Kid's rights? Not interested!
Yes, there’s a lot of rhetoric about the “unborn” as an election date approaches. But I’m really wondering just how much Michiganders really care about kids.
On August 18 I wrote a piece on this very blog site titled What about kids already born? Do they have rights? Only 29 views. No comments. Obviously no interest. Nada.
Last Wednesday this headline appeared in the Detroit Free Press: Michigan earns “F” on children’s rights. I wonder if that attracted any attention. If so, I didn’t hear about it. I suspect that pieces in the Freep focusing on whether the last election was rigged, or which U of M quarterback would be chosen for Saturday’s game would garner more attention. It boggles the mind.
The essence of the story, written by Free Press reporter Jennifer Brooklane, was that a scorecard had just been released by Human Rights Watch that showed just how terrible Pure Michigan is doing in this matter of protecting rights for children. Our state still allows child marriage and corporate punishment in private schools, for Pete’s sake!
But here are the things that flabber our gast here in the HFP office.
Parties to the Convention
on the Rights of Children agreed that children not be tried in court until they
are 14 years old. Yet, according to the Human Rights Report, in Michigan no
child is technically too young to enter the juvenile justice system.
Brooklane: Michigan also allows for children as young as 14 to be transferred
to adult court under certain circumstances, such as first degree murder. The
state also allows judges to sentence minors to life without parole. Michigan
has handed out more life sentences for youths than any other state.
Yes, the US Supreme Court has ruled that life behind bars cannot be mandatory for minors, and that decision is now retroactive. BUT, the slow pace of resentencing in Michigan has been maddening, thanks in large part to the disinterest by prosecutors and judges. They are very comfortable with the original sentences.
25 states now PROHIBIT life without parole sentences for kids. Michigan should do the same.
But, I suspect the next U of M football game will attract more interest.
Kids rights? Some other time.