Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Blame The Parents

Semaj Booker is back in the news again, having received another slap on the wrist after being caught breaking into an apartment. This child is well on his way to becoming a poster boy for "lock-em-up and throw away the key." I've never been one to believe in sentencing juveniles to life in prison for moderately serious crimes, but "the system" really appears to be bending over backwards to place this child back in the care of his admittedly overwhelmed mother, who clearly simply can't manage the child.

But this isn't to say that she should be jailed herself for her failure. I find the comments on the blog posting that seem to imply that Ms. Booker (or whomever is taking care of him now), should be punished to be not only mean-spirited but also simply odd. Andew and Lea Fastow (of Enron infamy) have children. In fact, they argued that they shouldn't have to serve prison terms at the same time, so that one of them could be home with their kids. No-one seems to be concerned that having fraudsters for parents means that the younger Fastows are likely to grow up to be white-collar criminals - who are capable of doing much more damage to our lives than the petty criminal that Booker is likely to become. And no one brings up their parents as failures, and suggests that they be punished for their children's crimes.

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