Apparently, according to police, White's gun jammed after he fired into the ceiling. We think allegations that White continued to pull the trigger on the rifle while his principal walked him out of the school are the key in deciding how White should be tried.
We believe that decision should be to try White as an adult.
However, because of White's age, we would hope, if he were convicted, that a judge would use Missouri’s dual-jurisdiction program.
Under that system, a judge can suspend the adult portion of the sentence and send a juvenile to the Division of Youth Services at Montgomery City. The alternative gives a defendant the chance to complete the program and avoid state prison, yet treatment and education services provided there are considerably longer than for those tried as juveniles. If the juvenile is not successful in the program, the judge can invoke the adult sentencing.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Globe editorial: Memorial Middle School shooter should be tried as an adult
In an editorial just posted on the Joplin Globe website, the newspaper says that Memorial Middle School shooter Thomas Gregory White, 14, should be tried as an adult: