Details here A 15 year old boy deliberately dropped a large chunk of ice from an overpass, killing a mother of 3. His lawyer is doing a pretty good job of spinning the incident and casting doubt, but the facts are pretty well established. The kid even turned himself in to state police. My initial reaction was to hope they lock this little punk up and throw away the key until he dies and rots in Hell. I still feel that way, but now I've had time to think about it, I'm torn between opposing options. On one hand, I don't believe our penal system is very good at rehabilitation. Some few number of inmates are successful at it, no doubt. Most are, or become, "career criminals" with no intention of living on the right side of the law. Can a 15 year old kid be rehabilitated? Certainly not while incarcerated in our existing penal system, juvenile or otherwise. Perhaps there are other options, though, options that could teach him the difference between right and wrong, a difference his parents obviously forgot about. Perhaps there are options that could educate him, instill some moral values, teach him a trade, let him do his time and, upon release, become a productive member of society. Perhaps. Those options don't exist, right now. He must be punished, of that I have no doubt. But I'm not so sure the way to do that is sticking him in prisons for the rest of his life, forcing taxpayers like me to pay for 60-some years of incarceration. Is this a case warranting the death penalty? Maybe. I admit to being squeamish about sentencing children to death, even though I know he'll be an adult for many years before such a sentence is ever carried out. One life has been wasted. One life has been thrown away, at the whim of another. The question I've been asking myself, and for which I truly have no answer, is to wonder if there is a better way to punish him for his crime without society compounding it by throwing away another life? None of the existing options in this case satisfy me. Violent juvenile crime is a difficult issue to address. How can we fit the punishment to the crime?