Home / Christopher Pittman: 12-year Old Killer Charged As An Adult

Christopher Pittman: 12-year Old Killer Charged As An Adult

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This morning I re-read this post and thread, wrote a comment and realised I had more to say. This is cross-posted from my blog.

I probably qualify to be labeled a ‘bleeding heart’, whatever that is. Among some of the labels I can apply to myself, one of them is that I am a mother of two children.

From my earliest conscious years as an adult, I have also considered every single child on this planet to be ‘mine’ so I also speak from that perspective..

I don’t get how a 12-year old boy, any 12-year old boy, can be tried by adults as an adult.

If this is another example of the best solution we can collectively come up with to deal with our children who go down an extremely wrong road, who are child killers, then we have not reached very far as a civilisation. If this world is organised logically, then I happily renounce being logical.

We live on a planet of wealth, advanced technology, super ‘reasoning’ skills and ‘wonderful’ systems to manage our collective life, including war. Yet we don’t get that every single child that currently draws breath is a blank slate upon which surface our collective consciousness will be reflected.

If we have children who kill people it’s because our world is organised in such a way that there are benefits gained when people are killed. Do not expect children to act differently from adults that cohabit their same planet.

Do not expect children to not act out the denied hatred, rage, loathing and healthy indifference that underlies much of how we have chosen to organise life on our planet. Adults may mask all of this well. Children do not.

Murder is a ‘pre-meditated act done with the specific intent to take a human life’. Whatever factors we choose to bring to bear when pondering this incident, ‘our’ child took the life of two persons and burnt their house down.

Look around our wonderful planet. Lives are being taken every day for many ‘logical’ reasons. That’s ‘real’. What is also ‘real’ is that life is wonderful for only a handful.

There were many factors that summed together to create that awful day when a 12-year old boy, Christopher Pittman, killed his grandparents and when those other children opened guns on their own loved ones, peers and/or strangers.

Just as building more prisons has proven irrelevant to stemming crime, incarcerating children who kill for adult terms does not stop other and increasingly more children from murdering.

There are many factors that add up to a planet where billions live in poverty when there is enough wealth to go around to at the minimum, feed, clothe, shelter and provide good health care and some money to every single human being alive.

Fix those factors. No, transform them. All of them. Then we can pick up this conversation about children once again.

I’m a ‘bleeding heart’ who feels the pain of the majority of human beings. Call me a liberal, a libertarian or worse, a leftist. Whatever label you feel fits from your perspective.

If what I write and express here from my heart needs to be dismissed, go ahead, dismiss all of this. The labeling technique has worked historically to shut people up by whatever means necessary who dare to take a stand for ‘we must create a better way’.

Other than labeling and those other ‘old’ forms of reaction, there is another way to proceed. It begins with understanding that the ‘what’s missing’ in the world’s equation is ‘heart’.

The expression of more heart on our planet will do the trick. But the expression of and the creation of heart-based ‘systems’ that reflect more heart requires more compassion, more empathy, more walking in those ‘other’ persons’ shoes.

There are enough alternate ideas about organising our world’s resources out there to take constructive and practical, results-oriented conversations further. The ‘logical’ who care to add enough measures of heart to understand the importance of making life work for all and the ‘bleeding hearts’ who care enough about manifesting a ‘new’ way to risk being shut up and shut down repeatedly rather than be silent can choose to work together.

Motivation for creating this partnership will either come from inner growth of all involved leading to changed outer attitudes, conversations and actions or from outer triggers that force our hands because the band aid approach becomes patently obsolete to enough of us.

How can we, each one of us, proceed in our lives each day so that we feel and are more compassionate, more empathic towards others who do not live their lives in the same way that we do? How can we ‘be’ more compassion and practical love today?

Before every last bit of my body is burnt in the furnace, if not at the stake like all those other times, I breathe for the day when heart blooms fully enough to create logic that works for all.

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About Angela Chen Shui

  • There are people who lack the capacity to judge right and wrong. Sociopaths begin to exhibit these characteristics in early childhood. So to say that a child who murders is without doubt a victim of some social wrong does qualify you for a “bleeding heart” award.

    That being said, I don’t know that anyone has speculated that this particular child is a sociopath. Either way, the “expression of more heart” will neither bring back his grandparents, nor excuse his murder of them.

  • “Either way, the “expression of more heart” will neither bring back his grandparents, nor excuse his murder of them.”

