The immediate expectation amongst many in Columbus when news breaks about a violent crime may be that the criminal justice system throws the proverbial book at whoever is accused of it. However, it may be important to remember that those accused of criminal activity (even violent criminal activity) are entitled to fair treatment. Such treatment may include the assistance needed to address the influences or circumstances that put them in the position of being associated with such activity in the first place. 

There may be no other scenario where this is more true than crimes involving juveniles. Such incidents can often be devastating to families and communities, as evidenced by the aftermath of a recent shooting in Mount Auburn. The victim was a 14-year-old boy who his father says was preparing for his first year at a local STEM curriculum high school. The boy ended up being shot near his home, justifying the fears his mother had about his safety after she saw that he had fallen in with what she called “a dangerous crowd.” 

The suspect arrested in this shooting is himself a teen, having just turned 13 earlier this year. Despite previous run-ins with authorities, Ohio law does not allow him to be tried as an adult due to his age. Part of the reasoning behind such a law may be the recognition that at only 13, this youth (and others like him) might be positively influenced by those they work with in the juvenile justice system. Hopefully, such influence allows them to avoid questionable choices in the future. Those hoping their kids or teens might get such a chance following an arrest may find the best chance at getting it lies with working with an experienced attorney.