A 6-year-old boy was produced before a court in the US to answer to charges. His crime was picking a flower from a lawn at a bus stop.
The incident took place in North Carolina.
The boy was charged with injury to real property for picking a tulip. He appeared in a juvenile court.
Boy Couldn't Focus In Court
Due to his short attention span, the child was given a coloring book and crayons during the court proceedings. Julie Boyer, his lawyer, did him this courtesy since he could not concentrate on what was going on.
However, although the boy might not know what is going on, the incident may leave a permanent mark on him and ruin his life.
According to Lyana Hunter, from the New Hanover County public defender's office, this is not right:
"A 6-year-old… we're talking about someone that's in kindergarten, first grade. They don't understand the process. They don't understand what's going on. They probably don't even know their address."
Lyana was speaking to the news media about this.
As per Lyana, the earlier a child is introduced to the criminal justice system, the greater their chances of remaining in the criminal justice system.
She has been representing juveniles for 14 years, and she notes that the behavior that makes children face charges before the age of 12 is better addressed through therapy.
Jay Corpening, A New Hanover County Chief District Court Judge asked whether a child who still believed in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and tooth fairy should be making life-altering decisions. The judge went on to say that children aged 10 to 15 should not.
However, kids this young don't have to deal with the juvenile justice system in other places in the US. North Carolina, however, is a state where children as young as 6 can face the criminal justice system.
That makes this the lowest minimum age in the world. Apparently, more than 7,300 complaints were filed against 6 to 11-year-olds from the year 2015 to 2018 according to Juvenile State data.
Most of these complaints (47%) were against black children, while 40% were against white children and 7% were against Hispanic children. The state is 70% white, 22% Black, and 10% Hispanic.
Eventually, the judge dismissed the case. The judge said that the fact the boy was served with papers, as well as his mom, was "just appalling."
There has been widespread outrage following the incident. Efforts are being made in the state to raise the minimum age to 10 years, with some proposing the age be raised to 12 years or 14 years.