17-yr olds shoot and kill horses. Should they be tried as adults?

United States
February 10, 2007 12:01pm CST
My community is reeling in shock. Two boys, aged 17, drove to a reclaimed mine site and shot 40-50 shots at a herd of horses who were grazing on grass. Three horses were killed and several others wounded. The killed horses were shot between the eyes. Evidence indicates that the horses were chased several miles during the shootings. The owner is hoping that the boys will be tried as adults. The community is divided in their opinion of whether the boys should be tried as children or adults. What do you think?
19 people like this
53 responses
• United States
10 Feb 07
Yes they should be tried as adults. To chase the horses and shoot them? They had to have known what they were doing. What is one more year? 17 is just about the same as age 18. Yes they need help but they need to be tried as adults because I believe they knew exactly what they were doing. If they aren't stopped with horses, what will be next? People, children? Would they go to school next and go on a shooting spree?
4 people like this
@villageanne (8554)
• United States
10 Feb 07
I think they sould be tired as adults. It is a very violent crime and at 17, they knew better. To chase them and kill them like that is so cruel. These boys need to learn that their choices have consequences and maybe it will stop this kind of crime.
4 people like this
@Dolcerina (3378)
• Hungary
10 Feb 07
A 17 yrs old is rather an adult, than a child. They exactly knew what they did.
4 people like this
@kasia99 (104)
• United States
10 Feb 07
I would send them to psychiatrist first. Normal people don't do it. It least one of them is psycho. Yes, I would treat thaem as adults and send them to jail.
4 people like this
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
10 Feb 07
Well while they may have been acting like children and most definately seem as though they lack maturity. I think that they need to be punished as adults. I don't however think just throwing them in jail will do much. I think they certainly need some amount of psychiatric care and or testing. It's a shame they have about ruined there lives at such a young age. What would posess them to even do this is beyond me. Have the boys given any kind of story as to what went on?? What is this world coming too. It's just crazy the things that young people do these days and for no apparent reason...well not that I can think of anyway.
• United States
10 Feb 07
If they have told a story as to 'why' the newspaper hasn't printed it. They did admit guilt. Because they are 'minors' their names haven't been released, however they did say which area school that they attend. Of course, the other schools are doing mean things to that school (leaving stuffed horses with the heads cut off on the school lawn etc). It is a real mess right now in the community.
2 people like this
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
11 Feb 07
That's horrible, nothing like making matters worse than they already are. I'm sure that by now they regret it. Unfortunatly it's too late to take it back. I wish people would think before they act. What a terrible thing for a community to suffer it certainly can't be good for the children to see.
@JoyfulOne (6241)
• United States
10 Feb 07
Seventeen year olds certainly know what the difference between right and wrong is. I think that they should be charged as adults. They would only legally be 'adults' at the age of 18, but really, they were fully aware of what they were doing, and if they used fire arms then they should be tried as adults. How could anyone consider a 17 year old as a child? They're old enough to drive as an adult, and go hunting as an adult, why should they be considered adult for one thing and a child for another.
@chippy49 (171)
• United States
11 Feb 07
OMG, This had to be premedetated. They should be tried as adults...there is no reason to do such a crime. I hate what this world is coming to. No respect for anything. Elders are not even called Mr./Mrs. anymore. I want to go back in time and live where your neighbors repected you and you helped eachother out. Now we are all afraid just to go out and get the newspaper off the driveway. But make sure we take prayer out of schools and stop spanking children.....now they should pay for what they did...SICK!
2 people like this
• United States
11 Feb 07
You know chippy, you are correct. I remember in school (yes, in the dark ages!) we had the pledge to the flag each morning and then a morning prayer. If I did wrong, I was spanked by my parents. Nowadays, we don't do those things because it was supposedly in the best interest of children, and look what children have become! I seriously don't remember anyone with whom I went to school killing horses! Perhaps the old way wasn't so bad after all!
@medooley (1874)
• United States
10 Feb 07
Um.... Really I think that this one is a no brainer... yes they should be tried as adults. They are 17 years old, they know the difference between right and wrong, they knew what they were doing. There is absolutely no reason why they should not be tried as adults. What are the reasonings as to why they should not be tried as adults, is it just because they are 17? Please... the should be tried as adults and I hope the get what they deserve.
2 people like this
@brokentia (10394)
• United States
11 Feb 07
I agree with medooley...that is a no brainer!!! They ARE old enough to know better!!!
11 Feb 07
I think from the age of 12 they should be treated as adults. Now they should go to a adult jail but these ones for kids are like a community centre and they get a great time. I remember seeing a program on tv where they interviewed kids inside and they bigged it up and mentioned on camera that they was living on the street so they did what they had to do to get in one of these. Personally i think they be. We all make mistakes but they need to learn that killing things isn't on no matter what the age is! Kudos. ~Joey
@ksloane (42)
• United States
11 Feb 07
They should most certainly tried as adults. This is a major crime. It is horrific to think that they did this. Then you must take into account the expense of horses. Someone lost a lot emotionally and financially from this. And believe me, those 17 year olds knew flat out it was wrong and should receive real punishments, not slap on the wrists as are frequently handed out in juvenile courts.
