NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Snapshots Of Violence

December 1, 1994

One of the most powerful trends in 1994, according to journalists, was the rising demand for a crackdown on juvenile criminals. These hellish snapshots help explain why:

  • In Chicago, a 14-year-old girl was shot to death by an 11-year-old gang member who in turn was found dead with two bullets in the back of his head a few days later; his suspected killers are 14 and 16.
  • In North Carolina, a 13-year-old boy was accused of beating a 22-year-old female neighbor with a mop handle and then raping her.
  • In Somerset, Pennsylvania, a 14-year was charged with hammering nails into the heels of a younger boy.
  • "Youngsters used to shoot each other in the body. Then in the head. Now they shoot each other in the face," a Washington, D.C. judge told Time magazine.

"We are terrified," writes criminologist James Q. Wilson, "by the prospect of innocent people being gunned down at random, by youngsters who afterward show us the blank, unremorseful faces of seemingly feral, presocial beings."

Source: Nick Gillespie, "Arrested Development," Reason, December 1994, Reason Foundation, 3415 Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA 90034, (310) 391-2245.


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