Today begins what should be a precedent setting trial in the case of the bullying death of Phoebe Prince. The 3 bullies who are accused of tormenting Phoebe Prince to the point of her taking her own life will be formally charged as adults with felony crimes in her death.
If found guilty of these crimes, this case will send a strong message out that now, the county and state systems will not turn a blind eye to the bully issue. This case sends the messages to parents and the school system that, if they can’t handle their bullying issues themselves, the county and states will.
While this is certainly a case to watch, it also begs the question, do these 3 deserve to have felony records as adults? Are we really helping solve bullying by trying the juveniles in this case as adults and giving them a permanent record that is sure to follow and haunt them the rest of their lives?
It’s certainly a terrible case and I’m sure it will become more terrible as the details continue to be released as the trial gets closer. Already the few details that have been released are terrible and sad.
As is typical, these 3 have already been tried in the court of public opinion. One of the 16-year-old girl’s lawyers, Colin Keefe, is already doing press conferences to try to quell the uproar from the public.
“My client has been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion,” Keefe said in a prepared statement. “I will remind you that we are dealing with a young adult, a child really, who is being swept up in circumstances that are beyond normal experiences. The full and true details involving this most unfortunate event has not been made public. When all the details become known, I am certain that my client will be cleared of these charges. . .I ask for patience from the public and the press. One life has been tragically lost. Let us not rush to judgment and harm others,” he said.
As the truth is released on this sad case, we will learn how honest his words are. But for today, the court proceedings start and these young lives will be changed forever, as are Phoebe Prince and her family members.