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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