank wrote:
Everything about this story is depressing... and it couldn't happen in any other country on the planet.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/11/us/alabama-boy-murder-charge/

When a 1-year-old girl wouldn't stop crying while her mother was at a club, an 8-year-old boy became annoyed and "viciously attacked" the toddler, beating her to death, police in Birmingham, Alabama, said.
Um.....can you back up your assertion that it "couldn't happen in any other country on the planet"?

I don't think you can......but hey, willing to be wrong here.


Ferret
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Greg Michealson
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Ferretman wrote:
mrspank wrote:
Everything about this story is depressing... and it couldn't happen in any other country on the planet.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/11/us/alabama-boy-murder-charge/

When a 1-year-old girl wouldn't stop crying while her mother was at a club, an 8-year-old boy became annoyed and "viciously attacked" the toddler, beating her to death, police in Birmingham, Alabama, said.
Um.....can you back up your assertion that it "couldn't happen in any other country on the planet"?

I don't think you can......but hey, willing to be wrong here.


Ferret
I can't, but I challenge you to find something similar to:

1. Two women at a night club leaving a group of children home alone
2. None above the age of eight
3. One child murders another
4. The state charges that eight year old for murder.
 
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chrisnd wrote:
mrspank wrote:
Tall_Walt wrote:
mrspank wrote:
Yes, but I meant everything about the story. The mother was at a nightclub, six kids were home alone and none were older than eight, and Alabama is going to charge an eight year old for murder.

I'll say it again. Only in America.
Well, if you're going to insist on an exact match of circumstances, then, yes, only in America will Alabama charge a eight year old for murder. But that's not a very meaningful observation.
I didn't mean "only in America" because it took place in Alabama. I meant it because not many countries would charge an eight year old for murder.
Then this is possibly where other countries fail in terms of criminal justice.

Murder is defined as "the killing of another person without justification or valid excuse, and it is especially the unlawful killing of another person with malice aforethought."

Essentially, the prosecution believes (if the initial charge is murder) there has to be "no cause or justification" (which should be the slam-dunk part of the charge), and there has to be "malice aforethought" (that may be harder to prove, as it is quite possible that the boy intended to just make the child stop screaming, not to kill him).

The prosecution will attempt to prove that this young boy did what he did without justification or valid excuse, and that he knew exactly what he was doing would result in the death of the child. It seems pretty straight forward to start the charges at "murder", and then work down from there in terms of a possibly plea deal.

Also, with the child being a minor 10 years removed from emancipation, he will most likely get no more than 10-12 years in "lock up" in a juvenile facility, and then set free.

What appears to have not been discussed is what will happen to the mother, and the remaining children.

Sad case all around. I feel bad for the family (although it is difficult to feel sympathy for the mother without also feeling outrage), and I feel bad for the prosecutor who has to decide on how to proceed in a case involving the death of a 1 year old baby at the hands of their very young sibling. Bad stuff all around.
Charging the 8 year old with murder is moronic. He's not going to have the mental state to meet the intent requirements. Shit, my brother was maybe slightly younger when his classmate picked up a shovel and slammed him over the head with it when they were playing and got into a fight (my mom and her friend were inside chatting while they played in the yard). He had to be rushed to the hospital with head trama. These idiotic prosecutors probably would have charged him with attempted murder.
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mrspank wrote:
Ferretman wrote:
mrspank wrote:
Everything about this story is depressing... and it couldn't happen in any other country on the planet.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/11/us/alabama-boy-murder-charge/

When a 1-year-old girl wouldn't stop crying while her mother was at a club, an 8-year-old boy became annoyed and "viciously attacked" the toddler, beating her to death, police in Birmingham, Alabama, said.
Um.....can you back up your assertion that it "couldn't happen in any other country on the planet"?

I don't think you can......but hey, willing to be wrong here.


Ferret
I can't, but I challenge you to find something similar to:

1. Two women at a night club leaving a group of children home alone
2. None above the age of eight
3. One child murders another
4. The state charges that eight year old for murder.
With respect it's not on me -- you made an assertion you can't back up, and I note I'm not the only one calling you on it.

It might be that only in America we'd actually treat an 8 year old as an adult for murder charges, but that's more or less a good thing rather than a bad thing. Murder destroys everything a person was or ever will be.



Ferret
 
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only in america would we discuss which country treats its children worse
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Ferretman wrote:
mrspank wrote:
Ferretman wrote:
mrspank wrote:
Everything about this story is depressing... and it couldn't happen in any other country on the planet.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/11/us/alabama-boy-murder-charge/

When a 1-year-old girl wouldn't stop crying while her mother was at a club, an 8-year-old boy became annoyed and "viciously attacked" the toddler, beating her to death, police in Birmingham, Alabama, said.
Um.....can you back up your assertion that it "couldn't happen in any other country on the planet"?

