Idaho prosecutor now regrets arrest of 9 year old over stealing gum

And yes, that is gum with an “m” not gun with an “n.” [CNN]


  • So apparently the boy missed two court appearances (why he was required to appear in court at all is a reasonable question unless this particular 9 year old has such a history of illegal acts that judicial intervention is truly necessary) because his parents had trouble arranging transportation. Surely this could have been handled with a telephone call instead of an arrest warrant?

    The prosecutor gets credit for admitting this was a mistake though; that almost never happens.

  • Did he regret the arrest, or did he regret the bad publicity caused by the arrest?

  • According to the story: the police chief called the arrest warrant for the child “odd” and said “it is a most unusual circumstance.” Right. Because kids never try to shoplift anything.

    Unless the chief meant it was unusual they didn’t use a SWAT team.


  • OK. I am really NAL but this is puzzling to me.

    I completely understand the reason that the kid would need to appear. But as a minor, and given the way many states seem to treat kids, it seems like him coming on his own would NOT be an option. Even if he wanted to and his parents wouldn’t/couldn’t get him there, his coming on his own might well have had them in front of a judge for child endangerment.

    So who is it that is responsible for the kid failing to be in court? Clearly not the kid, so why are the parents not the one with the order to appear and warrant out on them?

    Still a very silly waste of time.

  • If you click through to the USA Today article, you find out that the DA thinks that the more appropriate response to a 9 year old stealing a pack of gum is a court diversion program and a CPS investigation.

  • It could have been worse. The poor kid could have had a gub.