Just a year ago, a horrific crime was committed on a western Michigan playground. According to a CBS News report, a young boy, Michael Connor Verkerke, was stabbed repeatedly by his older, 12-year-old friend after playing on the playground.
The murderer knew what he did was wrong and even called the police to come pick him up. This boy is a monster and he should not get special treatment just because he is young. He killed someone’s child. Like any person in that scenario, he should face the consequences for it.
Thankfully, after a year of contemplation, a judge ruled that the boy was competent enough to be put on trial and even be charged as an adult in the juvenile court system.
While many experts have argued against the judge’s decision, I am a proponent of impartiality. No matter how young or inept, justice should always be served. As cold-hearted as this may sound, this child is getting exactly what he asked for.
This child had enough the mental presence to comprehend the arrest procedures. He was able to communicate to the cops and himself that what was done was wrong and there should be consequences.
Though the child does not know every single step of the criminal justice process, that is no excuse to let him off easily. After all, I would wager most adults do not know every step of the criminal justice process either.
The 12-year-old kid is not a little boy as some have said—he is a tween about to hit his teen years. Even though his hormones are raging and emotions are unstable due to abuse faced as a youth, the murder was undoubtedly premeditated.
The boy already knew what he was out there to do with murder weapon in his hand. At best, he should be tried as an adult and carefully given a chance to advocate for an insanity plea.
It is hard to look at this situation and not have a sympathetic heart and soft spot for these kids. The now-13-year-old boy will most likely never see the outside world again.
Granted, the now-teenage boy was a victim of mental and physical abuse as well as neglect, so he could possibly be clinically insane or even disabled by massive trauma. However, there is the simple truth that one grieving mother in western Michigan no longer has her precious little boy and that is what is truly devastating.
The family of little Michael Connor Verkerke deserves justice and some kind of solace. If that means sending this teenage boy to prison for his criminal, adult actions, then that is what must be done.
This was not just a tween taking out a little aggression—it was a gruesome, premeditated stabbing of an innocent child. Abuse and trauma be damned, this was a heinous act and it deserves a just sentence.
This is an angry child who was bound and determined to go forth and commit murder and face the repercussions. There are many abused children that have it just as bad or worse than the murderer, but they choose not to commit these sad and heinous acts. Nothing should give this one special treatment.
Follow Sterling Wilmer on Twitter at @nycbornnraised.