Thursday, May 26, 2016

Editorial: Why Charges Should be Pressed Against Teen Vandals

Middletown resident Kevin Kelly with sign vandalized in broad daylight.
On the morning of May 19th, West Hartford resident, Jeff Weiss was a guest on WTIC AM 1080's, "Sound Off Connecticut", hosted by Jim Vicevich.  Jeff gained notoriety after catching two teenage girls in his driveway stealing his Trump signs and recording the encounter.  The podcast of Jim's conversation with Jeff can be heard via podcast at the beginning of hour #2.  The incident also made the news on Fox61.

Jeff didn't want to press charges because the thieves were young, and Jeff was once young "and did stupid things, too".  I can understand that; nevertheless,  I recommend preferring charges for the following reasons:

1) They knew what they were doing was wrong and REASONED they would get a pass because of their age.

2) They showed no sign of contrition and think they know how to game/exploit the system.

3) They think their parents would approve.  If that's the case, maybe the parents would also benefit from the lesson.

4) In spite of Dad's apology and promise to deal with it, it seems he did not effectively do so.  The girls didn't learn a lesson if they are bragging about the incident on Twitter and in school.  Rather, they seem to have earned a badge of honor.

5) Not doing so would teach them there are no consequences for actions and only embolden them to continue this line of behavior, or worse.

An appropriate punishment might be XX hours of community service working in some capacity with the West Hartford RTC. Such a sentence would expose them to Republicans/Conservatives and maybe they would learn through the association the we are not so bad, after all.

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