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Boy gets 26 years for murdering playmate

Old 07-11-06, 08:16 AM
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Boy gets 26 years for murdering playmate

From CNN:
Boy gets 26 years for murdering playmate
Evan Savoie was 12 when he stabbed disabled 13-year-old

Tuesday, July 11, 2006; Posted: 8:22 a.m. EDT (12:22 GMT)

EPHRATA, Washington (AP) -- A boy convicted as an adult of stabbing a playmate to death when he was 12 years old was sentenced Monday to the maximum 26 years in prison.

A jury convicted Evan Savoie, now 15, of first-degree murder for the 2003 stabbing death of 13-year-old Craig Sorger, who was developmentally disabled.

Savoie's attorneys have said they will appeal the verdict.

Savoie has repeatedly proclaimed he is innocent. He said Craig fell from a tree while they were playing and that he left him injured -- without a pulse -- on a trail but didn't kill him.

The prosecution said the victim had been beaten and had 34 stab wounds.

Prosecutors alleged Savoie had planned the killing. They told jurors he had blood on his clothes, access to knives, and lied to investigators, at one point deliberately leading searchers away from Sorger's body but later admitting that.

Savoie showed no reaction as the sentence was read, but he smiled when he was led from the courtroom in handcuffs.

"Somebody is going to have to figure out how a 12-year-old can be so violent so young," Grant County Superior Court Judge Ken Jorgensen said as he imposed the maximum sentence.

The Sorger family had pushed for the maximum sentence.

"In your worst nightmare, you never believe this could happen to you," the victim's mother, Lisa Sorger, wrote in a letter read to the court.

The key to the prosecution's case was the testimony of Jake Eakin, another playmate who pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder by complicity. He is serving 14 years in prison.

Eakin led investigators to the murder weapon and identified Savoie as the killer. On the witness stand, he described the brief attack in wrenching detail, saying Sorger repeatedly cried out: "Why are you doing this to me?"
This is unquestionably, undeniably a horrible crime. As a father, my heart goes out to the Sorger family, who now have to pick up the pieces of their lives and move on.

But at the same time... this kid, Evan Savoie, was 12 years old when the murder occured. Twelve years old. Even with a crime this heinous, this violent, how can we possibly say we're going to try him as an adult? Under what bizarre, unimaginable circumstance would you say that a twelve year old child should be considered an adult? If this kid had gone out and had "concentual" sex with an adult, we would call that pedophilia. If he had tried to get married or join the Army or buy a drink at a bar, he would have been laughed at and shown the door. And yet somehow, because of the horrific nature of the crime, we change all of the rules and say, "oh, wait, he's not a child... this 12 year old should be considered an adult"???

As the judge said, "Somebody is going to have to figure out how a 12-year-old can be so violent so young." But in this case, who is this "somebody"? Prison officials? Legal aid? His family? Certainly not the judicial system. Certainly not the district attorney's office. Certainly not Superior Court Judge Ken Jorgensen.

This kid is mentally ill, but he's still a kid. He needs treatment and profesisonal help, not incarceration in an adult prison. What he did was terribly wrong, but trying to pretend he's an adult doesn't make it right.
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Old 07-11-06, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
Even with a crime this heinous, this violent, how can we possibly say we're going to try him as an adult? Under what bizarre, unimaginable circumstance would you say that a twelve year old child should be considered an adult?
How about 34 stab wounds? One or two and I would agree with you.
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Old 07-11-06, 08:27 AM
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Although I want to side with you and say something is wrong. I also have to consider heavily that is what the kid may just know. Violence and he may live in a non-remorceful situation. So maybe it is the parents' fault. I don't know. I just know that in today's world I'm not quick to jump on the 'this kid needs help' bandwagon. Sometimes people are just bad. On the same hand I'm glad the judge imposed the maxium sentence. You have to start somewhere. If people know they're going away for a very long time maybe they'll start thinking twice. But if the kid needs help hopefully he'll get it.
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Old 07-11-06, 08:39 AM
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Appropriate sentence.

I don't want to see who a classmate who stabs his friend 34 times will grow up to be.
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Old 07-11-06, 08:40 AM
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I hate to say this, but the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw the thread title was Playboy.
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Old 07-11-06, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by VinVega
I hate to say this, but the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw the thread title was Playboy.
You weren't the only one
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Old 07-11-06, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Goldblum
I don't want to see who a classmate who stabs his friend 34 times will grow up to be.
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Old 07-11-06, 08:54 AM
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Eh, even serving the whole sentence, he'll be out when he's 40. Let him get his treatment and professional help then.
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Old 07-11-06, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
This kid is mentally ill, but he's still a kid. He needs treatment and profesisonal help, not incarceration in an adult prison. What he did was terribly wrong, but trying to pretend he's an adult doesn't make it right.
He will get plenty of professional help. The juvenile prison system has tons on counselors and probably child psychologists on staff. They aren't going to just throw him in the jail and let him rot in there. It won't be an adult prison either, at least not for a few years.
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Old 07-11-06, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by M2theAX
You weren't the only one
You weren't the only two.
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Old 07-11-06, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Goldblum
Appropriate sentence.
Total agreement here, but I fear that sentence will not stick.

