He was only 13 at the time of the incident though State Attorney Phil Archer decided to prosecute him as an adult, according to a recent story in the Orlando Sentinel.  The juvenile, now 14, pleaded no-contest on charges of attempted murder and armed robbery. While the attempted murder charge was dropped, he will now spend up to five years in a state prison for men. He will also be on probation for seven years. If he violates his probation, he could return to prison for life. Besides the prosecutor, for whom is this a victory?

If the young Sanford man does get out of prison at 18 or 19 years of age, there is a high likelihood that his prison experiences will alter him beyond repair. He may have committed a grave error and robbed someone at gunpoint, but the course of his entire life is now shaped by something he did at 13. While this may appear to be a “tough on crime” stance, maybe it’s time to get smart on crime instead. Is there no other option to rehabilitate this child? Is there no better way to assist him? Surely there must be.