@superchook (1786)
• Australia
10 Feb 07
I think the community needs to set an example of these 17 year old and lock them up for a while. They are old enough to know what they were doing and if they do get away with it, then what is that going to make other kids think, will it make them think that they can too? As for people putting stuffed horses heads on the school's lawn, I feel that is wrong too, it is not the schools fault that these kids did it. They were now responsible for these kids at the time. I just hope the court will do the right thing.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Feb 07
Yes, they should be tried as adults, but I caution that the courts will not really think the crime that serious and that they will likely avoid any jail time. Heck, it's hard to get hard time assigned for 17-year-olds who kill people, much less animals. Sometimes, though, community outrage will affect a judge's decision and sentencing, so we'll see how this pans out.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Feb 07
If you do an adult crime, you should be tried as an adult. These boys know the difference between right and wrong and should suffer the consequences. I know it is a touchy subject, but at 17 they are less than 12 months away from being considred adults anyway. They will be able to vote and join the army. They should be tried as adults.
2 people like this
@davaoguy (319)
• United States
10 Feb 07
i do not believe that minors should be tried as adults when they commit petty crimes. They should be held in institutions that would educate them well. I think it boils down to their knowledge about what's good or bad. Parents should have molded them in this department, but nsometimes parents are imperfect and they could not avoid to raise kids that are devoid of the appropriate things they should have known.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Feb 07
Hi davaoguy, please don't think I am asking this curtly, I hate that on chat boards one cannot hear the other person's tone of voice. I only ask because I am curious, and even if we disagree, I do not give negatives to people for their opinion (I find that stupid...differences of opinion is what this board is supposed to be about...discussion!) Anyway, do you feel that what these boys did is a petty crime?
11 Feb 07
davaoguy, I have a 17 year old daughter and if she decided to go out and shoot horses I would hold her soley responsible and would not blame myself as her mother. Parents get the blame for everything, but it is known that once kids get into their teens, their peers hold more influence over their behaviour than their parents. Soon we will never have to take responsibility for our own actions as there will always be someone else we can blame!!! By the way I cannot understand how you could call this a petty crime. I know I will be telling my kids this is a sick crime and holds a penalty for imprisonment. If you have children, what wil you tell them?
11 Feb 07
Thanks for answering my question. You make some interesting points and I can understand what you are saying, but once you reach 17 years are you not seen as an adult. Maybe laws are different in different states. Thanks again for explaining your view.
10 Feb 07
How sad. I know it has been said that young people who inflict harm on animals can turn to murdering humans and even become serial killers. These two boys or young men should be tried the same as an adult. If I was the judge I would send them to a psychiatrist to see if there are any mental issues here? Children can be cruel to animals due to lack of awareness of how someone is feeling, but not at 17 yrs, more at 5 yrs. Why would people in your community not want them tried as adults, this sounds strange to me.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Feb 07
Strangely there is a large faction of community members who are saying "oh they are still kids, they don't deserve to be locked into jail." Others in teh community are "lets throw the book at them." I personally feel that they need psychiatric help, but also some jail time. They are old enough to know better and they had to have premeditated the act, as it was a long drive to the area in which the horses were kept.
10 Feb 07
Shame you can't be the Towns Spokeswoman!! I hope justice is done.
@TeaCup (231)
• United States
10 Feb 07
They definitely should be tried as adults. They "know" between right from wrong. Getting a slap on the wrist from a judge or doing community service is out of the question. They killed, and injured. If they aren't tried as adults, they are literally getting away with murder.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Feb 07
That is one thing that worrys me, we have one judge in our town who is very big on the use of community service. (which is fine by me if it fits the crime) But I really feel that these boys need a strong lesson. Perhaps a bit of jail time for shock factor and then some community service once released.
@missyd79 (3438)
• United States
13 Feb 07
i think they should be tried as adults. it is a proven fact that serial killers start off with hurting and killing animals while they are children. so yes try those kids as adults maybe it will keep them for hurting humans.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Feb 07
At the age of 17 one knows wrong from right so yes they should be tried as adults !at 17 I dont consider them (nor would they themseves if asked)as children!
1 person likes this
11 Feb 07
At 17 years of age, they should be tried as adults. They knew what they were doing was wrong. They are old enough to know better. This is a discusting crime and they need to pay for it. Throw the book at them, if they don't these two will just do it again. Punish them to the fullest extent of the law. How can anyone attack a defenseless animal. If they start with the killing of animals, they will graduate to humans. This must be stopped. If these were my horses it would be hard to hold me back. Try them as adults. Where did they get the weapons?
1 person likes this
@wjc0123 (69)
• China
11 Feb 07
That's horrible, so crazy! I think the boys must be tried as a adults, as a murder! They will be punished by the god! I like animals very much, so I'm very sad when I hear that. :-(