    Not immediately for the 1st… it usually takes about 5 human years to return…

    for the 2nd… humans are the ones who tend to hold the judgements… the three souls agreed to what took place… it couldn’t have otherwise.

    This piece wasn’t about any of that, actually.

  • Written like someone who isn’t very familiar with 12 year olds and their capacity for mature judgement and knowing good from evil. Admittedly they are not all the same, but plenty of them are adult enough to know very well what they are doing and to qualify as adults under the terms of the law.


  • 🙂 the mothers of my three godsons, aged 14-15 would find that first part hilarious!

    I don’t seem to have written this clearly… was discussing collective,’takes a village to raise a child’, old time parenting in the huge context of denied human ‘stuff’ seeping out through the seams planetary wise that requires healing…

    hmmm… will use as fodder for more site pages….

  • Clare

    This Child, Christopher Pittman was not tried, he was sacrificed, because no one will stand up to the drug companies.
    They took away all his rights. There was Juror misconduct that doesn’t bother a soul. God forgive that jury.

  • Melanie

    Amen Clare! Christopher’s story is a black smear on South Carolina. He needs to be released and the real culprit~ Zoloft~ needs to be punished. Wake up America, or can you not figure it out through the drug-induced haze?

  • Nancy

    If your 14- & 15 year olds don’t know right from wrong by now, they’re either profoundly retarded or you haven’t bothered to teach them anything. Not that you need to: even very young kids have a good grasp of basics – hence their tendency to learn to lie to cover up their misdeeds at an early age. I knew right from wrong by the time I went to school at age 6. Maybe some of the nuances of higher natural law eluded me, but I knew stealing, killing, hurting people or animals, etc. were WRONG. BAD. NOT DONE. To throw all this kid’s evil & callousness onto a drug is just a continuation of the idiotic trend toward excusing anyone from responsibility for anything. Unless those he killed were victimizing him somehow – which is not indicated – then his behavior was unjustified & his own responsibility, not the drug’s. Therefore he should pay the fullest penalties possible.

  • Bonnie

    Ahhh, Nancy, Nancy, Nancy….if life could be that simple….Actually, this 12 year old boy from suffered a side affect known as akathisia, which is neurologically based and characterized by extreme internal restlessness, agitation, and emotional turmoil that is drug induced. In a past wrongful death lawsuit against Pfizer, one of Pfizer’s own expert witnesses, Dr. John Mann, testified that “akathisia has the potential, when it is severe, of contributing to suicidality and aggression.” Another drug company expert testified: “I believe that what akathisia does is it creates a state of severe anxiety which can exacerbate pre-existing proclivities, tendencies, in an individual to engage in either suicide or violence.” Also, consider that the FDA has finally issued black box warnings on antidepressants and only Prozac is approved for use in children. Furthermore, when you consider the medical research involved and other research that suggests adolescents don’t have the brain development to make & have even the simplest of good driving decisions & judgments and therefore do not share equal culpability as to adults. Given the right medical and factual information about this case and understanding it within the right context, you will begin to understand that there is more here than meets the eye and summing it up to knowing right from wrong doesn’t do justice to the complexity of this child’s case. Right from wrong is too broad a general term that does not sum up such a complex case.

  • Lori

    All anyone needs to do is read up on the Pharmaceutical Industry. They are a multibillion dollar industry who’s only concern is PROFIT –NOT HUMAN HEALTH.. Pfizer REFUSES to release the info listing ALL the side effects from Zoloft that was done in their own corporate study.. (and amazingly they are not being forced to ..hmmm I wonder why??) If it was ever found that this 96 pound boy was heavily overmedicated with a mind altering drug they could stand to lose a great deal of money…Case closed …I am not a bleeding heart liberal –just well read in the field of health and medicine.
    Anyone who innocently thinks this boy is simply “bad” is just ignorant to the fact that drug companies are the world’s largest mafia who have power and control over many people in high positions. Had this child committed this crime without any drugs I would feel completely different.

  • Christopher Pittman Supporter

    Why is it so hard for some people to identify with the fact that zoloft made christopher commit this act. How many people in the world are allergic to peanuts, shellfish, bee stings etc. These people suffer serious adverse effects even death in some instances. So why would it be so hard to believe that this child could of possibly had an adverse effect from a mind altering (again mind altering) drug. Christopher Pittman should be FREE from the HELL that the State of South Carolina has placed him in. Pfizer is the guilty party in this not Christopher. This child has suffered enough from the horrible side effects from this drug. Maybe all of those who wish to still accuse Christopher , well then just maybe you should look into all of the other horrible cases that SSRI’s have contributed too.

  • Christopher’s Bill

    Please view this important bill that has been hand delivered to Washington, D.C. Please also support this bill as our efforts are to
    take this state bill to the federal level to the US congress.

    After viewing please add your name to juvenile justice reform and pass this on.


    also view out website for additional information pertaining to juvenile
    justice reform


  • Clare O

    A child is considered a child in every aspect of the
    laws governed by the United States of America,and should be considered a child in the United States court system.

    “The reasons why juveniles are not trusted with the privileges and responsibilities of an adult also explain why their irresponsible conduct is not as morally reprehensible as that of an adult”
    – U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens

    This country has the means to do better for our children.
    The legislators of this nation need to stand up to the plate and amend these laws that NO CHILD ever be sent to the adult court system
    This is state sanctioned child abuse and has to stop.

    The makers of Zoloft have never proven that 12 year old Christopher Pittman did not have an adverse reaction to Zoloft , the mind altering drug given to him by a Doctor with a few instructions written on the outside of a brown paper bag. This is a high price this child must pay for uncertainty surrounding these drugs and the capability of this Doctor. Thirty years in prison.

    I will never believe that a child of a young age cannot be helped under any circumstance. What good will it do to lock up a child for
    30 years, giving them no education,no emotional or mental counseling. Putting them with hardened criminals to suffer beatings,abuse and even death. What type of person do you think will be coming out into a world they will have no idea how to survive in? Do we not have enough of them now?

    This is the true “NO Child Left Behind ” campaign .

    How can we as “America” tell other countries that we are a caring and loving people when we are doing this to OUR children?

    Sign the petition for Christopher’s Bill

    On July 21, 2001, The President of the United States, spoke about juvenile justice in America as follows: “But we must have goals beyond just punishment. We must, at the deepest level, embrace our youth instead of fearing them.” —President George W. Bush, July 21, 2001.

  • SmallVoice

    “Looking at the EVIDENCE of homicidality AND PFIZER’s cover up…

    Extract of correspondence from Professor David Healy to the UK drug regulatory body, the MHRA.

    “…Reports on these trials list patients who have committed suicide, and list those patients as being of a certain age and as having committed suicide at a certain point during the trial, when the patient in question has a very different age and the event in question happened at a completely different point during the trial”.

    “Miscoding of suicidal act as emotional lability.”

    ” Lilly have resorted to treatment non-response and a range of other headings to code what happened.” [re coding/mislabelling suicidal acts happening on clinical trials]

    “…records on Prozac, Seroxat/Paxil and Lustral/Zoloft, you will find cases of homicidality coded as nausea for instance.”

    “Discontinuation of patients from studies for primary adverse effects such as nausea when in fact there has been a suicidal act;”

    “But it is also worth adding specifically that this has been a feature of all trials of Zoloft/Lustral, Seroxat/Paxil and Prozac throughout, as far as I can make out… ”

    Christopher Pittman who, at aged 12, shortly after being put on ZOLOFT killed the “pop pop” whom he adored, and his grandmother and is now serving 30 years in jail. A child who had his life destroyed, lost his beloved grandparents, and who has been incarcerated since aged 12.”

  • SmallVoice

    Whoever wrote this speaks for me too.

    [part of a homicide on prescriptions list]

    ..Christopher Pittman, aged 12, (Paxil then Zoloft). Known amongst family as ‘pop-pops shadow’, he had always been very close to his grandfather. Shortly after being prescribed Zoloft he shot both his grandparents dead and burned the house down. Imprisoned, he waited 3 years for trial, and was then tried as an adult – a practice acceptable in the USA. (Defense pleaded involuntary intoxication. Preparing for the expected homicidality-zoloft link, Pfizer lawyers involved themselves early into the case with prosecution. Jury opted for murder verdict).

    Now a teenager tried as an adult a terrified
    Christopher takes the rap for PFIZER:

    [What can we say Pfizer other than people across the world wish it had been the guilty ones amongst YOU. You got away with it – and like the best example of cowardice in history let a CHILD take the rap for the drug YOU got on the market with your LIES AND CORRUPTION. I think with Christophers case you made yourself the most hated and despised pharmaceutical company ever, and you well deserve it. There are no words strong enough to describe what we feel.]..”

