Earlier this week, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill into law that ends automatic adult charges for 17-year-olds, a practice that has been in place since 1846. (I don't know how many kids misbehaved back then.) However, this law, which was sponsored by State Rep. Jim O'Day of West Boylston and had unanimous support in the Legislature, still gives prosecutors the right to pursue adult charges if the Juvenile Court deems so (which has been and will still be the case for 14-year-old suspected murderers).
This law does not affect the cases currently pending that began before the bill was signed.
Additionally, if a 17-year-old is now arrested, he or she cannot be arraigned without parental notification.
The juvenile justice system does not work. Bill Cosby says "it's broke." I agree with him, and further add that everyone should be charged in the same court system as everyone else- in a publicly accessible court of law. They should have the right to a jury trial, and they should be able to be represented by an attorney.
The current juvenile justice system is solely based on rehabilitation, not punishment for one's sins [against the written statute]. Juveniles are generally regarded as infants in diapers even thought they may have stabbed someone or robbed a bank. If they are not sent to a juvenile detention facility, then they are assigned a probation officer until age 21 without any other additional punishments.
In contrast, the Roman Catholic Church has dogmatically declared via the Council of Trent that the age of reason is 7 years old, and thereafter Pope St. Pius X lowered the minimum First Communion age to 7 from 9 for a normal, healthy child. So therefore, anyone age 7 and older is capable of committing a sin against God and His Church, and must go to Confession. Once the child is confirmed (the minimum age is 12), he or she not only becomes a Soldier of Jesus Christ and a member of the Church Militant, but is responsible for any ecclesiastical actions, albeit they are considered minors until age 18. A 13-year-old can be excommunicated just like his parents. Besides, the Church will recognize marriages contracted between 16-year-old males and 14-year-old females where it permissible by civil law.
The reason why there are too many kids in lockup because they have had little or no exposure to God, either from their families, peers, teachers, and often times from perverted Novus Ordo Catholic presbyters. Yet medical treatment and counseling claim to cure everything-they don't cure crime. So teachers and parents must teach what's morally right before we herd career adult criminals.
If 8-year-olds can get arrested, then they should be tried like everyone else according to the Constitution.