Jack Smith turned 17 on April 10, 2008. He grew up with his mother and a brother and his family moved around during his childhood years, that he went to three different schools in elementary, 2 in middle school and was dropped out in his 9th grade to get a job to help his mother and brother for a living. Mr. Smith is reported to have performed well in elementary. However, his middle school started to turn sour, kids around bullying him due to the fact that his mom worked for odd jobs. During these years, Mr. Smith’s grades started to go worst. In January, 2008, Mr.
Smith’s mother and brother were arrested for trading in drugs. In March, both were sentenced to lengthy prison sentences. Mr. Smith then started to hang out with the kids around the neighborhood, going home late at night and started to get into trouble. In April, 2008, Mr. Smith had an altercation with a group of young adults were he was arrested and cause a charge against him for first degree assault. The victim, one named Travis, a member of a rival gang as he admitted to his lawyer but not to the police authorities, suffered a broken jaw and fractures on some parts of the face, was brought to the hospital by Mr.
Smith and by another kid for medication, the latter two left the victim without leaving their names with the hospital. C. Current Circumstances Mr. Smith is facing trial at the adult courts. The prosecution is moving for a sentence of five years as minimum up to ten years as maximum term of imprisonment. Mr. Smith vehemently denied his participation and membership in a gang and that the act was not gang motivated. Moreover, he denied and refused to give any information as to names of the persons who are allegedly members of the same alleged gang and who participated with him in the commission thereof. The gang task force however believed Mr.
Smith participated in a gang, the so-called The Avenging Disciples (AD); that the crime was allegedly committed as part of conditions for membership, that they are required to beat in another new member; and that the attack upon Travis was one of a beat in. Mr. Smith has been hopeful to finish school and is exerting effort to get back to school and complete a GED and to get an NH Tech for automotive repairs, to set up his own garage and with a view for having a stable family. D. Prior Criminal History and Incarcerations Mr. Smith never had any criminal records nor engaged in any criminal acts or behaviors to warrant prosecution.
His acting in violation of the law started only when his mother and brothers were arrested and sentenced for long term imprisonment for having traded drugs, and so he is left in the custody of the police authorities, as his only family as of the present. E. Arguments Mr. Smith must be entitled to a lower penalty, that is, of one year as minimum up to seven years as maximum term of imprisonment. The following reasons are sufficient to warrant a mitigated penalty: 1. His psychological condition Mr. Smith was never into trouble until his family, particularly, his mother and brothers were brought to jail to serve their respective sentences.
He does not have any criminal record that supports the conclusion that he is not inclined to the commission of any crime. His alleged membership in a gang can be attributed to his need for belongingness as he grew up without his father and only with his mother and two brothers but were nonetheless put behind bars to face their respective sentences. The nature of the environment, at his very young and vulnerable age may have contributed to his behavior. From his records in school and criminal records, he is shown to have a good outlook in life, and in fact hopes to finish school and have a stable family.
That is, he never criminally inclined. He may have turned 17 when the crime was allegedly committed, but his weak and vulnerable mind may serve to mitigate the liability. Considering this psychological condition, he is proper to be the subject of a rehabilitation program instead of being placed in imprisonment. His young and vulnerable age does not foreclose the possibility of being a good member of society, as shown in his dreams for his life. Mr. Smith after having wounded the victim brought the latter to the hospital with another kid.
This is highly commendable and shows that he is not inclined towards the commission of any crime; that he acknowledged the wrongful act done and is remorseful for the same. 2. Contributory participation of the victim The victim, Travis, is not totally blameless. Here, the concept of shared responsibility is well taken. As has been shown in the records of the case, Travis admittedly confessed to his lawyer his membership in a gang; that although he denied to furnish the police authorities of his co-members, he was proved to have acted pursuant to orders of his other gang members.
That he was the first too cause an attack against Mr. Smith leading the latter to have defended himself. The act of Mr. Smith is one of self-defense, and when proved that all the elements are present so as to warrant his exculpation, may even be exculpated, although this is not so in the instant case. It is shown that Travis initiated the commission of an attack towards Mr. Smith, and being harmed by the same, Mr. Smith has the right to fully defend himself, without however, putting the person attacking to a great danger not necessary to avert the unlawful attack.
He made us of four-inch knife and pointed the same against Mr. Smith, the same knife was not however found from the body of the victim at the hospital. However, the fact remains that he made use of the same which warrant a defensive action on the part of Mr. Smith. 3. Lessened witness’ credibility Travis participated and is a member of a rival gang to that which Mr. Smith is allegedly a member. He was proved to have been under the influence with alcohol at the time of the incident. Moreover, his criminal records prove that he been previously charged before the Juvenile Courts for Criminal Mischief.
Thus, his having proved to have under the influence of alcohol at the time of the commission of the crime, the use of a weapon at that time and his having been previously convicted of Criminal Mischief prove that he is criminally inclined and is capable of inflicting the injury against Mr. Smith to which the latter may simply have reacted. It is thus hereby respectfully submitted that judgment be rendered: 1. that the accused be sentenced to a mitigated liability of imprisonment from one year minimum to seven years as maximum term of imprisonment; 2. that such other matters as the court may deem proper may likewise be granted.