Major kudos today for [Harris County District Attorney] Juvenile Division Chief Bill Moore for saying what plenty of Defense Attorneys and Prosecutors have been thinking and saying for a long time.The whole post is well worth a read, particularly in the wake of hearings at the Lege this week over several bills boosting penalties for graffiti.
In a report on KHOU, Moore addressed the felony criminalization of "graffiti" by referring to it as a "cop out by schools and police" who seem more than willing to saddle a school aged kid with a felony conviction for doodling on their desk or a bathroom wall.
While Bill is just addressing the graffiti element of crimes that occur in school, I think he has identified the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the handling of kids and the things that they do in schools today. I don't think that it is any stretch of the imagination to say that things that you and I would have gotten swats on the rear end for when we are in school are now things that get kids involved in the Juvenile Justice System.
And the bottom line is that it has become beyond absurd.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Juvie prosecutor: Felony graffiti rap a "cop out by schools and police"
Regular readers won't be surprised to learn that I completely agree with Murray from Life at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center in offering: