Juvenile Justice Reform- Christopher Pittman’s Story

My mom and I are big 48 Hours fans. We watch that show all the time and constantly find ourselves debating weather or not someone’s conviction was justly handled by our court system or not. Todays 48 Hours aired an episode titled “Prescription to Murder”. It was about a boy named Christopher Pittman who killed his grandparents at the age of 12 and was convicted as an adult at the age of 15. At first read the story sounds gruesome indeed, but if you read between the lines, you might find yourself thinking differently about the justifications of this case.

You hear it all the time, “Taking antidepressants can make your depression go away.” But is that really true? And at what age should anyone be prescribed antidepressants if they were diagnosed with depression? For Christopher Pittman, that was the age of 12. Growing up from a troubled home, Christopher had suicidal thoughts and eventually fell into the depression spectrum of medical illnesses. As a result, he was prescribed the antidepressant, Zoloft. However, side effects from prescription pills differ by each brand and also vary by user. His reaction to the drug proved deadly, especially when he told his doctor he was feeling worse after taking the pills. Instead, his doctor suggested he double his dosage. As an adolescent boy, Christopher took the recommended amount of pills he was prescribed to take yet the outcome resulted in an aggressive personality followed by homicidal actions.

Christopher was convicted for his crimes as an adult at the tender age of 12. Today, Christopher is 23 years old and since his guilty verdict at the age of 15, has spent a majority of his life in prison with men twice his size who have committed far more acts of violence than he. Here are two things my mom and I learned from watching Christopher’s trial: the state of South Carolina is unjustly putting young children in adult penitentiaries; manufacturers of popular perspiration drugs are not being held responsible for actions caused by their drugs to young patients. Please read about Christopher’s story and stop young children in the state of South Carolina as young as 10 years old be convicted as adults for their crimes. Stand up to big branded perception pill companies who fail to inform patients on their drug’s side effects and don’t take responsibility for actions caused by their products.

* Read about it: Sign up to petition for Christopher’s Bill- The Juvenile Justice Reform Act.

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