Monday, November 05, 2007 - Local - Cruiser rammed in 401 chase - Local - Cruiser rammed in 401 chase

I am wondering what your opinions are on this. Do you think that these kids should face jail time? Does it matter if these kids are all under 18? Does it make a difference if none of the kids have ever been in trouble with the law before?

These teens and this subject have been discussed ALOT since we heard the news. Shawn and I have very different views on what we think the appropriate punishment should be.

let me know what you think.


Heidi the Hick said...

Whew. Sounds familiar...(have you read the whole book yet?)

Y'know, it's true that kids do stupid shit. It doesn't necessarily make them bad kids. But they had to know they were potentially getting into trouble. To ram the police cruiser is just begging for jail time.

Having said that I don't believe young offenders should go to jail- they just learn how to be criminals there. There should be some kind of program for them to serve their punishment and learn to stop being a friggin jackass.

But still- do the crime, do the time.

This'll be an interesting discussion...!

Biddie said...

Heidi - Ahhh. You and Shawn are on teh same side here. He firmly believes that sending these kids to jail is just breeding criminals. Also, the kid that was driving, is a very small kid. Looks about 12, but he is wayyy older. Shawn thinks that he would be an easy target.
I wanna know WTF these kids were doing so far away from home? HOW did the parents not know what they were up to? These are local kids, and being so far away from home...I dunno, shouldn't the parents have noticed that the kid was gone?
This is VERY serious, not like stealing a choclate bar or even just stealing a car...These kids had guns, they rammed a cop car....SIGH....
(I haven't read the whole book yet...still working on it, I have been soooo sick, still kinda am, but I really wanted to blog this).

Gabriel said...

I say send them in and slam the door. I don't even mind if they become somebody's girlfriend once in jail.

Sorry, Heidi, I don't agree with the 'kids do stupid shit' idea. When you're 14, 15 even 17 years old, you have a pretty good idea that what you're doing is wrong. You know what you're doing, and you know what the consequences are. So pay for it.

Because of people like that, me and my then pregnant wife almost got killed. I spent five months in a bed without knowing whether I was going to walk again or not. I hope you can understand how I feel about this.

Sorry if I sound unusually harsh, I'm not exactly having the best of days...

Biddie said...

Gabriel - I think that you and I are closer to being on the same page. I don't think that the system is great, and I am not even sure that it works, but is our system.
Should these kids serve some sort of time? I think so, too. Maybe not in adult jail, but I think that some time in custody is warranted. How else will these kids learn that is SERIOUS if the consequences don't fit the crime?
Also, you bring up a very valid point. Somebody could have been hurt, or killed.
I'm so glad that you and Gabby and the baby were all ok. Well, as ok as you can be after spending 5 months recovering.

rain said...

Boot camp, baby. For both the kids and the parents! I think the Young Offenders Act is well meaning, but it falls short in so many areas. I think that once you can think to drive a car with shotguns and alcohol, you should be able to take some responsibility for your actions...

Biddie said...

rain - I think that's a great idea. Too bad that isn't an option in teh court system...We don't have those here, do we?
I agree though. The kids are taught a BIG lesson,and they aren't thrown in with violent, older offenders.
I don't think that the Y.O. is affective, at all.
It protects the kids WAY too much. I mean, if there were a killer in my neighbourhood, I wanna know. Just b/c that kid may be under 18, doesn't make him less of a killer. Maybe if the names were released, it would be a little more of a deterent to these kids.
And boot camp for the parents? I LOVE it. I think that the parents need to take some responsibilty, as well.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

They should face punishment of some sort. I don't think jail would be appropriate if this is their first offense.

Marni said...

I have to agree with Rain. Jail would just create a worse problem. They need bootcamp to straighten their idiot butts out...

dilling said...

Yes kids do stupid shit... but c'mon...they could have killed ANYBODY driving like that...and what were those shotguns for? And who DOESN"T know that running from police is a federal offence? Prison time? Maybe not. Jail time? Probably. Restitution to everyone? Absolutely.
If it was me deciding...I probably would give them jail time...and years of parole and then some. Hours and hours of community service, perhaps dealing with victims of hit and runs...

SkippyMom said...

My opinion doesn't hold a grain of salt here, but I have one question...

Where are the parents?

