Friday, December 3, 2010

Cracking Down on the Kids

It's ironic that the Senate passed a new law that allows for much harsher penalties of 14- to 18-year-olds convicted of drug trafficking, terrorism, rape, or kidnapping on the same day that Mexico's most famous child hit man was arrested. The hit man (boy?) in question, known as El Ponchis, turns out to be 14 years old, not the 12 years or younger that had been rumored. I haven't read any specifics about the law, but Mexico's recent focus on strengthening the penalties for crimes without increasing the risk of capture for criminals amounts to much sizzle, very little steak. Also, it's important that you try to avoid turning every law-breaking teen into a career thug. The article mentions mechanisms for reinsertion into society, but the very act of establishing harsher criminal penalties for kids accused of drug traffic seems to run counter to that.

Update: El Ponchis is American.

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