COMMENTS: Teens are identified all the time in news
EDITOR'S NOTE: Visitor's to The Outlook's Facebook page are providing their insights on many of our news stories and opinion pieces, including an editorial that appeared in the Friday, Sept. 22, edition.
That editorial — "One Question: What's the price of stupidity?" — made the point that knowing the identity of the teenager who allegedly started the Eagle Creek Fire is less important than having transparency on what, if any, penalty or punishment is handed down.
The response to that editorial has been mixed. Here's what Facebook viewers have said:
COMMENT:I absolutely respect the tough place media (and law enforcement) are in when it comes to juvenile crime. Yes, I'm calling his behavior criminal. Here is my frustration though: the inconsistency in reporting. On any given day around Portland I can read a juvenile's name for a variety of crimes — theft, drug trafficking, assault, weapons charges, gang violence. But only typically when the victims are singular or a small group. However, the behavior (of the suspect in the Eagle Creek Fire) affects hundreds or thousands and gets this level of protection. (The suspect) affected more people and gets more protection. It doesn't make sense to me at all.
Kid's maturity, intent must be considered
COMMENT:It seems to me that the most important issue is the maturity of the kid and the intent. Sometimes I think we need a law against criminal stupidity, but only for adults. It's so easy to be angry and reasonable as well, but what do we gain by naming the kid? So we have a target for our anger, but what value does that have? It just encourages anger. Our anger and extreme punishment does nothing to make teenagers more mature and thoughtful and is likely to result in a wasted life. It isn't about punishing in proportion to the net effects. In that case, why would we distinguish between manslaughter and first degree murder?
Community won't stand for slap on the wrist
COMMENT:What do you mean "if held accountable"? If these kids get off scot-free, I guarantee you the entire Northwest is going to come unglued.
That's the way it is
COMMENT:The media has no right to know. Sorry it's awkward for you.
Mike De La Mater
Make him pay
COMMENT:He needs volunteer time for the rest of his young life, helping the people's communities affected by his actions.
Why some, but not all?
COMMENT:There's been smaller fires in Idaho and California and those "kids" have been charged. Why has nothing been done yet here?