Biddie and her readers are good parents and although kids can make mistakes this is tanamount to homicide - I don't care if you are 10 [like my Porcupine] or above age as is Bid's daughter - THEY knew the difference.

The parents should help pay for the crime....where were they when their kids were out terrorizing citizens and the police force?

Biddie said...

whimsical - I am not sure if jail is the appropriate punishment, either. I do like the boot camp idea. This is the first offense (as far as we know), at least one of the boys has been expelled from more than school....I think that this is a bit bigger than just a 1st offence.

marni - Another vote for boot camp. I like that idea, too. It might teach these kids to respect themselves, other people...earning privleges is just what kids like this need.

dilling - Shawn thinks that community service is the way to go, too, along with restrictions on things like driving (no driving until they are 21, 25), curfews...
I think that dealing with victims of hit and runs is great idea, too.
My only concern when it comes to restrictions and curfews would be this...The parents weren't exactly monitoring the kids to begin with, how do we know if these kids are not held in a facility that they will be watched?

skippymom - That is a good question. We have been asking that question, too.
I agree that the parents should be held responsible, as well. I think that it was Rain that suggested bootcamp for parents too. Kids do know the difference from right and wrong and if they don't by the time that they reach their teens, then the parents have failed. (In my opinion)

Heidi the Hick said...

Let me re-iterate-

yeah, teenagers make bad decisions- but still know right from wrong. You can't NOT know that fleeing in a stolen car full of stolen weapons and booze and then ramming a cruiser is a bad idea. They knew.

They've got to be appropriately punished but I dont' know how. I stand by my idea that jail creates better criminals. BUT they have to be taught that they could have killed somebody! Crime = time!

I like the idea of making them meet with victims of similar crimes. Scare them straight.

My 11 year son is sitting right here beside me and as much as we're blaming the parents (and probably SHOULD) I am terrified that despite everythign I've tried to teach my kids, one of them could end up screaming down the highway trying to outrun the flashers. It only takes one bad night with a bad friend.

God help us.

Burfica said...

okay I appoligize now for the language and rant. Sorry biddie.

bull shit on the "they are only kids" crap. Give me a effing break!!!!! They know right from wrong!!! they went on an effing crime spree!!! they had guns!!!! they could have killed someone!!!!

They could have killed that cop that probably has a wife and kids at home!!!! HOW EFFING DARE THEY!!!!!

They should be locked up in a maximum security prison, and be someone's bitch, and put in counseling to see if they could even be let out again. I know that sounds harsh, but my dad was a cop for 18 years.

Some teenagers shot his friend and not a single effing dam car would stop, when he laid on the freeway and bleed to death over 6 fricken hours. In front of his patrol car.

People have just forgotten how to be decent human beings, and if they can't, then they need to be punished and hard, or taken out of the dam equation. (for like murderers and child molesters)

That's my opinion, and I'm sorry if I rant, but HOW EFFING DARE THEY!!!!


Biddie said...

heidi - Well, you're right. Sometimes, you do evrything that you can, and kids still make the wrong choices. It does happen.
I did some pretty stupid stuff myself.
I did NOT however, ever ram another car, or drive around with guns.
I really don't think that your boy will ever pull a b&e, or drive around with booze and guns. he might, however, build a rocket to the moon or invent a life saving device...He also might make faces during the class photo, making his mother both proud and make her want to strangle him.
Just sayin.
I think that jail sucks, but we don't have many other alternatives.

Biddie said...

burfica - Well, please, tell me what's your mind.
Rant away, I asked for it, after all.
People have forgotten how to be decent human beings. I don't think that JUST locking these kids up is the answer, but there has to be a punishment that fits the crime. I am just not sure what that should be.
It seems to me that jail is just warehousing, and there is little or no rehabilitaion. I do agree, 100%, that these kids need counselling. My worry is that if the feel as though they have gotten away with something, that they will continue on this path of destruction.
You're right. They could have killed someone. They need to understand that if they don't already.
It just seems like there are no easy answers.

coffeypot said...

I agree with the boot camp, but I think it should go further. I think the parents should be required to go to the boot camp, too. Or at least face a stiff fine and parenting classes.

captain corky said...

I think they should be castrated.

Is that too extreme?

