Texas School Shooter May Get Out Of Jail On Parole

Another tragedy has struck our schools, as yet another troubled youth opens fire on innocent people.

Our nation is in desperate need of a shift on how caretakers address and care for these young souls that turn to violence.

This recent mass shooting is unique in the community response and in legal proceedings for the gunman.

Fox News reported:

Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who has been accused of fatally shooting 10 people at his Texas high school, cannot receive the death penalty — and could eventually be paroled.

Pagourtzis, 17, is being tried as an adult in Texas for the brutal slaying that left two teachers and eight of his peers dead at Santa Fe High School near Houston. Thirteen others were wounded in the May 18 shooting, authorities said.”

At first glance, you think that being tried as an adult warrants possible death penalty in this case, but a 2005 Supreme Court ruling prohibits a state from putting anyone under 18 to death.

Nikolas Cruz of the Florida massacre is facing the death penalty, according to CBS News, because he was 19-years-old when he took the lives of 17 innocent victims at his former high school.

The 2005 Roper v. Simmons case ruling continues to state:

When a juvenile commits a heinous crime, the State can exact forfeiture of some of the most basic liberties, but the State cannot extinguish his life and his potential to attain a mature understanding of his own humanity.”

It was reported by the justices, according to Fox News, that not executing individuals under 18 was a decision reached based on current societal interpretation of the line between child and adult.

In addition to avoiding the death penalty, Pagouritzis may also circumvent life in prison without parole, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Fox News reported:

The Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that states could not impose mandatory life in prison without parole sentences for juveniles convicted of murder.

Mandatory life without parole for a juvenile precludes consideration of his chronological age and its hallmark features — among them, immaturity, impetuosity and failure to appreciate risks and consequences,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote at the time. “It prevents taking into account the family and home environment that surrounds him — and from which he cannot usually extricate himself — no matter how brutal or dysfunctional.”

This mindset around the ruling is detrimental to American society, and our children at large. It shifts some of the responsibility from the perpetrator for the crime they chose, to the environment from which they were brought.

Certain environments do make some proclivities more available or seem like the easier way out, but they do not dismiss moral absolutes.

Texas passed legislation in 2013 that gave an option of parole after 40 years to juveniles that are convicted of capital murder, according to Fox News.

Amanda Marzullo, executive director of Texas Defender Services, said that having parole as an option after the 40 years doesn’t mean it will happen, adding that she would be “surprised if he’s ever released.”

Pagouritzis’ heinous acts have inflicted a near unbearable burden on the loved ones of his victims, yet some of his peers feel compassion towards him and his plight.

Santa Fe sophomore Dylan Mittelsted said in the New Yorker, “I wish I could have helped him.”

This compassion is also coupled with a mature understanding of the role the gun played in the murders committed by Pagouritzis.

All I can really say is that it’s not the gun that shot those people, it’s the one behind it.”, added the sophomore.

The students at Santa Fe High School have not been dealing with the shooting the same as students from the Democratic region of Parkland, Florida.

Very few of the Texan students affected felt moved to join March for Our Lives movement, and generally speaking don’t blame the inanimate object for the horrific experience that had to endure.

Mittelsted was asked if he thought any students would join the anti-gun movement after experiencing a school shooting and he responded how people can be very emotional and rash after such events, and that may lead “a few” to join.

Carvey, another Santa Fe student who joined others in running for her life, said “I don’t think guns are the problem — I think people are the problem,” reported NBC News.

The conservative state of Texas just want time and space to heal to figure out how to handle things going forward; they don’t wish to lash out, placing blame wherever they can.

Many Texans are pushing for more school districts to allow teachers to arm themselves; 170 school districts already have this right.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, is looking into programs “designed to identify mentally unstable students”, according to NBC News, as opposed to exploring stricter gun laws.

The reaction by those affected by the Santa Fe school shooting is a logical and practical approach to dealing with the root causes of such massacres.

It will be inspirational to see what happens in legislation and approach from the Republican state, in comparison to the emotional and bitter responses by liberal protestors with similar experiences.

Please let us know in the comments section the differences you see in approaches from the different states that had school shootings recently.

 

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