The unfolding legal issues of Simeon Adams, a sixteen-year-old Indianapolis resident, once again thrusts Indiana into the national and international news cycle. Paul Henry Gingerich was twelve when he assisted with the murder of a friend’s stepfather and was transferred to criminal court and sentenced as an adult. Members of the national and foreign press covered the appeal. The Elkhart 4 cases involve a sixteen- and seventeen-year-old who were convicted of felony murder for the death of their co-defendant, and the case has received national attention as it winds its way through the appellate process.
There are those who embrace the “tough on crime” approach to these cases arguing that these juveniles are superpredators who must be locked away for society to be safe. The New York Times has written two recent articles on superpredator children that is timely to consider: When Youth Violence Spurred ‘Superpredator’ Fear by Clyde Haberman and Echoes of the Superpredator by the New York Times Editorial Board.