I don't think you can......but hey, willing to be wrong here.


Ferret
I can't, but I challenge you to find something similar to:

1. Two women at a night club leaving a group of children home alone
2. None above the age of eight
3. One child murders another
4. The state charges that eight year old for murder.
With respect it's not on me -- you made an assertion you can't back up, and I note I'm not the only one calling you on it.

It might be that only in America we'd actually treat an 8 year old as an adult for murder charges, but that's more or less a good thing rather than a bad thing. Murder destroys everything a person was or ever will be.



Ferret
I really hope this is just trolling.
 
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What is so particularly American about this situation you can't imagine it happening literally anywhere else?

In a related question, how many foreign countries have you lived in?
 
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Greg Michealson
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Ferretman wrote:
mrspank wrote:
Ferretman wrote:
mrspank wrote:
Everything about this story is depressing... and it couldn't happen in any other country on the planet.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/11/us/alabama-boy-murder-charge/

When a 1-year-old girl wouldn't stop crying while her mother was at a club, an 8-year-old boy became annoyed and "viciously attacked" the toddler, beating her to death, police in Birmingham, Alabama, said.
Um.....can you back up your assertion that it "couldn't happen in any other country on the planet"?

I don't think you can......but hey, willing to be wrong here.


Ferret
I can't, but I challenge you to find something similar to:

1. Two women at a night club leaving a group of children home alone
2. None above the age of eight
3. One child murders another
4. The state charges that eight year old for murder.
With respect it's not on me -- you made an assertion you can't back up, and I note I'm not the only one calling you on it.

Ferret
I understand, but how exactly do you want me to go about proving it? Should I google the interwebs for the four criteria, and when I don't find results similar enough, do I then say, "I told you!"

Wait, I just googled for similar cases and didn't find anything. I told you!

 
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Greg Michealson
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slatersteven wrote:
Ferretman wrote:

It might be that only in America we'd actually treat an 8 year old as an adult for murder charges, but that's more or less a good thing rather than a bad thing. Murder destroys everything a person was or ever will be.

Ferret
I really hope this is just trolling.
Keep hoping because I don't think it is.
 
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Christopher Seguin
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AdamTracey wrote:
chrisnd wrote:
mrspank wrote:
Tall_Walt wrote:
mrspank wrote:
Yes, but I meant everything about the story. The mother was at a nightclub, six kids were home alone and none were older than eight, and Alabama is going to charge an eight year old for murder.

I'll say it again. Only in America.
Well, if you're going to insist on an exact match of circumstances, then, yes, only in America will Alabama charge a eight year old for murder. But that's not a very meaningful observation.
I didn't mean "only in America" because it took place in Alabama. I meant it because not many countries would charge an eight year old for murder.
Also, with the child being a minor 10 years removed from emancipation, he will most likely get no more than 10-12 years in "lock up" in a juvenile facility, and then set free.
It's sad that you think 10-12 years "lock up" for an 8 year old is reasonable. Maybe you think that all the other 8-year-old potential murderers need to be sent a very clear message?
I never said it was "reasonable". Where did I say that locking him up for 10-12 years is "reasonable". I only indicated that according to the laws in this country and how we incarcerate minors, he may only get 10-12 years and then be let out of jail/juvenile facility, due to his age at the time of the crime.

Find where I said "reasonable", please. I did no such thing, and gave no opinion as to my thoughts. I only opined as to why "murder" was discussed as the charge that the prosecution may or will pursue, and not some lesser offense. I think it has to do with "bargaining down" to a lower offense to avoid trial.

Your rules and laws on the eastern side of the pond are different than ours. Stop trying to conflate the two, or worse, suggest that I said something that I didn't.
 
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How sad where are the kids dads? Why do these moms do this? What happened to the family unit or values in these 2 families?

Maybe a more interesting question than America vs. ??

57.6% of black children, 31.2% of Hispanic children, and 20.7% of white children are living absent their biological fathers.
Source: Family Structure and Children’s Living Arrangements 2012. Current Population Report. U.S. Census Bureau July 1, 2012.

Why is this happening? I don't think this tragedy happens in an intact 2 parent household (it could of course, but this specific incident). Also if you look at the percentage of incarceration it correlate STRONGLY to if that person had a father in thier life. Maybe our families (or lack of healthy families) are the real problem in our prison system and "welfare state" tendencies?



