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Friday, 19 June 2009

If the he kids do a crime, are the parens liable ?

The long debated argument over parents having to pay for their kid’s crimes, sparked afresh when the Los Angeles City Council was programmed to consider adopting a law that would make parents financially liable for the graffiti vandalism caused by their children. The proposed law would see parents fined for their kid’s acts of vandalism and the monies used to help clean and restore vandalized property. Parents also would be asked to take part in parenting classes. L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca announced publicly, the arrest of two adults and 10 juveniles in an anti-graffiti sweep targeting two main areas in city. In a legal first in July 2004, an Australian court ruled that the parents, (on an appeal) be held responsible for their children’s actions and pay $60,000 to the owners of two properties, which two teenagers had set fire to, creating $400,000 worth of damage. One of the homes had to be totally pulled down. Judge Denis Reynolds said, in his summing up, the parents had generally been responsible around the time of the arson attacks. He added however, they had failed to give their children adequate supervision. The teenagers were using amphetamines and cannabis, as well as drinking alcohol. Judge Reynolds said the compensation order was not to be seen as further punishment for the parents. The lawyer representing the teenagers' parents says her clients acted appropriately and responsibly during the period of the children's upbringing. Carmel McKenzie, a Kalgoolie lawyer, stated that parents should not be punished for their children's crimes. "We're used to, in our society, people being punished for what they have done but the concept of punishing somebody for something somebody else has done is obviously an unusual situation". "At the end of the day, these are your children and they are your responsibility whether you like it or whether you don't", one of the victims of the fire stated. There are however, others who would argue that the guardian cannot be held liable for willful actions committed by the child unless there is proof that the child was specifically led to the end result that a crime was committed. The argument over whether parents should be held responsible for their children’s crimes has raged for many years, yet Texas passed ordinances that imposed fines on both the parents and the juveniles. Silverton, Oregon, was the first state to adopt this type of law in 1995, where parents can now be fined as much as $1,000 if their child is found carrying a gun, smoking cigarettes, or using illegal drugs. Parents who agree to take part in parenting classes can dodge the fines. In the first two months after the law was passed at the beginning of 1995, seven parents were fined and many others enrolled to take part in parenting classes. The Oregon law applies to parents "failing to supervise a child". It covers misdemeanours like breaking a curfew or skipping school. Fines can reach up to $1,000, with a payment of up to $2,500 to be paid to a victim. Juvenile crime rate has dropped 53%, since the law came into being. Thirty-three states across America, can now command parents to pay restitution for crimes committed by their children.
do you think it's fair ?

1 comment:

Anwar Husaini said...

gah... long messy post. i should take my time to understand i guess..