And I don't care if the boy is mentally ill. That's even more of a reason to lock him away.
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Old 07-11-06, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by VinVega
I hate to say this, but the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw the thread title was Playboy.
Me too. I started reading and went hmmm he killed two people but where's the part about killing the playmate.
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Old 07-11-06, 09:09 AM
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kids like this probably start by torturing and killing animals. don't want to see what else he's capable of. one days he's bashing in dog's skulls....the next killing playmates. put him away before he becomes a serial killer.
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Old 07-11-06, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
But at the same time... this kid, Evan Savoie, was 12 years old when the murder occured. Twelve years old. Even with a crime this heinous, this violent, how can we possibly say we're going to try him as an adult? Under what bizarre, unimaginable circumstance would you say that a twelve year old child should be considered an adult? If this kid had gone out and had "concentual" sex with an adult, we would call that pedophilia.
No, actually there are exceptions for that as well. In Alabama and Texas, exceptions are made to let people get married at as young as 14. In Hawaii, 15. In Massachusetts, boys at 14, girls at 12. In New Hampshire, boys at 14, girls at 13. In South Carolina, girls at 14.

Originally Posted by NCMojo
If he had tried to get married or join the Army or buy a drink at a bar, he would have been laughed at and shown the door.

And yet somehow, because of the horrific nature of the crime, we change all of the rules and say, "oh, wait, he's not a child... this 12 year old should be considered an adult"???
I just can't feel the outrage you're trying to stir up with this comparison. Saying that someone's not mentally or physically mature enough for something doesn't mean that they're not mentally or physically mature enough for anything. Unless mentally handicapped or raised by twisted psychopathic parents in complete isolation from the rest of society, any 6th grader is going to understand the broad moral implications of brutally stabbing someone to death.

Originally Posted by NCMojo
As the judge said, "Somebody is going to have to figure out how a 12-year-old can be so violent so young." But in this case, who is this "somebody"? Prison officials? Legal aid? His family? Certainly not the judicial system. Certainly not the district attorney's office. Certainly not Superior Court Judge Ken Jorgensen.
I took the quote to mean that it needs to be figured out to prevent it in other kids, not out of some 'this poor little fella needs help' mentality.

Originally Posted by NCMojo
This kid is mentally ill, but he's still a kid. He needs treatment and profesisonal help, not incarceration in an adult prison. What he did was terribly wrong, but trying to pretend he's an adult doesn't make it right.
Is there info you didn't post that contains anything to back up the claim he's mentally ill? Or are you simply assuming so because of his age and the nature of his crimes? If it's the latter, it's not a far step to say anyone, regardless of age, must be mentally ill to be able to kill someone for no good reason. Does that mean no murderers belong in prison?

I don't think anyone's pretending this kid's anymore of an adult than he is. Think back to when you were in 6th grade. Was there anyone in your class that, looking back, didn't understand the seriousness of sticking a knife into someone 30-some times?
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Old 07-11-06, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by maxfisher
Think back to when you were in 6th grade. Was there anyone in your class that, looking back, didn't understand the seriousness of sticking a knife into someone 30-some times?
Yes, Stabby McRapesalot. He would run around the recess yard chasing people with a knife, and the teachers would say "Oh, Stabby!"

Sometimes I wonder what happened to him.
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Old 07-11-06, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by taa455
He will get plenty of professional help. The juvenile prison system has tons on counselors and probably child psychologists on staff. They aren't going to just throw him in the jail and let him rot in there. It won't be an adult prison either, at least not for a few years.
As far as I can tell, they will actually throw him into an adult prison. This case wasn't tried in juvenile court -- and "trying someone as an adult" means exactly that. If you can get me a link suggesting something different in this case, great.

Originally Posted by maxfisher
Is there info you didn't post that contains anything to back up the claim he's mentally ill? Or are you simply assuming so because of his age and the nature of his crimes? If it's the latter, it's not a far step to say anyone, regardless of age, must be mentally ill to be able to kill someone for no good reason. Does that mean no murderers belong in prison?

I don't think anyone's pretending this kid's anymore of an adult than he is. Think back to when you were in 6th grade. Was there anyone in your class that, looking back, didn't understand the seriousness of sticking a knife into someone 30-some times?
Definitions of mental illness take societal norms into account. A "normal" 12 year old kid doesn't go out and kill a classmate just for the thrill. And while a 6th grader may understand the seriousness of stabbing a classmate 32 times, it is doubtful they would understand the workings of the judicial and penal systems. To throw out an analogy, a twelve-year old kid may understand the terms stated in a credit card contract, but he cannot be held legally liable if he signs the contract and racks up $5,000 in debt. As a society, we say that no 12 year old kid can sign a legal contract -- it is understood that children are not fully capable of making adult decisions. And yet in this case, and in many others, we disregard that idea in favor of adopting a stance that we're "tough on crime".