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Christopher Seguin
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AdamTracey wrote:
chrisnd wrote:
AdamTracey wrote:
chrisnd wrote:
mrspank wrote:
Tall_Walt wrote:
mrspank wrote:
Yes, but I meant everything about the story. The mother was at a nightclub, six kids were home alone and none were older than eight, and Alabama is going to charge an eight year old for murder.

I'll say it again. Only in America.
Well, if you're going to insist on an exact match of circumstances, then, yes, only in America will Alabama charge a eight year old for murder. But that's not a very meaningful observation.
I didn't mean "only in America" because it took place in Alabama. I meant it because not many countries would charge an eight year old for murder.
Also, with the child being a minor 10 years removed from emancipation, he will most likely get no more than 10-12 years in "lock up" in a juvenile facility, and then set free.
It's sad that you think 10-12 years "

lock up" for an 8 year old is reasonable. Maybe you think that all the other 8-year-old potential murderers need to be sent a very clear message?
I never said it was "reasonable". Where did I say that locking him up for 10-12 years is "reasonable". I only indicated that according to the laws in this country and how we incarcerate minors, he may only get 10-12 years and then be let out of jail/juvenile facility, due to his age at the time of the crime.

Find where I said "reasonable", please. I did no such thing, and gave no opinion as to my thoughts. I only opined as to why "murder" was discussed as the charge that the prosecution may or will pursue, and not some lesser offense. I think it has to do with "bargaining down" to a lower offense to avoid trial.

Your rules and laws on the eastern side of the pond are different than ours. Stop trying to conflate the two, or worse, suggest that I said something that I didn't.
You're right, you didn't say that - sorry. Do you think it's reasonable?
Thank you.

I actually don't know if it is reasonable, because I haven't thought about it long enough, or taken the time to gather all of the facts.

Do I think this boy needs to spend some time away from the "general society" in a locked-up location? Yes, absolutely. I just don't know how long. The boy is 8, after all. So I don't know if 10-12 years is "reasonable" or not. However, while he is locked up, he needs to learn some social skills, learn about laws and limits, learn rights and responsibilities, and overall figure out how to cope in society. Juvenile facilities will be better than a typical prison for that.

Now, do I think it is reasonable for the prosecutor to seek "murder" charges? No, probably not. Again, I don't think there is intent with malice to actually result in the death of the baby girl. I think he just wanted to shut her up, and didn't realize the extent of the damage that he was capable of doing.

The mom? Well, it is my understanding that she may be or has already been charged with manslaughter - essentially, she contributed to the death of the baby through gross negligence. Probably not intentionally, which is why they won't go for a murder charge against her, but manslaughter is certainly reasonable in my opinion (see, I used the word "reasonable" in that sentence ).
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chrisnd wrote:
I actually don't know if it is reasonable, because I haven't thought about it long enough, or taken the time to gather all of the facts.

Do I think this boy needs to spend some time away from the "general society" in a locked-up location? Yes, absolutely. ...
I'm not sure the 8 year old had the mental capacity to understand what he was doing:

Piaget's second stage, the pre-operational stage, starts when the child begins to learn to speak at age two and lasts up until the age of seven. During the Pre-operational Stage of cognitive development, Piaget noted that children do not yet understand concrete logic and cannot mentally manipulate information. Children’s increase in playing and pretending takes place in this stage. However, the child still has trouble seeing things from different points of view.
--https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Piaget#Stages

Of course, these ages aren't bright lines. He might be a slow 8 year old. In any case, he might not cognitively understand that the baby is anything other than an annoyance source. Cartoon "physics" and "immortality" make sense to young children. We're all sociopaths as little children, before we've experienced enough "don't"s and consequences, and gained enough empathy, to develop a moral sense.
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AdamTracey wrote:
chrisnd wrote:


Thank you.

I actually don't know if it is reasonable, because I haven't thought about it long enough, or taken the time to gather all of the facts.

Do I think this boy needs to spend some time away from the "general society" in a locked-up location? Yes, absolutely. I just don't know how long. The boy is 8, after all. So I don't know if 10-12 years is "reasonable" or not. However, while he is locked up, he needs to learn some social skills, learn about laws and limits, learn rights and responsibilities, and overall figure out how to cope in society. Juvenile facilities will be better than a typical prison for that.

Now, do I think it is reasonable for the prosecutor to seek "murder" charges? No, probably not. Again, I don't think there is intent with malice to actually result in the death of the baby girl. I think he just wanted to shut her up, and didn't realize the extent of the damage that he was capable of doing.

