A six-year-old boy who picked a flower from a lawn at a public bus stop is now facing a criminal charge.

The little boy was forced to go to juvenile court in the US state of North Carolina to face charges of injury to real property after picking the tulip from the area.

The boy’s attorney said his attention span was so short that during court proceedings she had to give him a picture to colour in.

“A 6-year-old … we’re talking about someone that’s in kindergarten, first grade. They don’t understand the process, they don’t understand what’s going on, they probably don’t even know their address,” Lyana Hunter of the New Hanover County public defender’s office told WECT News 6.

“The earlier that you introduce a child to the criminal justice system, the higher the chances are that they will remain in the criminal justice system.”

The case has sparked widespread outrage, with many questioning North Carolina’s reasoning for having the lowest minimum age in the world to enter the juvenile justice system.

National organisations recommend a minimum age of 14 for kids to be thrust into the court system.

The 2020 North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice report also suggests raising the minimum age of juvenile court jurisdiction to 12.

Hunter says most behavior that sends kids under 12 years old into the juvenile system is better addressed in therapy, and not putting a 7-year-old on probation.




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