    [list of homicides continues]

  • Chris Pittman could very well be an undiagnosed manic depressive in which case the Zoloft without a mood stabilizer could have made his condition worse. In my book A Magic Bullet Cure For Depression and Manic Depression is a doagnostic system that picks up manic depression early as well as abetter treatment system. It should have been used with him. R. Forbes, D.M.D.

  • Anne

    Should drugs that can have similar effects to cocaine be used on ANY child? Or adult for that matter?

    I found this ‘list’ today and as Smallvoice (or someone else?) has already mentioned homicides in the plural it seems appropriate to post it here.

  • Anne

    Its strange how we excuse our failings as adults by labelling children (and then giving them toxic chemicals as treatment) for NATURAL REACTIONS of HUMAN BEINGS to experiences.

    Manic Depressive? Is this psychiatry?

    Nice label. The fact is that a child (or an adult) will have a reaction to life experiences. If those experiences are good, then the reaction is good. If those experiences are bad then unhappiness is a NATURAL result (not a “DISORDER” as labelled by PSYCHIATRISTS in the APA and logged in their DSM).

    The child became unhappy – now why would that be huh? A lifetime of being pushed from pillar to post, losing the love of his mother – could that POSSIBLY be something to do with his feeling down?

    Then the cruellest of all. Nobody could change his background, but instead of counselling and an attempt to help a little boy COME TO TERMS with a life that was hardly ideal, instead of HELP, someone got a pen and pad out and prescribed drugs that are similar to cocaine but are pushed by PSYCHIATRISTS as ‘medication’.

    And look what happened then.
    He had the reaction that would be expected and accepted if he’d been given a similar drug by an “illegal” drug pusher on a street corner outside a school. Had a dealer hung around his school and given him cocaine and he’d had the same reaction that he had on Zoloft – what would we have thought then? Would there be outrage and a call for the law to stop the dealers? I think so, because we as individuals can safely feel assured that we don’t agree with ILLEGAL mind altering drugs, and we don’t DO illegal mind altering drugs. We’re not guilty on the ILLEGAL drug issue.

    It wasn’t the little boy at fault – it was adults.
    Adults that first let him down until he had a period of feeling unhappy.

    Adults that, underneath all the talk and all the blaming children -all the blaming “disorders” for what we KNOW mind altering drugs whether legal or illegal can do, want to ensure that mind altering drugs are LEGALLY available if wanted – but of course we’re safe to advise children “Just Say No To Drugs” – meaning the illegal ones.

    Adults that refuse to see the harm that is being done because of the fear that they themselves won’t be able to legally access mind altering drugs if they feel bad, and by that refusal have helped the pharma industry become so powerful that they have managed to get their drugs passed for millions of CHILDREN globally.

    Aren’t we, adults, wonderful?

    Lets face it folks, blaming a little child for a reaction to toxic chemicals that by our own silence we have helped to push to milions of kids…is cowardice by adults.

    Manic depressive?

    How about a more realistic label. HURT CHILD. HURT BY ADULTS.

    Then hurt FAR MORE by EVERYONE who has helped the pharma industry to promote and to accept “labels” for which mind altering, cocaine-like, deadly for many thousands of people, “medication” can be “legally” prescribed.

    Then we as adults, unwilling to ever relinquish that nice comfort blanket of an options of mind altering drugs LEGALLY if we don’t want to face up to reality…

    CAN LABEL THE CHILDREN and when they have a toxic reaction to what in reality is just a “DRUG” with a fancy name… we can BLAME THE CHILD. Imprison the child. Label the child. ANYTHING than face up to OUR responsibility and call for change.

    Millions of children are now labelled and drugged for profit and for convenience… all this achieved, not by children, but by ADULTS.

    Each one of which used to be A CHILD. A child like Christopher Pittman. How did we manage as adults to help drug millions of today’s children?

    MIND ALTERING DRUGS KILL. They cause violence via drug-induced akathisia and iatrogenic psychosis. That violence causes suicides and homicides. Lets stop blaming children, we’re the ones drugging them. Lets stop saying… maybe he was misdianosed and should have a different drug.

    He was a normal nice child who had a down period and should have received help – REAL help. Instead he was given, by us adults, a mind altering drug that is similar to cocaine and can cause the same reaction as cocaine. Thats why these drugs are called “MIND ALTERING” and “PSYCHOTROPICS”.


