The celebrated attorney who represented Casey Anthony has taken on the case of a 12-year-old Florida girl accused of stalking another child who then killed herself -- a case that has raised national questions about how to deal with cyberbullying.
Jose Baez, who took on Anthony's case and won, said on Friday that his current 12-year-old client did nothing criminal. Speaking to reporters after a brief court hearing, the lawyer said that his client had been a friend of Rebecca Sedwick, who jumped to her death last month from an abandoned cement silo in Lakeland.
“She feels absolutely horrible for what happened to Rebecca,” Baez said, according to the Lakeland Ledger.
Two girls, including Baez’s client, have been charged with aggravated stalking in the case. The pair, who attended Crystal Lake Middle School along with Sedwick, were accused by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office of using social media to bully Sedwick. (source)
One might ask if charging the two girls (age 12 and 14) with a serious crime is the right thing to do, or does it, too, amount to bullying. Bullying of children by the state.
Many people argue that in carrying out capital punishment, the state lowers itself to the level of the murderer. Is this an instance of the state lowering itself to the level of the bullies?
You keep ignoring the qquestion.
I didn't ignore your questions. I addressed them by explaining how they were faulty.
You started with: "Does the legal bullying of bullies accomplish anything positive?" My response: it's not a serious question because criminal prosecution is not bullying.
You continued with: "[B]etween punishment or rehabilitation, which one best forwards the agenda in your definition?" My response: the question is a false dichotomy.
About the girls (forget the rest), what is the preferred outcome or goal?
As I explained already, we're not going to "forget the rest": which is society, and the family and friends of the victim. If your point requires wilful ignorance you've failed to make it.
To make them better or dish out punishment, or doesn't it matter? (There's your third alternative, should you wish to take it.)
Of course it matters. I would have to hear more details about the case if the fate of the girls were up to me. What exactly happened? How much of a factor were the behaviors of the parents? Are the girls genuinely sorry, sorry they got caught, or just "I don't give a fuck?" How likely are they to re-offend? What are the wishes of the victim's family and friends? What possible penalties do the girls face if they are convicted? Given the publicity of the case and the newness of the law, the factor of precedent and deterrence figures as prominently as the other reasons.
My answer: it depends, but the goal would be a combination of all of the reasons I gave, with deterrence being among the most important. I'd like to see parents and school administrators be given a legal bludgeon to use against adolescent bullies, whom I have little sympathy for.
Rehabilitation sounds all fine but life isn't a feel good hollywood movie where at the end the bullies all turn into nice kids and there's a happy ending. The girl's dead and these girls would likely go on to find their next victim, all sanctioned by their parents. Yes, punish them. Make them realize that if you torment a person into suicide, the world will be against you, not with you.
Korsan- Do you think they should ever be released from jail? It is just that if we are ever going to let them walk free in society again, then i would rather we try to rehabilitate them instead of trying to mess them up even more in the US prison system. Now i know humans naturally get off on ideas of revenge and punishment on those we feel have wronged us. But the hard facts show just how ineffectual the American punishment based prison system is. Atleast compared to a place like Norway , where they actually care about trying to rehabilitate them.
Now unless you think they should be murdered or locked away for the rest of their lives, i do not see the logic of wanting to mess them up even further and then release them back to the public.
I didn't say put them into prison. I said give them some funny punishment like scrubbing the school toilets or giving the homeless sponge bathes till they're 21. Anything but letting them off with a warning will do. Make them pay. Prison's not going to do anything, they'll just feed the corrupt justice business. Whoops, I meant justice system.
I think everyone except for Americans themselves are aware that it's not about rehabilitating prisoners. It's a business. In fact rehabilitating prisoners would be detrimental to their business. Some private prisons even demand a 90% occupancy rate. That's why people get life in jail for ridiculous offenses like owning a gram of weed.
Now the parents on the other hand, they can be locked away. Since these girl are just kids, they can still be taught a thing or two and one day they might even turn into less of pieces of shit. But the parents might as well be castrated and locked in a sealed box for all of eternity. Ideally you'd have them locked in cages and suspended over the town square, but you can't have everything.
Does the act of prosecution not start the rehabilitation process in motion? These individuals, regardless of being found innocent or guilty, will be forced to realize that irresponsible behavior has it's consequences. Our society has finally come to realize that bullying and intimidation among our children can no longer be viewed as a benign process that they will outgrow. It is dangerous and should not be tolerated.
After suffering the public humiliation of going to trial, the appropriate punishment should involve mandatory school speaking engagements, among their peers, about the harmful effects of bullying.