Raymond Arthur Waugh, Sr.
A Journey in Writing

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Children Tried as Adults
Raymond A. Waugh, Sr.
December 24, 1994
[Midland Reporter Telegram, Midland, Texas]


In recent months, Midland has joined with a host of other cities in attempting to fight the crimes being committed by our young people. In the process of finding some answers, some have come to a conclusion.

We would like to presume that there is an element of wisdom in the points made by those involved in "Project Awaken ," the effort that is identified as "A Community Task Force on crime, Alcohol & Drug Abuse ." Some of the proposals of the "Task Force Report " are for a curfew ordinance, drug testing of public employees, communication between law enforcement agencies, legislative programs, positive youth programs, graffiti clean-up, and community service. In the accompanying letter of the chairperson, however, we note these points may be cover for real "desperation."

The chairperson indicates, "I will continue to push for legislation that will lower the age of juveniles (to 13 or 14) who commit violent crimes to be tried as adults." She continues, "It is time we stop protecting juveniles who have no regard for human life, property or the law of our cities and our great State of Texas."

I must inquire, what will be "the ultimate lower age limit for an adult trial " for those adults who find themselves in such a desperate state of mind? Some years ago, a lad of nine in San Antonio had a very lengthy "felonious criminal record." Recently a lad below "the proposed age limit" has become nationally famous as a convicted murderer. Can it be that before long, we adults will be putting "11 and 12 year olds," "9 and 10 year olds," "7 and 8 year olds" or maybe even "5 and 6 year olds" through our adult courts? Perhaps we should ask, who really is out of control?

In our irrationality we may be attempting to ignore our society’s overall criminality that is being practiced openly by many adults. Long ago a very wise one once stated, "Monkey See, Monkey Do"! It is quite obvious that those involved in "Project Awaken" in Midland have not yet learned this simple truth. So, it appears that we are dealing with symptoms rather than the cause, and the young people of America are the eternal losers!

Raymond A. Waugh, Sr.

Last update 17 October 2008

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