    So what are WE going to do about millions of our children now being “prescribed” drugs, and how can WE change what WE have helped into existence?

  • PG

    I wonder, ‘DrPat’, how you would define pharmaceutical scientists who falsify lethal clinical data and, with the help of ghostwriters (many of which are eminent psychiatrists) spread the false findings in order to get a drug onto the market….KNOWING that there will be fatalities?

    KNOWING that a percentage of children will lose their lives as a result of drug-induced suicidality?

    KNOWING that a percentage of children will take other people’s lives due to drug-induced homicidality?

    KNOWING that trials of HEALTHY and professional adult volunteers exposed a 10% percentage who became suicidal in only two weeks?

    KNOWING THAT THEY ARE SELLING A DRUG AIMED AT MILLIONS, and 10% of millions is a LOT of deaths?

    What character type would it be that can intentional, with premeditation, kill children and adults in such vast numbers?

    I’d consider each and every individual, each scientist, each psychiatrist, each government official, that KNOWINGLY helped in that deception seem to show traits that we’d normally consider a

    SOCIOPATHIC nature.

    Wouldn’t you?

    As far the rest of us, there’s no time for self congratulations on how much we care. Its not about ‘us’ and how ‘we’ feel, its about the children who are being drugged because we do nothing to stop it.

    We have a MORAL DUTY to try to reverse the trend of at least giving toxic chemicals to children.

    If the public all acted it could be reversed. The industry and the psychiatrists DEPEND ON PUBLIC SUPPORT to maintain their level of power.

    Sadly they’re getting it, and now “INFANTS” are targetted by smooth talking, well rewarded professionals for “treatment” – for “mental disorders”. But behind these ‘professionals’ “concern” for children and the pretence that infants won’t be drugged, lies a different picture.

    And a
    different source
    than just the ‘expert’ who sounds so caring.
    The intention is to leave no child behind in the search for increasing profits.

    Care about children?
    Care about the future of a society where those children who survive the drugs will have grown up from infancy with their developing brain changed by mind ALTERING drugs, and having never experienced normality?


  • Christopher Pittman / Christopher’s Bill

    I commend the South Carolina Supreme Court to hear Christopher Pittman’s appeal.

    Children especially 12 years old should never be tried as an adult and much less sentenced as one.

    Children 14 and younger are deemed by South Carolina as not culpable of knowing right from wrong, but yet this child was held to be culpable of a crime while on a precribed medication with side effects listed on the package insert indicating side effects that could cause one to commit a crime.

    New legislation is needed now to address this growing problem of our youngest of children being tried as adults.

    My name is Janet Sisk and I am the founder of the Juvenile Justice Foundation.

    Children throughout this nation are being sentenced as adults, as young as 12 years old are being tried as adults and sentenced to 30 years to life. Most of these children are first time offenders and are thrown away without any benefit of counseling or rehabilitation.

    Children are 8 times more likely to be beaten, sexually abused or committ suicide while in adult prisons.

    While I do agree that tough laws do need to be in place for hardened gang members and drug dealers, our first offending youth are getting caught up in these same laws, protections must be put into place and the circumstances of each case must be reviewed.

    Currently there are no laws on the books for our first offending children. Children are being sentenced to 30 years for automobile accidents, one 17 year old child in FL. was sentenced to 30 years he was a first offender, clean kid , good student.

    What the judical system is doing to our offending youth will come back ten fold for our future if we do not demand change for these first offending children.The government has basically abandoned any concepts of the juvenile justice system .

    The South Carolina Supreme Court will hear Christopher’s case in the next few months on the grounds of his constitutional rights being violated and unsettled law.

    A proposed Bill has been sent to the legislators of South Carolina and Governor Sanford:

    It is called Christopher’s Bill (The Juvenile Justice Reform Act ).

    Written after 12 year old Christopher Pittman from Chester South Carolina. This purposed bill has been taken to Washington DC for review as a federal bill and is also being delivered throughout this nation to state legislators to conform to their state laws .

    We must put laws into place that make a difference for many of our youngest of children that can be rehabilitated and not warehoused for 30 years to life.

    Below are the amendments to Christopher’s Bill;



    Children under the age of 14 by the state of South Carolina are deemed inculpable of knowing right from wrong and should not be held culpable of their crimes. Therefore they should be held accountable of their crimes as a child and be offered rehabilitation along with a court judges discretion on his sentence not a mandatory sentencing guideline that will simple destroy a child that could be rehabilitated and instead make a more dangerous criminal for future.


    This amendment simply states that after a judge uses his own discretion in sentencing, he will put into place a possibility for a first offending child to have the opportunity to appear before the sentencing judge or parole board after a certain amount of time served and upon his rehabilitation and counseling records be reviewed for the possibility of parole.


    Children 14 and under can not be tried as adults under any circumstances if there are no prior criminal records, putting into place rehabilitation, counseling and education.



    This amendment falls under the bill that Senator Thomas of South Carolina has purposed on video and audio taping before such event occurs.Adding to that attorney or guardian as well before such event takes place.


    As stated above coincides with Senator Thomas’s purposed bill.


    This amendment puts into place protections for children under special circumstances. There are presently 2 million children on prescribed medications for depression, ADD, ADHD etc. New warnings are coming out everyday on the adverse reactions, dangerous side effects, suicide ideation and homicidal ideation as Christopher Pittman’s case.

    Protections must be put into place for these children on mind altering drugs as well. At the present there are no options under South Carolina Law concerning these circumstances.New legislation is needed.

    South Carolina has insanity defenses, which include additional options for a jury to find a defendant not guilty by reason of insanity as well as guilty but mentally ill only .There is no law in this state on this subject.

    We must include a charge so jurors would have to meet three tests for finding involuntary intoxication.

    First, they would have to find the defendant did not know or have reason to know the drug had an intoxicating effect.

    Second, the defendant would have had to have taken the drug under the direction of a physician.

    Third, the jury would have to then conclude that, as a result of the involuntary intoxication, the defendant didn’t know the difference between legal and moral right and wrong when the crime was committed.


    Mentally ill and mentally disadvantaged children under the age of 14 will need extra protections put into place for these first offending children as well. Taking extra precautions,counseling and to the protections and care of mentally ill and disadvantaged children in the system as children.


    This new purposed legislation (Christopher’s Bill) requires to be retroactive in order to allow the children in the system now that do have a good rehabilitation and counseling records to have the opportunity to benefit from a passed bill, this will give previous first offenders in the system the opportunity of having their cases reviewed and a possibl release if.

    Children in adult prisons will only make a more dangerous criminal for our future. We must give them counseling, education and rehabiliation to stop this cycle.

    To view please go to thepetitionsite.com
    We must begin a change and offer our youngest of first offending children every opportunity for rehabiltation and counseling.

    For more information about the Juvenile Justice Foundation, please visit

    Janet Sisk/ Founder / JJFC
    The Juvenile Justice foundation

  • Paul

    This is how I read it:
    “On November 28, 2001, Christopher was angry with his paternal grandparents because they punished him for an incident on a school bus the previous day. According to the boy’s confession, he lay in bed waiting for the couple to fall asleep before loading a .410-gauge shotgun his father had given him as a gift the previous week.

    Christopher told police that he pumped birdshot through his grandfather’s open mouth. He shot Joy Pittman in the side of the head. A forensic pathologist testified that both victims were dead before Christopher set a fire that consumed the Pittman’s modest home in rural South Carolina.

    Christopher told police that Joe Pittman deserved to die because he paddled the boy. Joy Pittman was killed because she did nothing to stop it, according to the boy’s confession.

    Although Christopher’s lawyers blamed an adverse reaction to Zoloft for making Christopher manic and psychotic, defense attorneys Andy Vickery and Paul Waldner tried unsuccessfully to persuade jurors that Christopher could not form the criminal intent to commit murder because of his age.

    The defense stipulated that Christopher killed his grandparents, leaving prosecutors only to rebut the presumption under South Carolina law that people under the age of 14 cannot form criminal intent to commit murder. To do that, prosecutors highlighted Christopher’s confession, including his account of planning the murders and his getaway.

    Prosecutors also highlighted the fact that Christopher initially tried to blame the killings on someone else and finally told detectives that he was not sorry for what happened.

    “They deserved it,” Christopher said to several law enforcement officers and at least one mental-health professional.”