Seriously, I do have a real problem with the fact that they used guns.

her indoors said...

i would have to say that no way does this sound like their first crime.
yes the majority of kids do do stupid things that are regreted when older, but no way can having guns be classed as anything like this.
boot camp i agree with, (would love to see boot camp over here).
crime is so rife these days for the simple reason there is no deterant.
i would like to see them go to boot camp, then community service working with victims of crime and upon starting paid employment money being deducted from their wage for the cost incurred. in fact any people who commit crime should have to re pay all costs, the cost of keeping someone in prison is astronomical, that we as citizerns pay, if criminals had to pay for these costs would they think again? maybe maybe not but it is a thought

Biddie said...

coffeypot - I'm with you on this. Maybe mom and dad having to pay up- in one way or another - will make them think twice about letting the kids run wild.

Captain Corky - I don't think that any of the kids actually USED the guns, but that they were stolen during one of the break ins. Mind you, why have agun in your car if you don't plan on using it?
The guns scare me, too. A bunch of drunken kids driving around ramming cars with guns? Makes me shudder.

her indoors - I don't think that we do have boot camp here in Canada, but I think that it is a great idea. The kids would learn about self respect, and earning priledges through hard work? I think that it's a great idea.
Community service and working with victims of crime is also a great idea.
I think that you're right about something else, too. This does not sound like a 1st offense. At least one of the kids has some kind of prior record, because one of the charges is breach of probation. I have no idea what that charge was, it could have been anything from shoplifting to vandalism, to something violent.
In Canada, we have the Young Offenders Act (Y.O) which keeps the police or the press from identifying any offender under 18. Personally, I think that it's bullshit. If someone under 18 has been convicted, or even charged with a violent or dangerous crime, I think that we have a right to know.
I also think that you're right when you say that having guns makes this a whole different crime.

Redneck Nerdboy! said...

I can tell you how the parents did not know what they were up to...

They were not very good parents!

Biddie said...

redneck nerdboy - I am still shocked that the kids could just be GONE for a few days and none of these parents seem to notice or care.
The little crime spree went on for DAYS, and the kids were out of town...WAY out of town. WTF?
I also know that at least one of these kids is NOT in school anymore (at the age of 16). So, I guess that since he was kicked out of school, it's ok to just hang out and get in trouble.
I'm with you....bad parents.

Christine said...

Sorry to be so long in answer, but you did open the door for an opinion -

Most jurisdictions in Ontario have diversion programs for Y.O's involved in less serious crimes (shoplifting, posession, theft under $100 w/o b&e, etc.)
The Diversion Program includes counselling, community service, probation restrictions, curfew, etc. for up to 2 yrs.
If (and that's a big if) it could be shown that a kid wasn't as active a participant in the spree, he may qualify for that type of treatment in the system.
A repeat offender wouldn't qualify for diversion, because part of being referred to it is that the Y.O. demonstrates a desire/interest in making positive changes. It could be argued that he should've been using his current prob. time to make changes - that isn't going so well, I'd say.
Juvenile hall still exists for the "incorrigible" (bad label, but that's what they call it) in the juvenile justice system. Some kids need to be there.

All behavior is about choice - someone chose to steal, drink, drive into a cruiser. Two other guys chose to be a part of it all.

They knew they'd done wrong since they a)tried to run, b)disposed of stolen goods.

Let's not be hasty to punish the parents, here. We all know some disinterested parents.
I know parents who, despite all their efforts, have a kid who has been expelled from school, been picked up by the cops, continues to run with the wrong crowd and make some stupid, stupid choices....the kid is under 18 - parents in Ontario still must provide the basics of life to him; since they can't afford to pay rent somewhere else for him, he still lives at home.
They have made him responsible for paying lawyers, restitution, fines, etc. but since the kid doesn't have $$, collection suits end up being launched against the parents.
The parents have to cover it (at additional hardship to the rest of the family), and are left to collect from the kid...who doesn't have $$...and so it goes.

The family doesn't qualify for any help for their other kids (who obviously suffer from the actions of one) because their son refuses to be a part of a process that will help him make changes to his lifestyle. If he would participate in counselling, they could all get some help. In the meantime, they're holding their breath for another 18 mos when the kid turns 18. (Oddly, in Ontario, at 16, the child is of age to make binding decisions related to health care, and counselling (even for crimes/criminal behavior) falls under the health care umbrella).

