Should parents be held criminally responsible for their children's crimes

@suedarr (2382)
Canada
February 9, 2007 8:37am CST
Here in Toronto there is a 14 year old boy currently at large and wanted for the gun murder of a 17 year old. The 14 year shot and killed the other teen at a sweet 16 bithday party. Police suspect that the 14 year old is being hidden, and his parents are refusing to co-operate in assisting the police to find him. My question to you is should these parents be equally culpable? What was their kid doing with a gun in the first place, how could they not know that something is obviously wrong with him, and finally how can they in any good conscience refuse to help police? Even if they thought their child was somehow defending himself why not try to straighten this out? Ater all their kid is now considered armed and highly dangerous meaning police are in their legal right to shoot him. What are your thoughts?
10 people like this
33 responses
@Thoroughrob (11748)
• United States
9 Feb 07
They should be held for not cooperating and hiding him. NO, they should not be responsible for shooting the other boy. He knew what he was doing was wrong and the parents are not always around. Kids can find things without your knowledge, if they really want them. All we can do is try to teach them right. We are not them and cannot do their thinking or act for them.
2 people like this
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
9 Feb 07
I agree. They should be at least charged with obstruction of justice and as for anything else that should be thoroughly investigated. Thank you for your reply.
1 person likes this
@leese29 (340)
• United States
9 Feb 07
I agree the police can only hold or charge them for not giving them the known whereabouts of their son but they can not be held accountable for his actions.
• Vatican City State (Holy See)
10 Feb 07
I whole-heartedly agree with you, I couldn't have said it better myself. If teenagers are even capable of comprehending murder, then the teen should be the only one responsible for it.
2 people like this
• India
10 Feb 07
Every parents love their child no matter what their child is, U cant blame parents for this,and I bet his parents wud never had told him to commit the crime. I as a parent would't allow the cops even to touch my son(Just a thought, cuz I'm not married, so no child, And I know as per the law , I know its not right). Parents cant see everything that the children do,especially the children dont tell parents what mistakes they are gonna make. How can parents keep a track of everything that their child does. And U think if the child comes out with the reason, things will be that easy, like tell reason, walk free?? It wud take time, and patience, and at instance police having Right to shoot, is simply not a just! Yes child should be punished,So that he wudn't commit any further crime,but there are other ways ThankYou for bearing :
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
10 Feb 07
When the child is in custody the police cannot shoot him, only when he is evading arrest. It is safer for him to turn himself in where in Canada he will immediately be given legal representation.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Feb 07
If the parents were not at the scene of the crime? No they should not be held in anything. As for hiding the boy. Who can say they are doing this? This boy is on his deaths door right now. His parents are out of their minds with stress,grief,etc. Who has the right to judge their thoughts? Even a fool can see they want whats best for their child. They may be wondering where they went wrong,how this could have happened,what they could have done differently etc. I don't think they would purposely hide from the cops. As dirty as these police are these day. They will want to run to the lawyers office and document every little thing. It's so easy to judge unless the shoe is on your foot.
2 people like this
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
9 Feb 07
No the parents were not at the scene of the crime. From my understanding it was a young lady's 16th birthday party that was being supervised by adults. Apparently her 28 year old uncle was also shot and seriously wounded when he tried to intervene. No one can say i the 14 year old's parents know where he is, just that they are refusing to give police names of the people he hangs out or any other clue that might assist in finding him. I also don't think it is fair to generalise or pass judgements without all the facts, but as a parent I can tell you if I were in their shoes, yes I would help police in the hope that my child did not kill another person or perhaps be shot himself. It's a very sad case anyway you look at it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Feb 07
I think that there is no reason for the parents to be responsible for this. If the kid killed him, the it's the kid's fault. The parents might be bad parents, but that's not the law's concern. It's unreasonable to hold anyone responsible for somthing that they did not do.
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
9 Feb 07
Thank you for adding your opinion to this discussion. I appreciate it. Since he is only a boy though, do you not think there may have been some warning signs? Perhaps if the parents had been proactive in trying to help him another child may be alive today? Perhaps they did try to seek help, I honestly don't know, but their refusal to assist police in finding their son leads me to think otherwise.
2 people like this
@cripfemme (7710)
• United States
16 Feb 07
Any person would be responsible for not telling the police where the boy was if they knew. That's illegal, period. Also, maybe not seeking treatment for the boy if they knew their were problems. Which I'm not sure is a crime although it should be; it's child neglect in my opinion.
• Philippines
10 Feb 07
Yes, parents should be held reliable for the childrens crimes but not to the extent that they are also going to jail. There are certain factors that adds up to the influence why a crime is committed. I think proper investigation is the key to resolve the crimes.
@arwenrey (315)
• Philippines
10 Feb 07
I think the parents is not liable for the crime they are just shocked about what happened and their first impulse is to protect their kid and later would talk it out and ask what really happened. In this crime we can't justify that the parents are the culprit unless there is proof. Not all parents know their kid's agenda. As a daughter i knew because my parent's are both working and they have less time to spend to me so i spend more time with my friends at school.
2 people like this
@BRIJENDRA (926)
• India
10 Feb 07
It has been rightly said that the parents should be held criminally responsible for their children crimes.Now- a- days it has been observed that people are not bothering for their kids education,culture and civilization.If one is earning much more, any best thing about the child is totally forgotten.It is the parents only who bends the child character and responsible for his crimes and any more things.
