Your May 21 editorial “Juvenile injustice” bemoans the fact that “far too many” juveniles were certified to stand trial as adults in 2011. It ignores the current state of the law in Ohio, as well as the dramatic facts and circumstances surrounding these offenses and offenders.
Certification from juvenile court to adult court is not necessarily, as you say, “because prosecutors believe a crime was harsh enough to warrant time in prison.” Rather, in many instances, the offense and the age of the offender require mandatory certification.
In 2011, five juveniles who were charged with murder or attempted murder in Lucas County were certified under the mandatory requirement. Similarly, four juveniles charged with aggravated robbery and/or aggravated burglary received mandatory certifications.
The statistics for 2012 are equally compelling: five for murder or attempted murder, four for aggravated robbery or aggravated burglary.
Moreover, in 2011 and 2012, the charges against minors who were certified by Lucas County Juvenile Court pursuant to discretionary authority involved individuals with significant past records and charges of rape, burglary, and felonious assault, including one who shot at a police officer.
Balancing the rights of juveniles with the protection of our community is no easy task. It is one to which we give significant thought, reflection, consideration, and resolve.
However, when the law requires 16- and 17-year-olds who engage in adult-like violent crime to be treated like adults, we are hard pressed to thwart that responsibility.
JULIA R. BATES
Lucas County Prosecutor Adams Street
Editor’s note: The editorial stated that Ohio law requires certification from juvenile to adult court in certain cases.
IRS issue should spur impeachment
Your May 19 article “IRS site tied to targeting felt deluged; Flood of applications overwhelmed agents” suggested that the Internal Revenue Service was not political; instead, its staff is just overworked.
Who do you think you are kidding? The IRS targeted groups based on phrases such as “Tea Party” and “Constitution.”
President Obama is waging a political war against his opponents, using the forces of government. This should be the basis for impeachment. This president is taking our rights away.
Another ‘-gate’in Washington?
The Internal Revenue Service targets conservative groups during an election year (“Ousted IRS leader faces heat of panel’s inquiry,” May 18).
The State Department waffles on the Libyan attack. The Justice Department breaks into Associated Press electronic files.
Can anyone spell Obama-gate?
‘Buck stops here’: Words to live by
America once had a President who said: The buck stops here. America sure could use another Harry Truman.