North Carolina — “Should a child that believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy be making life-altering decisions?” asked New Hanover County Chief District Court Judge Jay Corpening. This is a question which has come up repeatedly in the state of North Carolina as dozens of children as young a six are being processed into the criminal justice system. The latest case involves a 6-year-old boy who was arrested and forced to go to court because he picked a flower while waiting for the bus.
Attorney Julie Boyer’s child client was on trial for injury to real property after he stopped to pick a flower from a yard near his bus stop, according to The Herald-Sun. Illustrating the ridiculous nature of sending a child to court for picking a flower is the fact that he had no idea what was going on.
Boyer said she had to give the boy some crayons and a coloring book during the proceedings because he did not have the mental capacity to understand what was happening to him.
“I asked him to color a picture,” she said, “so he did.”
This is a serious problem and speaks to the archaic nature of the law in the state of North Carolina. Currently, the state’s juvenile system has the lowest minimum age in the world to enter the court system — which is six.