I remember how parents could kick you out, and you had to go...Of course, one cuff in the side of the head stopped a lot of people from repeating poor choices back then.(Or the threat of that cuff in the head was enough to stop it from happening at all)

Please, Please, Please don't tell me in follow-up, that any of the parents are offering some kind of defense for the actions of their precious little snowangels!

Biddie said...

Christine -
I know that not all parents with 'problem ' kids are to blame, but I can assure that in the case of at least one of these kids involved, the parents just stopped parenting.
So, if I understand you, a kid under 18 but over 16 can say no to counselling? To the best of my understanding, all of the kids involved are in the custody of their parents. This frustrates me to no end. The kids weren't (or couldn't be) controlled to begin with. After being slapped with 19 different charges, these kids are now out and free, playing video games and doing as they please. They can't even be 'forced' into counselling?
It scares me. These kids were just out terrorizing a town, and driving around drunk with guns. I wonder what they were going to do with the guns if they hadn't been caught? If anybody needs counselling, it's these kids.
I used to get a cuff in the head. It keep in my line.
I will do a follow up, as soon as I know more.

Christine said...

If a teen, between the ages of 16 - 18 has a drug problem, you can't force him/her to get help for the addiction.
If the teen is high, commits a crime and counselling is ordered by the court, the kid has to go for counselling. He doesn't have to participate, listen or talk....but he has to show up for 8 or 12 sessions.

If your 16 year old doesn't want an xray, or blood work, or a tetanus shot, the parent can't do anything about it. (the only time a parent can overrule their 16/17 y.o. is life-saving medical treatment/surgery)

Since 1996, and until Jan 1,2008, if a 16 year old doesn't want his report cards and attendance record shared with his parents, he is legally able to request such (forms avail. in the guidance office!), and the school is obliged to honor the request. Thankfully, McGuinty's gov't repealed this section of a law - so it can't be enforced after Jan 1/08 (Harris was the one who brought it in)

We teach all this in Grade 10 - just as the teens are coming of age...If only we also taught "Your Rights are a Privilege; Be Careful How You Exercise Them"

If the parents of that one kid have stopped parenting and given up, then it's no doubt the kid gave up on himself too.
The circle continues. They each blame the other...

* (asterisk) said...

I think Shawn is right that jail will make them even worse criminals, but what the hell else are we (as a society) supposed to do. I'm hard line. Lock 'em up and throw away the key. Never let 'em out. That way it doesn't matter if they become hardened criminals cos they'll never bother decent citizens again.

We in the West have become far too soft on criminals (even murderers), and we are waaay too soft on bad kids. By not punishing them, we are sending the message that it's okay to do the shit they do, aren't we?

Parental responsibility is an issue, too, though. Even if the parents don't "stop parenting", they should have taken the time to teach their kids right from wrong.

Biddie said...

Christine - I knew about the report card issue, since I have 3 teenagers and when they turned 16 they brought home the papers that gave me permission to see the report cards. The law may be the law, but here, in this house, I see the report cards, cuz I am the mom. Simple as that.
You are right about the circle continuing...

Asterisk - I agree that we are way too soft on criminals. I also think that you and Shawn are right - locking them up probably will make them worse, but like you said, what the hell else are we supposed to do? I really think that if the law/judge/society doesn't come down hard on these kids now, they will only get worse. This time, they HAD guns, next time, they might actually use them.
The thought scares the hell ouuta me.

Stinkypaw said...

If they're old enough to do that, then they should be old enough to be punished. They have to be responsible for their action/stupidity. They did the crime, then they should do the time.

My dad was stabbed by a 16 years old kid when we had a store, and he got sentenced for 10 years, as an adult. His crimes were getting more & more violent, and it all started with shoplifting.

Biddie said...

stinkpaw - I agree that things escalate....I really feel like these kids need to be punished now, or they will continue on this path.
Did your Dad survive the stabbing? How awful for him and your family. I don't think that 10 years enough.

Phoenix5 said...

Yep, I'm late again, but I just had to weigh in on this debate.

We HAD boot camps in Ontario, thanks to Mike Harris, but, like everything else the Harris Conservatives did, they were very badly run. A lot of kids were physically and sexually abused in the one camp near Niagara Falls.

