Our View: Let’s not solve problems that don’t exist

Published 8:13 am Wednesday, January 25, 2017

One-size-fits-all laws are a bad idea in an ever-changing culture where every circumstance is different.

Nowhere is this truer than when it comes to protecting our children.

A Louisville lawmaker has proposed legislation that would set 11 years old as the minimum age that a child could be held legally responsible for their actions and charged with a crime. Current state law does not have a minimum age.

Although this measure looks good on paper, it seems to be a case of legislating to solve a problem that doesn’t really exist.

Application of this in the real world could be far more problematic as it takes the decision-making process away from prosecutors.

Certainly, children under the age of 11 are not fully aware of the consequences of their actions but to create a blanket legal loophole that completely absolves them of any consequences seems to be a slippery slope and opens the door for abuse by parents who could perceive this is a free pass for allowing their child to break the law.

This appears to be a classic case of “if it’s not broken why fix it?”

Lawmakers have far more important issues to worry about and should leave this in the discretion of prosecutors.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@bluegrassnewsmedia.com or call 859-759-0051.

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