@ILANEDRI (1921)
• Israel
10 Feb 07
I don't know the parents, but I can deffinetly understnad them. Try to imagin yourself in their position, when the police is trying to find your son. This kid derseve punishment, no doubt about that! But if I were those parents, I would do the same thing. Parents can't know what their kids are doing when they out, and it's very hard to keep an eye on him. That's why kids needs a harsh discpline from the begining, so you won't have troubles in the future with your kid.
2 people like this
• India
10 Feb 07
Yes i do think parents are to be held responsible for their children's crime becaues in most of the cases the children are inclined towards crime as a result of poor upbringing and the lack of love, affection and proper guidance from parents.
• Netherlands
10 Feb 07
kids - screaming kid
Yes I think that parents should be hold responsible for their childerens behaviour in most of the cases. When you give your kids a good uprase there should be no reason for them to get criminal. I know they can get the wrong friends but that is not the normal thing. Give the kid a warm and nice home and they will behave good. Talk with them. That's the problem with many people. When you don't talk with eachother you won't know about the problems they have. Make time for eachother. Most off the criminal childeren are from problem families. Both parents work so they haven't got any time for the kids anymore. They don't hear their cry for help.
@Trish012 (101)
• Puerto Rico
10 Feb 07
NO! the parents should NOT be held responsible. My reason behind this is well.. my entire life.. almost. Look, when I was a teenager, I was TERRIBLE. I broke the law, got put on probation, constantly ran-away. Now that I am older I know it was just because of me. No one made me do it, I didn't have a bad life, I just wanted to be who I thought I wanted to be. I broke the law several times as a Juvenile, my mother in NO WAY should be ever held accountable for that. She didn't do it, and I knew good and well what I was doing. That's not fair, that's not how our system works.
@liamg1 (63)
10 Feb 07
I think that they should be held responsible for not co-operating with the local police, as he is a serious killer. But if he is 14, he is old enough to know what he was doing, but then I do think that Social Services (Child protection Division) should investigate this, to see how this child was brought up, as if it was with any respect, would he have done this?
2 people like this
@ssh123 (31086)
• India
10 Feb 07
I do not call it a law if the parents are arrested for the crime committed by children (teens or youth). InWhat way the parents are responsible. They may probably constantly advising the children to be on right track, but the youth might have picked up bad habits with the influence of his class mates and fallen into wrong hands.
2 people like this
@estarga (1188)
• United States
10 Feb 07
Well first of all his parents are wrong to be hiding him but I can understand a little. I think it is easier said than done to give up your child to the police. Also, I don't know the whole story but you never know there could be something that they know that the police don't know. Although that wouldn't make their concelement right. I do not believe that the parents should be responsible for his crime. 14 is an old enough to know better in my eyes so he should go to jail. They should be punished for aiding and abetting though.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Feb 07
I have mixed feelings about this, more and more the Government is taking control of parenting. They tell us how we can correct our children, they allow our daughters to have abortions with out letting us know what is going on, they hand out birth control like it is candy and they allow them to control thier own lives at a young age. When they get into trouble like this they always blame the parents! My mom raised 3 of us by her self and if we did not listen to her she would spank our bottoms (not abuse, but correction) now thanks to a wonderful man named Dr. Spock, who by the way has no kids, if we spank our children this hurts their little personalties. I understand that you have some parents that take this a little to far and it does become abuse, but I am a fully fuctioning adult and NO my personality has not been affected by the way my mom handed down dicipline. I also realize (from experience) that there are some parents out there that want to be their childs friend, before they are thier parent and this can pose a problem. They think that it is ok for them to allow thier child to drink at home, because they would rather have them "safe at home" then out on the street. I think that there are certain aspects of parenting that are better left up to the parent, maybe this boy was out of control a long time ago, maybe the parents let him do what ever he wanted, but either way it goes if they are hiding him and protecting him I think that they need to be held responsiable to some extent. The right thing to do would be to turn him in and get him some help, he obviously has some problems with anger and violence and please don't hand me any crap about movies, music and TV, which is the GREAT AMERICAN cop out for accepting responsablity for the things we do.
2 people like this
@Sawsen (794)
• United States
10 Feb 07
I think it is on an individual basis. In this case, the parents are hiding their child, so yes they should be held criminally responsible because they're hiding a criminal. I think in other cases, such as jeffrey dahmer and so forth, I think the criminals did what they did on their own, and their parents shouldn't be charged with those types of crimes. I think it differs from one case to the next, so we have to be extremely careful when pointing the finger.
• United States
10 Feb 07
I don't believe the parents should be held responcible for the boys actions. He is 14 and knows right from wrong. Parents don't always know what is going on with their children. That is just a fact of life. The parents should be charged with obstruction of justice. I understand why they would want to hind their child, but they boy needs to learn a cold hard fact of life. If you do the crime, you do the time. He needs to be punished for what he did.
2 people like this
@sum_19 (56)
• India
10 Feb 07
According to me, parents should not be held criminally responsible for their child's crimes without any valid reason. Firstly, the police should look deep into the matter and should find out the parents indulgence in it. It may be that parents didn't know anything what their child was going to do. And it's obvious that when these parents come to know about their child's crime they try to hide it, just because they love their children. It doesn't mean that they are involved in the crime too. But sometimes it may be that the parents are the culprit. Then they should definitely be held responsible for what happened...
2 people like this
@cutepenguin (6447)
• Canada
9 Feb 07
This is an awful situation. I mean, their child killed someone. That has to be somethng you wouldn't want to believe. I don't think the parents should be charged unless they somehow brought him up to think that it was okay to shoot someone. If they are hiding him, then they should of course be charged with obstruction or interfering in an investigation.
2 people like this