As for the idea that "I don't think anyone's pretending this kid's anymore of an adult than he is"... the state of Washington would beg to differ.

I know this is an oldie but a goodie... ye olde "slippery slope"... but where would you draw the line? 12 is too old, so maybe 10? Or 8? Should we start charging 13 year old shoplifters as adults as well?
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Old 07-11-06, 09:42 AM
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Mojo, a "normal" person regardless of age does not go out and kill just for the thrill. By your logic, no murderer should be sent to prison. They should be sent to counseling.

I don't know about you, but when I was 12 I knew that stabbing and killing people was wrong. There were times I wanted to stab and kill people because I had a rough childhood and hated the people who teased me, but I didn't do it because KILLING IS WRONG.

The way I figure, if you commit an adult crime, you are capable of paying the adult price.

We do NOT need killers of ANY age in our society.
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Old 07-11-06, 09:44 AM
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I think a certain someone just has to be attempting to start a business full of child contract killers.

It's the only explanation.
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Old 07-11-06, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
As far as I can tell, they will actually throw him into an adult prison. This case wasn't tried in juvenile court -- and "trying someone as an adult" means exactly that. If you can get me a link suggesting something different in this case, great.
I think (please correct me if I'm wrong), "trying a child as an adult" only applies to the length/severity of sentencing, not which prison they will be sent to. They aren't going to throw a 15 year old kid in prison with adults. That doesn't happen as far as I know. He will go to a juvenile facility until he reaches appropriate age. Besides he ONLY got 26 years. He's lucky it wasn't a life sentence, and it's likely he'll serve less than half of that 26.
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Old 07-11-06, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by taa455
I think (please correct me if I'm wrong), "trying a child as an adult" only applies to the length/severity of sentencing, not which prison they will be sent to. They aren't going to throw a 15 year old kid in prison with adults. That doesn't happen as far as I know. He will go to a juvenile facility until he reaches appropriate age. Besides he ONLY got 26 years. He's lucky it wasn't a life sentence, and it's likely he'll serve less than half of that 26.
Depends. Some states would send him to adult prison and just keep him in ad seg until he was an adult.
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Old 07-11-06, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Deftones
Depends. Some states would send him to adult prison and just keep him in ad seg until he was an adult.
I've scanned through some news articles on the case, and I can't find out what Washington state will do with him.
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Old 07-11-06, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
Definitions of mental illness take societal norms into account. A "normal" 12 year old kid doesn't go out and kill a classmate just for the thrill.
Neither does a 'normal' adult.

Originally Posted by NCMojo
And while a 6th grader may understand the seriousness of stabbing a classmate 32 times, it is doubtful they would understand the workings of the judicial and penal systems.
There are also many adults whose ability to understand the judicial and penal systems could be called into question.

Originally Posted by NCMojo
To throw out an analogy, a twelve-year old kid may understand the terms stated in a credit card contract, but he cannot be held legally liable if he signs the contract and racks up $5,000 in debt. As a society, we say that no 12 year old kid can sign a legal contract -- it is understood that children are not fully capable of making adult decisions. And yet in this case, and in many others, we disregard that idea in favor of adopting a stance that we're "tough on crime".
So do you think the parents should be tried for murder? Because if a kid racks up a shitload of credit card debt, it doesn't just go away. Anyway, the laws you mention concerning age limits exist to set a bare minimum. As in, by 18, everyone that's not mentally handicapped should possess the mental faculties to enter into these situations. They don't mean that no one reaches those levels earlier than 18, just that enough don't that there exists the need for a standard. Also, again, just because a child doesn't have the faculties to act as an adult in all ways does not mean that a child lacks the ability or knowledge to be expected to act like an adult in some ways.

Originally Posted by NCMojo
I know this is an oldie but a goodie... ye olde "slippery slope"... but where would you draw the line? 12 is too old, so maybe 10? Or 8? Should we start charging 13 year old shoplifters as adults as well?
As long as murders by children are such a relatively rare event, I'd prefer they be decided on a case by case basis. I think this is a much superior and far less arbitrary method than saying 'all children ___ years old know and understand the implications of killing someone.' Wouldn't you find individual, in-depth evaluation of each case to be preferable to 'drawing a line'? Seems like that'd help to avoid your slippery slope problem.
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Old 07-11-06, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
Stabby McRapesalot
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Old 07-11-06, 11:31 AM
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does anyone else think the pic of this kid looks like Ed Norton from American History X?
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Old 07-11-06, 11:37 AM
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i think the planning/premeditation was what got him tried as an adult. 33 extra stabs didn't help either.
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