So, we have three juveniles, illegally possessing guns, acting as adults, carjacking a lady at Memorial Hospital. A felony.
If these juveniles land in Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw's courtroom, does anyone want to bet how he will rule if the District Attorney wants to try these juveniles as adult?
I'm asking for a friend who is concerned about the Gig City downtown shooting last May involving juveniles illegally possessing guns when two other juveniles were shot and
seriously injured (one with brain injury). Surprisingly, the juvenile shooters won't be charged as adults, as so ordered by Juvenile Court Judge Philyaw.
As for myself, I am quite curious as to the factors Judge Philyaw used in determining said juveniles would not be tried as adults. Hopefully, he's not using the "boys will be boys" excuse...six were injured, two seriously. Afelony.
Juveniles + Guns + Committing Felony Crimes = Adult Accountability.
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No doubt we need to demand that the “ GUN FREE ZONE” signs be enlarged so they can be seen more clearly.
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I agree 100 percent with Phil Snider, it's time these wannabe gangstas be tried as adults. When I was growing up in the 50s and 60s Juvenile Court was designed for runaways, guys stealing hubcaps and shoplifting candy bars from the corner grocery store. Now it's used by bleeding heart Judges like Philyaw to justify violent crimes and keep these punks on the streets terrorizing innocent people, particularly in our black community.
I heard from a reliable source that one of the hijackers in the Memorial incident had already been involved in another similar crime. So will Judge Philyaw give him another "get out of jail free card," or will he actually have to serve hard time. Juvenile Court should be banished for crimes of violence, especially with guns involved.
And what about the parent(s) of these punks? They should be held just as responsible for the crimes.
I wonder if these crimes had been committed on Signal Mountain rather than Walnut Street or the Memorial parking lot if Judge Philyaw would rule differently?
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Snider, Burns, Jones. Don't either of you dare go on the attack against Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw. Judge Philyaw is one of the more fairest of fair judges Chattanooga has had in a very long time, especially when dealing with Chattanooga's youth. You've all worn out your wicked strategy in your effort to shame decent leaders in the city by trying to publicly shame them and twist them to do your bidding. For sure, the judge knows more about the law than all three of you combined ever could.
You boys were silent when those youths from wealthy families were breaking into homes on a local mountaintop looking to steal prescription meds and anything they thought they could hock. I became aware of it by more than a few means, one being I knew someone who was locked up with one of them at the time. He was in adult jail, but only because he was 18 or over (still young and with a chance to turn his life around). The charges must have been light and the person released with minimum or no bail, because even the jail guard said to the individual I knew at the time, "I bet you never got any breaks like that, did you?"
Well, let me tell you boys something: Youth are simply reflections of adult behavior in miniature. I've said it before and I'm saying it again. When grown-ups themselves are cutting up and acting badly. When those sworn to uphold the law are breaking the very laws they've been commissioned to uphold in record numbers with very little to no accountability, what does that say about a society? How can society expect any better from its young?
America might have a youth problem when it comes to crime, but it also has an adult problem too, and even a problem with those supposedly in charge of upholding the law and making sure the rest of us stay the straight and narrow.
Leave Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw alone.
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Thank you, Brenda. I couldn't have said it better myself. But I will add some additional thoughts.
Speaking generally, when our society and those who govern it cater to the upper echelon and leave large swaths of citizens with few resources and little recourse, what is the natural consequence? Do we expect all of said citizens will just go to church and sing hymns? Just sit around and play cards?
Everyone reacts to pressure in a different way. People's actions are based on a multitude of factors. For some, the lack of guidance leads to poor choices. For others, feeling that they are always the bottom man on the totem pole makes them determined to change their station. Some people manage to do that in a good way and some people try to do it in desperate and misguided ways. There's never a good excuse for bad behavior but there are reasons.
We as a society continue to ignore the divide between those with means and those without to our own detriment. We are all in the same boat, and if the boat is taking on water we're all in danger of drowning. I would like to respectfully suggest that we consider what goes into making a peaceful society. That is more complicated than sitting around trying to find ways to throw out everybody who doesn't "measure up", in your estimation. People do deserve second chances, particularly the very young who certainly have an opportunity to do things differently. There should be equity in how the law is applied.
Lastly, society and everything that goes along with that should be equally accessible to everyone. This is not the case, and those on the fringes are becoming a larger group every day.
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As is often the case, truth is likely found in the middle of heated arguments such as these. Surely I am not the only reader who finds validity within each of these responses. However, it seems some of the responses were tackling separate issues than the original piece intended. I imagine we could trace back each and every crime to some sort of root cause that needs to be addressed. Fair enough. The question is/was, when a horrific crime is committed, what do we do in real time to bring justice to not only the criminal, but to the victims as well?
Ask the folks who have recently been carjacked (some at gunpoint while leaving their job at a local hospital) how less terrifying it was given the perpetrators' youthful appearance?
If a parent loses a child to gun violence, but the shooter happens to be under the age of 16, should that family now be less devastated and find rest in the fact that the shooter has a long life ahead of him to get his act together?
Are law abiding citizens being asked to accept blatant and dangerous law breaking throughout our city because those responsible sadly had no father growing up?
If a few rotten police officers act like monsters, does that now give any and all of us a free pass to act a fool?
Brenda and Darlene, I whole-heartedly agree that there are unfair circumstances driving some of our youth to lives of crime. And we should all find ways we can be a part of the solution to these seemingly insurmountable cultural and societal issues. However, the original article simply implies that sometimes juveniles need adult punishment for committing adult crimes. It saddens me to have to say I whole-heartedly agree with that as well. And I think either of you would feel the same if it was you or a family member who got shot, carjacked, or robbed at gunpoint.