I'm kinda sitting on the fence between you and Shawn here. Shawn is right. Our CURRENT jail system in Ontario is producing master criminals at a phenomenal rate! That is becasue the liberal majority in Ontario (note I'm using a lower case on liberal - meaning I'm not talking about the party, but the overall mindset of our province) feels that convicted criminals have rights and these rights supercede any punishment they deserve. IF we were to revert back to the old style prison system, one where if you committed a crime, and were convicted of it, you were locked up in a 6 x 10 concrete room with a slot in the door for your meals and a hole in the corner for your waste; no visitors, no counsellors, no weight rooms, no free TV, no nothing until you wasted away and died from whatever disease the rats infested you with; THEN maybe people wouldn't be so quick to commit crimes, because the consequenses would be unbearable. IF we were to bring back capital punishment, we wouldn't have multi-repeat offenders in our jails teaching the stupid young kids who end up there to become master criminals. But this will never happen in Ontario, or the rest of Canada. Never, ever! The bleeding hearts would never allow it, I can see the massive protests if we were to even start ENFORCING our current laws INSIDE the prisons! Certain "substances" like heroin are illegal to possess in Canada, so why is the largest heroin trafficking ring INSIDE our jails? And if the government attempts to restrict the drugs, there is an immediate riot in the jails as a response and the government backs down!

Enough about that... what to do about these 3 kids? Well, one of the charges was "Breach of Probation" so at least one of them has been in trouble with the law before. This tells me that whatever he was sentenced to originally, didn't work. So, this is where I agree with you. The kid who breached his probation? Adult court and locked up for life. Dangerous offender status for him too! Then he'll never get out. THe other two (if only one was breaching probation) several years house arrest (wearing those tracking anklets) and millions of hours of community service. They should do work for the police force, until they've paid for the wrecked cruiser, they should have their names released to the public, and they should have a permanent criminal record. Then they can go to schools and tell younger kids how hard it is for them to get a job, otr do anything else for that matter all because they screwed up! I like the sandwich board idea too. Public humiliation would really work for kids, because how they appear is one of their prime concerns!

I've ranted on enough, here, but this kids do NOT deserve a break! They obviously knew what they were doing, they deserve to pay the full price of their actions!

Biddie said...

pheonix -
I am with you 100% on the public humiliation. I think it's bullshit that kids can commit such serious crimes, and we never know. I would surely want to know about a molester/killer/gun weilding freak living near me. Imagine, you could hire one of these kids to watch YOUR kids! That thought scares the hell outta me.
I know that the current prison system is flawed, but it is what we have.
If these kids do get out, I think that ankle monitors would HAVE to be used. Obviously, the parents are either unwilling or unable to keep track of their kids. ( Do we use those here in Ontario?)
I didn't know that we had bootcamps here. I am not in favour of any kid being abused, ever. Maybe taking another look at the bootcamp idea would be warranted. Teaching kids respect would go a long way in dealing with these issues. (In my opinion)
Like I said before, it scares me that these kids had guns. WHY? What would they have done if they wouldn't have been caught?
I'm just glad that they were caught before we could find out what they were planning to do with the guns.

Canadian flake said...

ok I am not sure you will see my opinion is this (since you asked):

I think these buggers should be thrown in jail. Just because this is their first run-in with the law, doesn't mean it is their 1st crime. Maybe it is just the first time getting caught. I find it hard to believe they have been perfect angels who suddenly just decided to steal a car and remember they did have guns and alcohol. That alone makes them dangerous in my book..

If my gremlin EVER did that, he better hope the cops get him...cause they will be better to him that I would be..

Biddie said...

Canadian Flake - I think that you area probably right. This does not sound like a first offence to me. At least ONE of the kids has a juvie record of some kind, b/c there is a breach of probabtion charge. My money is on the driver of the car, that he has the record.
I laughed when I rread your last comment...If one of kids ever did something this incredibly stupid, they would be way safer with the cops. WAY.

Gardenia said...

Not sure about this not knowing the whole story - but at first glance I would think community service would be a good lesson - going to jail with adults is not productive.....

Biddie said...

Gardenia - I do not think that jail with adults is productive, either. Not with ADULTS. That is just asking for trouble.
I don't think that community service is enough for these charges. I will update you, and let you know when I hear more.