School Shooter's Parents Receive Maximum Sentences

School Shooter's Parents Receive Maximum Sentences
Image copyright: Bill Pugliano/Stringer/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The Facts

  • Jennifer and James Crumbley, who were tried and convicted separately of involuntary manslaughter for not stopping their teenage son from carrying out a school shooting, were each sentenced Tuesday to 10-15 years in prison.

  • The sentences handed down by an Oakland County Circuit judge matched the maximum permissible under the law and what prosecutors had requested. This case marked the first time parents of a mass school shooter were charged with involuntary manslaughter.

The Spin

Narrative A

These cases mark a change in the application of firearms law for the better. By making this into a gun safety issue — which even the most ardent supporter of the Second Amendment should be able to get behind — prosecutors can hold gun owners responsible for failing to keep their firearms safe, secure, and away from those who may use them for wrongdoings.

Narrative B

These parents never should've been charged — never mind convicted and sentenced. The Crumbleys didn't break any law that exists on the books, as they didn't do, plan, or participate in their son's crime. This is opening a Pandora's Box for future criminal prosecution of people who haven't broken the law but may be loosely connected to someone who does.

Metaculus Prediction

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