Thursday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

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Ban Solitary Confinement of Children, Tampa Bay Times

We don’t let teens under 18 vote. We don’t let them buy cigarettes or beer. Yet we have no problem treating them like adults when they are sent to jail or prison for serious crimes.  Not only are they often sent to jails and prisons for adults, they are frequently placed in solitary confinement to “protect” them from predators and violence behind bars. That so many incarcerated teens are treated this way is at once an avoidable tragedy and a gross violation of human rights and constitutional law.

In preparing a recently released report, “Growing Up Locked Down,” for the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch, I entered a world where rehabilitation or redemption was held all but out of reach. Instead, I found varying degrees of desperation or worse. A girl, one of 38 youths I spoke or corresponded with in Florida, told me how she coped: “Me? I cut myself. I started doing it because it is the only release of my pain. I’d see the blood and I’d be happy. … I did it with staples, not razors. When I see the blood … it makes me want to keep going.”

Defense Team Wants Sigg Tried as a Juvenile,

Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey filed for Sigg to be tried as an adult in the case.  But during a hearing on Oct. 30, Sigg’s defense team said they intend to file a motion for a reverse transfer hearing.  This legal procedure, allowed under House Bill 1271, would require the prosecution to make a case as to why Sigg should not be tried in juvenile court.  The defense team would also have the opportunity to present evidence supporting why Sigg should be tried in juvenile court. Judicial District Chief Judge Stephen Munsinger, will make the final decision.

Alicia Moore Missing: Teen’s Body Found in Discarded Trunk,  The Huffington Post

A body found in a trunk along a remote stretch of Texas highway has been positively identified as that of missing Greenville teen Alicia Chanta Moore, police said.

Lori Philyaw, public information officer for the city of Greenville, Texas, told The Huffington Post authorities did not issue an Amber Alert for Moore because the case “did not fit the criteria.”  While an Amber Alert was not issued for Moore, authorities did notify the media as well as state and federal law enforcement agencies about her disappearance.

Alicia Moore did in fact fit the requirements for an Amber Alert.

Court Lifts Suspension for Judge who Beat Daughter, The Houston Chronicle

The Supreme Court of Texas on Tuesday lifted its suspension of the family court judge seen beating his then-teenage daughter in a 2004 home video that went viral on YouTube last year.  Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams had been on paid suspension since last November, when daughter Hillary uploaded her secret recording.

The statute of limitations had passed for criminal child abuse charges by the time Hillary posted the video. Both she and her mother have said the judge shouldn’t preside over cases that include allegations of child abuse, family violence or assault.

“The Supreme Court has no idea what it’s done by allowing a mentally ill man to run a courtroom,” she [Hillary] said. ” … and they’re going to hurt a lot more people by allowing him to continue in his job.”

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