YLC Weighs in on Case of Youth Tried in Adult Court
YLC weighed in on the sentencing of Richard Thomas, who was tried in adult court after an incident in which he lit on fire the skirt of an “agender” youth who was sleeping on the bus. Richard was immediately sorry for what he had done, and the family of the other young person unsuccessfully urged prosecutors to pursue a restorative justice process in the case. In an October 22, 2014 Huffington Post piece, “Prison for Teen Who Lit “Agender” Youth’s Skirt on Fire Thwarts Healing,” Staff Attorney Sue Burrell analyzed the seven-year prison sentence against what would have been possible in juvenile court. The piece takes the position that this is exactly the kind of case juvenile courts were created to address – impulsive behavior by immature youth.