Can Matthew Carter’s Attackers Be Tried As Adults?
When the news broke yesterday that Comeaux High School student Matthew Carter had passed away from injuries received in an attempted robbery there was sadness. Then, at least on my part, there was anger. I was really upset that the Carter family was going to have to face life without their son and sibling.
I wanted the people that did what they did to Matthew to pay the price. But in this particular case, what is the price? In Louisiana, the price for committing first-degree murder is different depending on how old you are.
In the case of Matthew Carter's alleged murderers, their ages of 13 and 14 years will most certainly allow them to escape life in prison if convicted.
KLFY TV reporter Renee Allen looked into the laws regarding murder and juveniles and according to her report, the most jail time the two suspects in Carter's murder can expect to face is 24 years behind bars.
They really don’t know the difference between right and wrong. They really don’t have the maturity to be able to distinguish all that they should be.
Those are the words of St. Landry Parish District Attorney Earl Taylor. He was explaining why the laws are different for people of a certain age. In Louisiana, the law requires a person to be 15 years of age or older to be tried as an adult. Mr. Taylor's comments were not made specifically about the Matthew Carter case but about the letter of the law in general.
I think my big mistake in all of this is trying to make sense of something that is absolutely senseless. Three families will be missing their children. One family will never have the chance to hug and hold their child again. Why? Because someone wanted something that someone else had. Yeah, my heart hurts too.