Kids should never be tried as adults

By Robert Schwartz

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (CNN) — About 20 years ago, 9-year-old Cameron Kocher fired a rifle out of a window of his home in upstate Pennsylvania and hit his 7-year-old neighbor, who was riding on a snowmobile, and killed her.

The prosecutor decided to try the 9-year-old as an adult. When the charge is murder, Pennsylvania is one of a handful of states that has no lower age limit for trying children as adults.

The district attorney argued that Cameron had lied when asked about the shooting — and lying is something that adults do. The trial judge subsequently agreed to keep Cameron’s case in adult court. The boy had seemed normal, the judge said, so there was nothing for the juvenile justice system to treat. Cameron had also dozed during pretrial motions, which showed “a lack of remorse.”

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