BOSTON (CBS) – When someone is injured by a defective product, or by someone’s negligence, the legal system is there to help repair the damage. Legions of tort lawyers are eager to make the case, and sympathetic jurors often come back with large damage awards.
Justice, everyone declares afterwards, has been done.
But strangely, when it comes to the incalculable, lasting damage done to the family, friends and communities of murder victims, an entirely different mentality is in evidence.
Watching the surviving victims of atrocious first-degree murders by juveniles speak about their loss up at the State House Wednesday, I wanted to go off in a corner and have a good cry. Many years after the crime, some were barely able to speak about it.
All were plainly still in great pain, an agony exacerbated by the justice system’s recent decision that a life sentence without parole for the handful of juveniles who commit such premeditated atrocities is somehow unconstitutional.
Now it’s up to our legislature to decide if the 15-year minimum sentence before a first-degree juvenile killer can be eligible for parole is long enough.
Listen to Jon’s commentary:
A bipartisan array of lawmakers are pushing for 35 years, drawing support from victims who are still in shock that the murderers who destroyed their lives will ever get a chance to walk.
A parade of “experts” testified in favor of leniency, essentially on the grounds that they’re just kids.
I say, let’s treat the victims of these crimes with the same deference we treat victims of faulty consumer products, and send a strong social message that we still know the difference between right and wrong.
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.
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