Should A 12-Year-Old Be Sentenced To Life In Prison?

Mon, June 6, 2011 7:00pm EDT by 14 Comments
Courtesy of Jacksonville Police Dept.

Cristian Fernandez could become America’s youngest ever ‘lifer’ after being charged as an adult over the murder of his two-year-old brother. But is he too young?

Cristian Fernandez of Jacksonville, Florida is alleged to have beat his 2-year-old brother David Galarriago to death in March and now faces life in prison. Prosecutors decided to charge Cristian as an adult rather than a minor due to his violent history and behavior. But is he too young to be facing a life sentence or does he deserve this kind of punishment?

Baby David died two days after being admitted to the hospital with a fractured skull and brain bleed. The autopsy showed the injuries were caused by blunt force trauma consistent with being punched in the head. So terrible.

Authorities say Cristian had previously assaulted his younger brother and even broke his leg. If he was served as a minor, he would be in prison until he was 21 and then he be released. Is that enough?

State Attorney Angela Corey says, “It’s one where you go, at what point do you step in, so you prevent another murder, and that’s how we felt in this case. If we don’t intervene now and do the tough thing. We have to protect the public from this young man.”

What do you think, HollyMoms? Does he deserve life in prison? He may be a murderer, but Cristian is still only 12-years-old.

–Leigh Blickley

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Bruni

Posted at 6:50 PM on October 26, 2012  

After all the kid went through,,, I question if his mother ever loved him and cared for him like a real mother should. She knew how he was and still left him alone with the two year old. Older men and women under certain sircumstances comite the same crime. The child apparently didn’t have a good model to look up to. It is not all his fault. Jail will not help.

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Teresa

Posted at 3:07 PM on June 15, 2011  

I am a mother of 3 and they all know what is right and what is wrong. Yes I belive him mom should be charged also. My kids are 17,12 and 7. I belive this child should be sent away, if this was his 1st offence then no but this is the 2nd time he hurt the same child, if he would do this at his age then he will be worst as an adult. I feel for this kid, there are other kids that has his same background and is not messed up, but he knew what he did was wrong.

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MountainHouse

Posted at 10:29 PM on June 13, 2011  

A 12 year old is a CHILD. Look at his photo. Think of the 12 year olds that you know. They are not capable of understanding fully the consequences of their actions. They are not fully capable of free choice. Reading the background about the case, this child has had a very troubled life (through no fault of his own!), and is a very troubled boy. What he did was very wrong, but he is only 12 years old. In a supportive environment where he can get help for his issues, he may be able to turn his life around. He at least deserves that chance, having grown up in a horrible set of circumstances. He does not deserve to spend his life in prison for terrible, tragic mistake he made as a child.

I’m so disappointed by these comments.

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sara

Posted at 10:50 AM on June 14, 2011  

really mountain? i have 5 kids, 10, 9, 8, 2,and 1. u better believe my oldest kids know its wrong to kill and the consequences. it was not his first offense, he had injured that child before. some people can not be helped and just need to be removed from society.

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Heather

Posted at 3:28 AM on June 13, 2011  

You are disgusting if you think this kid deserves to serve his life in jail. Disgusting. He needs help and a better home. I don’t think he should serve ANY time.

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MountainHouse

Posted at 10:32 PM on June 13, 2011  

Finally a voice of reason. We are talking about a child – a child who by all accounts never even had a chance with his biologic family. He needs love and support, not prison.

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Champp

Posted at 10:24 PM on September 16, 2012  

But how are the rest fo us to be protected from him? He was reported as “detached” when talking about the killing of his baby brother, and he sexually molested a 5 y/o. What sort of family would feel safe taking him in? He is damaged–and it’s sad. But he is DANGEROUS.Period.

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Patricia

Posted at 3:25 PM on June 10, 2011  

the child needs to be locked away for life and the parents deserve some kind of prison sentence as well for child endangerment. He was clearly a threat to his little brother and the parents did not protect him.

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elizabeth

Posted at 6:44 PM on June 7, 2011  

that just sick if not in jail in a metal ward!!

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jerseygirl201

Posted at 11:49 AM on June 7, 2011  

WOW, this kid should be locked away forever. He most likely would do something like this again or even worse.

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elle

Posted at 11:34 AM on June 7, 2011  

His mother gave birth to him when she was 12 (not an excuse) and his Bio father was never in the picture. His stepdad shot himself, in the head if I’m remembering correctly, in front of the kids.

It is a tragedy all the way around, but still not excuses for this. Its apparent he is a threat to anyone around him. I believe charging him as an adult is the right way to handle it.

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Rebeccagrace

Posted at 11:14 PM on June 6, 2011  

Absolutely sickening. If he had a history of violent behavior then why was he allowed to be around his little brother anyway? Why didn’t his parents seek help for him? Sad and scary!

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Carol

Posted at 1:39 PM on June 10, 2011  

Exactly! And why aren’t the parents being charged with child endangerment. He broke his brothers leg previously to killing him.

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Trinity

Posted at 7:10 PM on June 6, 2011  

Lost cause. Locked away or not, eventually he will do more harm to others. Where are the parents?

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