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Why is a child's life worth more than an adult's?

Karl is looking at the media when he asks the question after watching the extensive coverage of the Liquarry (Laquarrie?) Jefferson case:

... I don't understand why a child's murder is manipulated by the media to be more tragic than the murder of a 20-50 year old. Death is death ... and if the victim was in fact a victim (innocent bystander versus gang member), I think they all should get the same amount of sympathy. People (and the media) just see a cute kid's school photo on the TV and act like it's the worst thing ever. Yet the same exact thing has happened 30 other times in Boston this year alone (and hundreds of times throughout the country). ...

Will then extends the question to men and people in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Comments

You think little Laquarrie was a stem cell - or left over embryo - or maybe even a fetus to get so much attention. Ever notice how so much interest is placed on the "unborn" while so little support is proffered to the "already born"?

After all, President Bush would like you to think an embryo is a human life (note his recent stem cell veto statement) while an Afghan or Iraqi civillian is an expedient sacrifice.

That said, he was cute, he was on track to do well in life, and his death was senseless. Instant poster child for illegal gun crackdown.

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"Ever notice how so much interest is placed on the "unborn" while so little support is proffered to the "already born"?

After all, President Bush would like you to think an embryo is a human life (note his recent stem cell veto statement) while an Afghan or Iraqi civillian is an expedient sacrifice."

Very articulate point made in the above-mentioned quote in your post, SwirlyGrrl. The fact that this administration is so worried about the unborn, while children and adults alike who're already born and existing on this earth whether it be in Iraq, Afghanistan or here at home, are, as you'd point it out, expedient sacrifices to think absolutely nothing of, is downright revolting.

Murder is murder, whether it's committed by and against a young child, adolescent, or an adult.

Way to go, SwirlyGrrl!!

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News is only News if it sells... duh!

Anyways, who goes to TV for real information anymore? All that's left there is sensationalism and tabloid dirty pleasures. I'm glad my generation is the first to realize this and get most of their news from the web.

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When a child gets killed it is always tragic. Innocence in a person before the age of reason is implied and guaranteed. A good number of the homicides in Boston are gang or drug related. That someone is being shot or stabbed due to a gang feud or a drug deal does not justify their murder, but it is totally different than any 8yr old child being so violently killed. Many people who get caught up in violence are there somewhat willingly. I know there are many socioeconomic factors that often lead to this lifestyle, but not every person that gets killed is a true victim.

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I believe you inadvertently left out the phrase "...according to Catholic doctrine" in there somewhere.

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No, i did not. Tell me what "Catholic doctrine" has to do with these comments? Actually, what I said may go against most doctrines. The Church would probably say that a person getting shot and killed during a drug deal is just as much a victim as a young child. Do you have some sort of hostility towards Catholics that you thought were relevant towards this discussion?

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The phrase "age of reason" and the idea that children are automatically innocent until then are associated primarily with the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. I am aware that "age of reason" is also a psychological concept, but the discussion of innocence seemed to me to be a more religious argument.

I'm not sure what hostility you were reading into my one sentence there.

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Negative. Though that term can be used in a religous sense, it can also be used in a number of different ways. The way I was using, and the way that I think most people would interpret it, is in a "does the child know right from wrong or the impact of their actions" sense, for lack of a better description. I was certainly not speaking in a religous sense, nor was I speaking in a Thomas Payne sense, though that may be where the commonly used (often times in the judicial system) term was derived. That you would give it a Roman Catholic connotation was curious, though I was asking a question, not reading into any percieved hostility. I don't know what religion has to do with this absolutely tragic incident.

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Not to be too cold about this, but the insurance valuation of a child's life is frequently greater than that of an adult's because of future earnings potential.

In determining the damage suffered as a result of the loss of a child, the jury may consider not only the benefits that plaintiff was reasonably certain to have received from the earnings and services of his/her child during the child¹s minority, but also the support and financial benefit which it is reasonably certain plaintiff would have received from the child after the latter majority and during the period of their common expectancy of life.

http://consumerlawpage.com/article/personal-injury...

A child is going to live longer than an adult. Therefore a child's life is worth more than the life of an adult of the same station. Great-grandpa, in comparison, isn't worth diddly-squat.

That's the economic calculus of the fact that the death of children is a greater tragedy and burden than death of the aged, because children are supposed to outlive us, bring us joy for the rest of our lives, and support us in our dotage.

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Wow. That is very informative. So when the family of the 8yr old sues the family of the 7yr old (essentially suing themselves) they will have excellent standing in court. The mother can also sue her 15yr old son for damages, which she can repay to herself. Maybe she can garnish her own wages, but she will have to pay taxes on the judgement and give her lawyer a third, so she may chose not to sue herself.

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When the story first reached the general public, it was the horrible news that a gang of thugs had broken into an apartment and randomly shot an eight year old boy. Police were searching the neighborhood, and asking people with information about the shooting to come forward. Descriptions and drawings of the suspects were in the news, there was much wringing of hands, rending of garments and rushing of preachers and politicians.

Within 24 hours the story was falling apart. Now the story became how the family had lied to police about the shooting. Preferring to create an evil black man, instead of tell the truth about the shooting. (Charles Stewart syndrome anyone) Also the local news had developed a history on the family, and having discovered they were not the victims they originally claimed to be –not to say they were not victims, but the events had changed.

Thus we had a news cycle telling us how the child was trying to break out of the gang history his family was living. His entire family was looked at, his mother’s jail time, his many half siblings, his father being in jail. His grandmother and her support of ‘stop snitching’ His ability to pass first grade, and want of an education, allowed us to ask privately, why his parents and grandparents were not supporting his perceived upward mobility. Suggesting his family liked being so dysfunctional and he was punished for wanting out.

Next we heard the truth of the killing, a gun hidden in the building by a family member, with gang connections. Was found by a child, younger still than the dead boy, and was used, hopefully in error and without malice to shoot another child. So the story becomes not just how terrible a child has been shot. We also get to talk about illegal hand guns. About the trauma one child will go through because he shot another child. How once again, a family has been torn apart by violence. Plus a brief reminder that had the family told the truth about the shooting at 11:11 PM things might have turned out differently.

A win win for just about everyone. Next up, what strange made up letters name is his mother going to name the baby she will shortly be pregnant with to replace who ever the heck his made up name was. Will it be with baby daddy number six, or will she revisit numbers one through five for the replacement.

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