I will briefly discuss the two cases; punishments received and speak on if the charges fit the crimes committed. I will discuss if any other charges may have been applicable to each of the defendants. Finally, I will determine if the punishment imposed violated the prohibition of “cruel and unusual” punishment in the constitution.
These two cases have caught the attention of the public due to the nature of the crime and also the outcome of the court’s decisions. In 2001, Lionel Tate, 12-years-old, is convicted of a first degree murder for killing six-year-old playmate Tiffany Eunick. According to Tate’s defense attorney, the defendant was imitating wrestling stars when he claimed that he unintentionally killed the ...view middle of the document...
The King siblings killed their sleeping father and then set their house on fire to cover up their crime. The defense attorney said the brothers wanted to escape from their father and be with their neighbor, Ricky Chavis. It was said that Alex was in love with Chavis and that the old neighbor is sexually interested with the minor child.
The difference between the Tate case and the King case is that the one was tried by a jury and the other was tried by a judge. Consequently a jury may be more likely to make decisions based on how persuasive the lawyers are and be much more lenient on the sentence imposed as in the Kings case.
I think the Florida justice system failed them by allowing them to be tried as adults. It is also questionable that the court did not entertain expert testimonies and one case there was more charges imposed but a lesser sentence. Being tried as an adult is excessive in itself as that automatically means a longer punishment when tried for murder because most youth are out by age 21 in most cases when tried as juveniles.
Some lawyers or judges may feel that no matter the age of the child they should be charged as an adult. But there are things need to be determined before deciding to try a child as an adult. As parents we raise our children to know right from wrong, fictional versus reality and good from bad but even after instilling it in them they sometimes try things out of curiosity or can easily be influenced into doing things. With that said I am willing to believe if it were a lawyer or judge’s child/grandchild facing murder charges they would quickly want to consider leniency of some sort and definitely be against them being tried as adults.