If Jose Reyes had not killed himself, I, too, would be completely against his being tried as an adult.
The proposal to try the defendant as an adult has disturbing implications. The US juvenile justice system was a product of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, during what has come to be known as the Progressive Era. Differentiating minors from adults in criminal matters was based on the idea that a youth, not yet fully developed socially and psychologically, could more easily be rehabilitated than a hardened criminal. In contrast, in recent decades law and order ideology and rhetoric have been used to eliminate the distinction between minors and adults. Every year, the United States federal court system tries, sentences or incarcerates an estimated 250,000 minors as adults, some as young as 13 years old.
Under these circumstances it is significant that the court system of Massachusetts, a state long associated with more liberal political traditions, is trying the 14-year-old Chism in an adult court of law.