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Paying For The Crimes Of Their Children

Should parents be prosecuted for the crimes of their children? That is what is happening to parents of a school shooter in Michigan who used a gun to kill four fellow students.

The husband and wife, James and Jennifer Crumbley, face up to 60 years in prison on charges for their son Ethan’s 2021 school shooting. The father purchased the gun for his son as a Christmas present and the family allegedly failed to securely store it. The state of Michigan also alleges that the parents did not properly address their son’s mental health issues.

At issue is not whether or not the family was careless or naive, which it seems they were. At issue is the state of Michigan having it both ways. Ethan Crumbley was tried as an adult and held fully responsible for his crimes. He is serving a life sentence without parole. But they are also trying his parents for crimes of their child, trying to convince a jury that Crumbley was just a child who could not have committed his crimes if he’d had better parents. The state is also using laws that they simply do not have. As notes, Michigan has failed to pass “child access prevention” legislation on several occasions.

The state prosecutor says that she is hoping that this case sets a precedent to go after other parents in the future. What do you think? Will this help?

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