Some have argued that a neo-Nazi dad murdered by his 10-year-old son had it coming. It's true Jeffrey Hall was not a nice man by most accounts, but a judge has come down hard on the child. The now 13-year-old has been sentenced to 10 more years in a state facility. It's better than the 40 years the boy was rumored to have gotten, but the earliest the teenager could get out is in seven years -- at age 20.
The child's childhood is over. Because that's what happens when you murder someone.
Can we have sympathy for one of the youngest kids ever to be convicted of murder?
Certainly. He was just a kid, and as mentioned before, his childhood is no more. He will never spend a Saturday afternoon at a mall with his friends or go to the prom with a girl.
By the time he's eligible for parole from the state's juvenile facility, the teen will no longer be a teen.
But the fact is, sympathy for the child does not mean approval for what he did, what a court has convicted him of doing. He murdered a human being. He shot his own father at point-blank range while dad was sleeping.
Murder is not OK. Not even when the person dead wasn't terribly nice.
Jeffrey Hall might have been a regional director of the National Socialist Movement, a white separatist group. He might not have been very nice to his son.
But he was a human being. And in a fair and just society, human beings -- no matter their "niceness" -- have value.
The boy had to be punished.
Who has your sympathy here: the boy or the dad?
Image via jkbeitz/Flickr