I asked it once before, so now that charges of animal cruelty have officially been filed against 3 Paterson youths accused of killing a local cat– one of whom is only 6 years old –what’s the proper punishment for the trio if found guilty?

Passaic County Prosecutor Camilia Valdes said that the 3, ages 6, 10, and 12 have all been charged with 3 counts of animal cruelty – but the law being what it is – incarceration for the 6 and 10 year old is out of the question.

I think I may have said it last time around that these are “thugs in training.”

If left to their own devices, now that they’ve been desensitized to violence; moving from an innocent cat to an innocent human wouldn’t be too much of a stretch.

But what should be done in lieu of incarceration? Or is that the only answer?

Intense therapy? Chances are we’d only be sending them back into an environment that bred this behavior in the first place.

Community service? Possibly.

According to an article from nj.com, the Assistant Passaic County Prosecutor doesn't believe these 3 kids will face anything repercussions such as juvenile detention:

"New Jersey law does not permit juveniles who are 11 and under to be incarcerated, either pre or post disposition––unless they are charged with a crime of the first or second degree or arson," she told NJ.com. "Also, since the primary goal of juvenile is rehabilitation, it is unlikely a term of incarceration would be imposed here for the 12 year old."

 

Is mental health counseling is an appropriate punishment for the 3 youths accused of killing a cat?