A lot of them have no respect for themselves, let alone anyone else, and as for the innocence associated with childhood, they lost that a long time ago. We're talking about the increasing number of juveniles involved in crimes, juveniles who may soon lose the shield of anonymity they now have under West Virginia law.
Two Kanawha County delegates this week introduced separate bills that would remove the veil of secrecy that now protects juvenile records. Del. Jon Amores' bill would allow release of the names of juvenile suspects over age 10 who are charged with certain crimes including murder, assault, sexual assault, incest or any crimes that would be a felony if committed by an adult with a handgun or other weapon.
State Sen. Vic Sprouse's bill is simpler, calling for an end to all secrecy, no matter what the crime. We're not sure either bill is the answer, although both sponsors are correct in their underlying assumption that just because secrecy for juvenile cases is a time-honored tradition doesn't mean it can't be debated.