Tuesday, August 23, 2011

'Sixteen and life to go'

John Browning at the Southeast Texas Record wrote a two-part story with the same title as this post describing the case of Chad Uptergrove, a 36 year old Texas prison inmate tried as an adult 20 years ago under the law of parties for a murder committed by an older friend. See parts one and two. Browning uses the case to discuss the wisdom of trying juveniles as adults, but adds that "before examining the issue of where Chad Uptergrove and so many youths just like him fit within the changing landscape of Texas' treatment of juveniles in the adult criminal justice system, a troubling question remains: did the jury convict an innocent young man?"

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

But even more importantly, Grits, Browning invented one fantastic .45 semi-automatic pistol! :-)

Phillip Baker said...

This whole mentality of predicting what and how a teen will develop in the future and condemning him/her to long prison terms is truly scary. Do we seriously have such bedrock belief in the justice, accuracy, and fairness of our system and of our predictive abilities? I sure don't. At least we should review those juvenile cases every single year for reassessment.

Anonymous said...

The broad definition of "party to" applied in these and other "law of parties" cases, is seriously flawed.

"Party to" should only apply to cases where the non shooter ordered, incited or the provoked the shooter to commit the actual murder.

In this case, how can one agree to be a "party to" a crime in advance when the means to commit the murder (weapon) only became available when the event unfolded?

Also flawed is the apparent refusal to make the sentencing law restroactive.

sakset.s said...

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pamela sweet said...

I am Chad's mom. It has been 21 years....Thank you all for seeing the wrongs...Wish group of attorneys would step in and make changes in the law. The us supreme court just ruled it in error to treat /certify a child as an adult !!!!