little criminals

INTERVIEWS
KEY LEGAL AND MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN THE 1996 CASE OF THE 6-YEAR-OLD WHO ASSAULTED A 1-MONTH-OLD INFANT


Dr. Martin Blinder,
Psychiatrist appointed by Court to evaluate the 6-year-old

" There is something to be said for the phrase 'natural born killer.' It's my view that most of what I found was predestined by his genetic endowment."


John Burris,
Defense Attorney for 6-year-old

"One of the most sacred principles we have is called the Miranda Warnings-- that a person cannot be compelled to give testimony without a clear understanding of his legal rights. There is no way in a snowball in hell that this 6-year-old understood his rights."


Stephen Easton,
Juvenile Judge, Contra Costa County

"What's interesting is that with some of the parents, when they see the kids continue to respect and even like me in spite of the fact that I'm punishing them, they get the idea, 'Hey, I can do this too.'"


Linda Fullerton,
Attorney for the 8-year-old twins who were with the 6-year-old

"I was absolutely shocked to see what a baby he still was. The concept of a lawyer made no sense to him whatsoever...he wondered if I was the police."


Dr. Edward Hyman,
Psychologist appointed by Court to evaluate the 6-year-old

"If we write off a 6-year-old, we might as well right off society."


Harold Jewett,
Prosecutor for the Juvenile Court:

"It doesn't matter whether you're 6 or 106. If you do something wrong that hurts somebody else with knowledge of the wrongfulness of it, you're responsible for it. Period."


Terry Starr,
Contra Costa County Probation Chief

"Thirty years ago when I started, I don't ever recall a kid on a murder charge. When I left San Diego Juvenile Hall in 1990, we had 18 or 19 kids awaiting murder charges. Drugs have changed the world. We're losing a whole generation of kids."



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