12-year-old emailed bomb threats to Maryland schools because he knew state law would prevent charges

12-year-old emailed bomb threats to Maryland schools because he knew state law would prevent charges

“A 12-year-old responsible for emailing seven bomb threats to Maryland schools this month knew a state law would prevent authorities from bringing charges, police announced Wednesday.” So he went ahead and emailed the bomb threats:

In Maryland, children younger than 13 can be charged only with offenses that constitute a “crime of violence,” Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones said in a statement.

A police spokesperson confirmed the child knew no charges could be brought before speaking to detectives.

Detectives spoke with the suspect, who admitted emailing the threats to Montgomery Blair High School on Oct. 13, 16 and 17, as well as Monday and Tuesday, Jones said. The suspect also admitted being behind separate e-mailed bomb threats to Oak View Elementary School and Silver Spring International Middle School on Oct. 15.

The suspect was identified, Jones said, with assistance from the IT staff for the Montgomery County Public Schools.

“It is disheartening to accept that the individual responsible for disrupting the educational process and instilling fear in our community was well aware of the legal limitations surrounding their age,” Jones said. “They understood that they could not be charged under current Maryland statutes.”

Jones also called the threats “reckless and dangerous” and noted the “significant financial and operational burden” they had on his department.

“Dispatching officers and K-9 units to investigate these threats, especially when our resources are already stretched thin, diverted our personnel away from other pressing calls for service. This diversion of resources is unacceptable, and it jeopardizes the safety of our community,” he said.

Some progressives consider it inhumane to charge minors with even the most serious, premeditated crimes, because they say that minors’ brains haven’t fully developed. But teenagers’ brains have developed enough to know right from wrong, and to take into account whether they will be punished for their actions. So the “brain development” argument for coddling dangerous teenagers, accepted enthusiastically by some progressive judges, is wrong.

As a teenager, the brother of a Liberty Unyielding blogger would place crank calls to people to instill terror in them, telling the people he called that their relatives were gravely injured, or taunting them about the death of their loved ones. But he stopped doing this immediately when he turned 18, and would face serious consequences for such telephonic harassment.

When states raise the age of responsibility for criminal acts, that increases the crime rate among juveniles. As criminology professor Peter Moskos notes, “Recidivism among 16-year-olds went up” a lot when the age for being prosecuted in adult court was raised in New York. Restrictions on punishment of violent juveniles have resulted in out-of-control, dangerous juvenile jails where guards and inmates alike are attacked.

In its decision in In re Personal Restraint of Monschke (2021), the progressive-dominated Washington Supreme Court overturned mandatory life without parole for serial killers below age 22, citing young people’s purportedly incomplete brain development. But in adulthood, there is little further brain development. As Charles Gardner, PhD, notes, contrary to the progressive talking point that the “brain continues to develop up to age 25,” the “real truth” is that “our brains…are 99.999% complete by age 16.”

Harsher penalties deter crime. A study found that when California imposed longer sentences for repeat offenders, that deterred many crimes from being committed.

LU Staff

LU Staff

Promoting and defending liberty, as defined by the nation’s founders, requires both facts and philosophical thought, transcending all elements of our culture, from partisan politics to social issues, the workings of government, and entertainment and off-duty interests. Liberty Unyielding is committed to bringing together voices that will fuel the flame of liberty, with a dialogue that is lively and informative.


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