The mom? Well, it is my understanding that she may be or has already been charged with manslaughter - essentially, she contributed to the death of the baby through gross negligence. Probably not intentionally, which is why they won't go for a murder charge against her, but manslaughter is certainly reasonable in my opinion (see, I used the word "reasonable" in that sentence :D ).
I think the idea of sending an 8 year old child to a juvenile detention facility for 10-12 years, for any reason, is obscene. Debating whether to charge this particular child with murder or manslaughter, in my view, is completely missing the point.

Here is a young child who clearly hasn't had a stable upbringing. He's been left in a situation which would be stressful even for the most well-adjusted 8 year old. Almost certainly, this isn't the first time he's been put in situations like this. And of course, he has done a terrible thing. I doubt he is under any illusions about that. He'll almost certainly have significant psychological problems linked to this event, to add to any he already had.

Let me suggest an alternative approach to debating whether this is murder or manslaughter, or whether he should spend 10 years or another number in confinement:

Assess him psychologically and establish whether he is actually an ongoing risk to others. Provide therapy to help with existing psychological issues, including ones related to this event. As soon as it is deemed safe, which may be immediately, place him in supportive care, possibly though adoption, with people who can provide the kind of guidance you suggest (plus maybe a bit of love as well, which is likely the thing he is missing the most). Not in confinement, in the community. If safe and possible, keep him with the rest of his siblings.

Maybe there's a young child child here whose life can be saved. How does confinement in a correctional facility, potentially for the rest of his childhood, offer any benefits to him or society compared with this approach?

And just to be clear, I don't think this is a UK/US issue. Cases like this don't happen very often, but historically we've been terrible at dealing with them as well.
But retribution!
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Christopher Seguin
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AdamTracey wrote:
chrisnd wrote:


Thank you.

I actually don't know if it is reasonable, because I haven't thought about it long enough, or taken the time to gather all of the facts.

Do I think this boy needs to spend some time away from the "general society" in a locked-up location? Yes, absolutely. I just don't know how long. The boy is 8, after all. So I don't know if 10-12 years is "reasonable" or not. However, while he is locked up, he needs to learn some social skills, learn about laws and limits, learn rights and responsibilities, and overall figure out how to cope in society. Juvenile facilities will be better than a typical prison for that.

Now, do I think it is reasonable for the prosecutor to seek "murder" charges? No, probably not. Again, I don't think there is intent with malice to actually result in the death of the baby girl. I think he just wanted to shut her up, and didn't realize the extent of the damage that he was capable of doing.

The mom? Well, it is my understanding that she may be or has already been charged with manslaughter - essentially, she contributed to the death of the baby through gross negligence. Probably not intentionally, which is why they won't go for a murder charge against her, but manslaughter is certainly reasonable in my opinion (see, I used the word "reasonable" in that sentence ).
I think the idea of sending an 8 year old child to a juvenile detention facility for 10-12 years, for any reason, is obscene. Debating whether to charge this particular child with murder or manslaughter, in my view, is completely missing the point.

Here is a young child who clearly hasn't had a stable upbringing. He's been left in a situation which would be stressful even for the most well-adjusted 8 year old. Almost certainly, this isn't the first time he's been put in situations like this. And of course, he has done a terrible thing. I doubt he is under any illusions about that. He'll almost certainly have significant psychological problems linked to this event, to add to any he already had.

Let me suggest an alternative approach to debating whether this is murder or manslaughter, or whether he should spend 10 years or another number in confinement:

Assess him psychologically and establish whether he is actually an ongoing risk to others. Provide therapy to help with existing psychological issues, including ones related to this event. As soon as it is deemed safe, which may be immediately, place him in supportive care, possibly though adoption, with people who can provide the kind of guidance you suggest (plus maybe a bit of love as well, which is likely the thing he is missing the most). Not in confinement, in the community. If safe and possible, keep him with the rest of his siblings.

Maybe there's a young child child here whose life can be saved. How does confinement in a correctional facility, potentially for the rest of his childhood, offer any benefits to him or society compared with this approach?

And just to be clear, I don't think this is a UK/US issue. Cases like this don't happen very often, but historically we've been terrible at dealing with them as well.
Good points, in their entirety. Again, I hadn't determined if it was reasonable or not at the time that I first heard about it (based on the assumption that that is what will happen).

However, as different arguments for an against are brought against long-term "incarceration", I am more apt to think that ANY time spent away from general society in a facility is probably bad, and NOT reasonable. That's because I have now thought about it in a reasonable manner, and am able to form a conclusion.

Thanks for your input.
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