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Don't sue parents of youth convicted as adults



Published: Mon, April 15, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Don't sue parents of youth convicted as adults

EDITOR:

I am responding to Bob Jackson's recent article, "Teens face suit from beating victims." If a youth is tried as an adult in a criminal case and convicted, the parents of the youth should not be held financially responsible in a later civil suit.

The article states that two 17-year-old boys were sentenced to prison for 851/2 years without parole for brutally beating and robbing an 84-year-old man. The 84-year-old victim has filed a civil suit. He is suing for $1 million from both of the teen-agers and $10,000 from each of their mothers. The suit is for injuries the man sustained.

One of the 17-year-old boys has a trust fund, which comes from the proceeds of a wrongful death claim of his father. The other boy is poor, and he cannot afford to pay for the lawsuit. The prosecutors also want to tap into the trust account to recover $20,000 they spent on the criminal case.

I feel justice was served in the criminal case. The boy's trust fund should be awarded to the victim, but I do not agree with suing the parents in the civil suit because they were 17 and tried as adults. The parents should be held responsible if they were 14- or 15-years-old and tried as juveniles.

The court can't try the person as an adult and then try to sue the parents. If I had control over this case, I would not even let it go to court. Being tried as an adult means you know right and wrong and you are responsible for your actions. They can't sue the parents if their kids are considered to be adults. They were tried as adults; they are adults.

ADAM KAJTAR

North Jackson

X The writer is one of Eric Eye's students at Jackson-Milton High School..

Give credit where it's due for stopping city council

EDITOR:

As counsel for the precinct committee people who sought to stop Youngstown City Council's attempt to circumvent the law, I take umbrage at your editorial regarding council's backing down and pulling the ordinances.

Father Noga and the citizens who stepped forward deserve all the praise in the world. The right of the citizens to petition their government is inviolate, a concept that is apparently lost on some public officials, judging from their comments after the last council meeting. However, despite all the efforts of and outcry of these activists, the truth of the matter is that council steamrolled through two readings of the ordinances and were prepared to pass the ordinance on the third reading Monday until we filed our lawsuit. Only then did council halt this contemptible behavior. Yet, The Vindicator went out of its way to ignore our efforts. Not one word was mentioned, not a hint of recognition.

We filed the lawsuit because it was the right thing to do. We gave our considerable and personal time and expense to confront what we believed was an attempt to deny the precinct committee people of their statutory right to select a successor for the vacant president of city council position and the right of all the electors of Youngstown to vote on Charter amendments. We need no praise. Yet, The Vindicator's disingenuous editorial, which failed to discuss our critical role, reveals a troubling perspective and raises disturbing questions.

While this travesty was unfolding, why had the editorial board not condemned this weeks ago in no uncertain terms? Why did it wait until after we filed our lawsuit and withdrawal of the ordinances to comment on the same? The paper should have been out front in opposing this effort of council. Then it purposely ignored our efforts. If our lawsuit had not been filed and the ordinances passed would the paper again have been silent? I think so.

MARK BELINKY

Youngstown




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