Monday, 15 December 2008

Should the parents be held responsible for their child's crime?

I'm sorry to talk about this sad and terrible rape/paedophilia incident, so, if you are easily offended, please move on. Also, I am not a parent, so you might think I'm not qualified to comment on this kind of issues at all, but I am certainly a child of my parents, so I think I have at least some say in this.

In South Korea, an 18 year old with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) raped a 7 year old girl in 2006. He now is serving in prison his 10 year sentence. But then, the court also ruled that his parents were liable for his crime as well, not that they were involved in his crime directly, but by not bringing up their child properly.
The court said the boy had grown up watching pornography and had imitated a film he had seen during the attack.
It said his parents could have prevented the crime with appropriate education, but neglected their duty.
A court statement said: "The parents could have prevented the crime with appropriate education but failed to show enough attention to their child.

At first, I thought it was so bizarre to fine the parents for their son's crime. I still find it very strange. I am not sure if it is ever right to penalise the parents directly for their child's crime, especially the child is reasonably old, say, 16 years old or older. But at the same time, I can't help but agree that the parents should be held responsible or accountable for their child's behaviour to some extent, somehow. Or, if not for the behaviour of the child, then at least for the way they are taught and brought up in that household. No?

On a side note, I gasped when I read that the victim was a 7 year old girl. But I also found myself appalled at the fact that a monetary value was put to the "damage".
The girl's parents were seeking 225m won ($165,000; £111,000) in damages.
I am not so naive to assume that this kind of economic valuation does not happen, in fact, I know full well that these happen all the time. But, it is still quite upsetting to think that it does happen.


Giraffe Pen (기린 만년필) said...

The Korean justice system is very odd in the way it syphons responsibility for crimes... When a man and a woman commit adultery it's usually the woman who gets thr rough end of the stick when there are prosicutions. It'd be interesting to know what exactly underpins the assumptions that parents are responsible and it sets a very dangerous precedent for other parents... In Nazi Germany those who perpetuated many of the crimes were men who came from good homes (many of them Christian and Catholic), well educated, and intelligent. How can their parents be held responsible for what their kids do? Why stop at children? Why can't everybody blame their parents? Who's more to blame? Why stop at rape when it comes to apportioning blame? Why not blame the parents for everything?

Korean justice is a strange one indeed.

Giraffe Pen (기린 만년필) said...

next thing you know people will be locked up for thought crime, imprisoned because they COULD be thinking about committing it... Better not pick up a carving knife to slice your 갈비고기!