Should Teens Be Charged As Adults for Vehicular Homicide?

Filed Under: Life
The Law

Image | smlp.co.uk

I was listening to talk radio during the ride home from Cara and Ollie’s dentist [No cavities, by the way.] and the host was ranting about a teen who killed some people during a car accident. Apparently the teen’s family was trying to get the teen charged as a minor since he/she was 16 and the prosecutor wanted to charge the teen as an adult.

I’d love to give you more details but the radio show was punctuated by extended periods of screams and squawks from the backseat.

I did find a case similar to the one I heard about today. Read the news article here: Girl faces two counts of deliberate homicide for horrific traffic crash.

Her [Winter’s] Pontiac Grand Am crossed the center line at a speed of 85 miles per hour and collided head-on with a Subaru Forester driven by Columbia Falls woman Erin Julie Thompson, according to court documents.
Thompson, 35 at the time, died along with her 13-year-old son, Caden Vincent Odell. Thompson also was four months pregnant. The investigation revealed that Thompson was traveling about 30 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone when her vehicle was struck, according to court documents.
Winter allegedly had been arguing with her boyfriend and had engaged in a text-message conversation during which she made references to killing herself. The Flathead County Attorney’s Office is alleging that she drove into oncoming traffic intentionally.

In both cases, people died because of something these teens did. Does it really matter how old they were?

Do you assume the mantle of an adult when you get behind the wheel, no matter the age, and are thus culpable for whatever damage you do and should be sentenced with an adult sized sentence?