Tuesday, May 4, 2010

law changed

Simpson's role in murder caused change in law

In 1991,11-year-old Terrance Simpson was already known to the police, but his age kept him from getting into any serious trouble with the law. At the time, no one younger than 12 could be charged with a crime — even in children's court. After Simpson killed Darnell Williford on April 29,1991, he faced no charges. All the state could do was treat him as a child in need of protection and services. He was ultimately sent to live in group homes, from which he walked away.

Justice officials work to change the law. The juvenile court system was created for young offenders, and a provision allowed older teens — and children age 10 or older who committed certain types of serious crimes - to be charged in adult court.

By the time Simpson turned 16 - when he set fire to his bed linens at the Racine County Juvenile Detention Center — the new law was in effect. His arson case landed in adult court.

He was sentenced to seven years in prison, and was released on parole in 2000

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