11 year old not charged in death of 10 year old classmate
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    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    Default 11 year old not charged in death of 10 year old classmate

    Did the prosecutor make the right decision?

    Prosecutors will not file any charges in the Long Beach case of 10-year-old Joanna Ramos, who died hours after a fight with another elementary school student, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office announced Wednesday.

    The decision concludes what authorities and school officials called a highly delicate and unusual case, given the ages of the children involved.

    "This case was a fight between two children that ended with unintended and tragic results," Long Beach police said in a statement. The department "hopes that its conclusion brings some peace to both families involved, as well as the community."

    Authorities said Joanna died Feb. 24 of blunt-force head trauma after a pre-planned fight with an 11-year-old classmate in an alley near Willard Elementary School. Some relatives believed the girls were fighting over a boy.

    Joanna fell ill after the fight, which lasted about a minute, and died hours later. Her death was later ruled a homicide by the Los Angeles County coroner's office. No arrests were made during the investigation, which has now been closed.

    Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, acknowledged the decision, but declined to speak further about it because the case involved two juveniles. Prosecutors reviewed the case for just over a month before making their decision.

    Joanna's mother, Cecilia Villanueva, said she was frustrated by the justice system.

    "I'm disappointed and at the same time sad, but what can I do?" she said, adding that she was surprised by the D.A.'s decision.

    She said she plans to speak to her attorney about other options. If nothing can be done, she said, "it's over and we leave it in peace."

    Villanueva said she feels sorry for the 11-year-old girl who fought her daughter: "I think she won't be happy in her life knowing that she killed someone."

    Joanna, who died a couple weeks shy of her 11th birthday, liked to sing and hoped one day to be as famous as Selena, the late Tejano music sensation. The fifth-grader enjoyed watching "Glee" and telenovelas, and she was remembered by her mother at a memorial service at Hollywood Forever Cemetery as a "good and happy little girl who dreamed of being a singer and a star."

    "What happened to Joanna could happen to anybody," Villanueva said before the service that day. "Parents need to be careful and try to watch over their children, even when they are at school with friends."
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...,2352264.story
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    Posting Addict Rivergallery's Avatar
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    Depends on what "pre-planned meant" If the girl knew and planned and WANTED to fight, then nothing should be done.. If the "attackers" knew but she didn't or had tried to get out of it or didn't WANT to fight then something should be done.
    If you have two guys in a knife fight it is the same thing. Or two guys in a duel or gun draw.
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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Having read articles about this when it happened, I can say that "pre-planned" means that BOTH girls planned to fight one another. The two girls had an argument and agreed to "settle it" after school, off school property.

    I think this was the right decision. The girl was willing to fight, and she got hurt. Sad, but preventable on her part. IIRC it was the same kind of brain injury that killed Vanessa Redgrave, the person doesn't think they're hurt *that* badly, until they lose consciousness.
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    I agree again. The other girl willingly got into an altercation with this girl. They were using the same "weapon" so no unfair advantage. It's an awful tragedy and definitely one I'm sure neither girl at their age knew what could potentially happen.
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    Posting Addict ClairesMommy's Avatar
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    So, curious....If two teens or adults or whoever pull a gun on each other, they both shoot but only one dies, nothing should be done because they both willingly came with weapons and were both prepared to use them? You might not intend to kill, but it's a possible outcome, no matter what the weapon, even fists.

    There was a similar case like this several years ago here. Two guys got into a fight outside a bar. They were young - both 18-ish. One guy threw a punch, hit the other guy in the head, and the guy was dead before he hit the ground. The other guy was charged with manslaughter and convicted.

    I am not implying that an 11 year old deserves an extremely harsh punishment, but to do nothing at all? No counselling, no type of restitution?

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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire'sMommy View Post
    So, curious....If two teens or adults or whoever pull a gun on each other, they both shoot but only one dies, nothing should be done because they both willingly came with weapons and were both prepared to use them? You might not intend to kill, but it's a possible outcome, no matter what the weapon, even fists.

    There was a similar case like this several years ago here. Two guys got into a fight outside a bar. They were young - both 18-ish. One guy threw a punch, hit the other guy in the head, and the guy was dead before he hit the ground. The other guy was charged with manslaughter and convicted.

    I am not implying that an 11 year old deserves an extremely harsh punishment, but to do nothing at all? No counselling, no type of restitution?
    First of all, there were no weapons involved in this fight. Second, they were both children, not adults; the court views children as legally able to be impulsive where an adult would be held responsible for the same action. And third, there are two court systems in America, so even though there is no criminal charge, there is still the possibility that the victim's family might sue the perpetrator's family in civil court and be awarded damages or get the girl court-ordered counseling.
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    Posting Addict ClairesMommy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    First of all, there were no weapons involved in this fight. Second, they were both children, not adults; the court views children as legally able to be impulsive where an adult would be held responsible for the same action. And third, there are two court systems in America, so even though there is no criminal charge, there is still the possibility that the victim's family might sue the perpetrator's family in civil court and be awarded damages or get the girl court-ordered counseling.
    First, I'm well aware of the difference between civil and criminal court. Secondly, what exactly is a fist when it comes in contact with someone's head? I'm pretty sure it's a weapon. A rock is a weapon, so is a stick, or a car, or a baseball bat or anything else used to inflict injury on someone else. Third, court-ordered counseling is not equitable relief in a civil court and it would be highly unlikely that a civil court judge would have the authority to impose it.

    There was nothing impulsive about this incident, so I don't buy the argument that in this case she was acting like an impulsive child and that her actions were not illegal and should somehow be forgiven. It was pre-meditated and followed through on. Quite frankly, for a child to have the wherewithall to plan and carry out the fight and then there be no consequences frightens me a bit. Makes one wonder what she's going to be like as an adult.

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