    That’s how I read it.
    Opinions and beliefs are as varied and as individual as the people that have them. Once life was simple. But today we live in a world where many hold a belief that any person’s guilt or personal responsibility for an action is only viable when all possible shifing of blame or excuses have been exhausted. For many, whether it’s a prominent government official or a street corner thug, personal responsibility seems to boil down to what one considers the definition of the word “is” is. Everyone today is a victim.
    This story is a true tragedy!
    Do the drug company’s need to shut down their operation and quit producing any medicine unless it comes with a 100% guarantee and only produced, marketed and sold free of any profit margin? I guess!
    Do Chris Pitman’s parents share any of the blame for mistakes they might have made in his upbringing? YES….maybe.
    What about the doctors that prescribed the medicine? YES…..possibly.
    What about Chris himself?
    What about me or you or our children or anybody?

    Here’s what we need to do. The next time any of us are confronted with an issue of right and wrong, big or small, we should ask ourselves this.
    “If I get caught, can I blame someone or something else”?

  • builder

    murderers of any age should be locked up for life. This is one sad sick disturbed person who should never walk the streets again.

  • S.T.M

    Builder said: “murderers of any age should be locked up for life. This is one sad sick disturbed person who should never walk the streets again.”

    Seriously, this one of the problems inherent in the American justice system and comments like this a serious indictment on American society. Only in third-world countries and America are children tried as adults.

    All over the developed world, except in America, children are tried as children. As they should be given that their tender age tends to be a huge mitigating factor. It is also a nod to the idea that at some point, with rehabilitation, they can one day go out and lead constructive lives. Every situation is different of course and trying them as children doesn’t absolve children who have committed criminal acts of responsibility but it does acknowledge that they are children and that we have the duty of care, not them.

    It is generally regarded (outside America) that a child under 14 has a less developed idea of right and wrong, whether they know the difference or not. Under 18s, too, need to be treated somewhere in between … but still not as adults, as there must be a legal cut-off age.

    Locking up children and throwing away the key seems to most of us outside the US as an offensive notion and a good example of a country that is losing its way in terms of its own stated ideals.

    And I can’t let this one go without making this comment: when Americans once more engage in bouts of handwringing and soul searching over murders committed by children who have somehow managed to get their hands on guns (the most common type, by the way: check the figures if you’re in doubt), it’s pertinent to ask the real reasons behind this.

    Plenty of kids get mad with other kids or the adults in their lives. Sometimes they’ll plan to harm others. Usually, they’ll hit someone or throw something. Usually, a bit of a cooling off period means it doesn’t happen.

    But in America, where’s Dad’s guns are often hidden on the top shelf of the closet, they’ll quite often simply go and get the gun.

    So next time you’re asking yourselves, why? … well, it’s the guns, silly. For those of you who disagree, I’ll just say that it doesn’t happen anywhere else with the kind of frequency it happens in the US.

    Any foolish arguments about the right to bear arms will be met with the usual response: that it was a piece of legislation introduced 200 years ago to allow militia units to fight the redcoats.

    It wasn’t envisaged as a way of giving every second dopey redneck or street punk in a country of 300 million people the right to pack a shooter. You’d be surprised at how taking guns away from a large section of the populace actually reduces the number of guns available to those who want to use them for criminal purposes, and how much easier it is for the police to keep tabs on illegal weapons.

    The over-worked court system in America would be a lot less active. So would the jails.

    I am speaking from experience here, as I live in a country (with as many, if not more, citizens’ rights than those of America) that banned handguns, high powered rifles and automatic and semi-automatic weapons 10 years ago after a lunatic killed 30-plus people at a popular tourist site. It was the last in a long line of mass murders committed with these kinds of weapons.

    We had a right-wing prime minister who had enough guts to stand up to the gun and farming lobbyists. And it increased, rather than affected, his popularity. And guess what? It hasn’t happened since.

    Until that’s addressed in the US, there is no real solution in sight, and locking up 12-year-olds for the rest of their lives ain’t a solution at all.

  • Kristin

    Kudos to you Paul #20. I agree totally, and what we dont realize is that none of us know what Christopher was thinking or feeling. This child apparently had a rough up-bringing and it is the parents fault, the grandparents fault, its all of our faults. Children are raised by a village. Yea, Christopher has his blame for this obviously, but when you look at the whole picture, nobody will know for sure what the dynamics of his life entailed. I wonder why he was on Zoloft at 12. If a kid is that depressed, there is something going on. It is all of our responsibility to protect our children. Dont be hesitant to help a child in need. I feel horrible for Christopher and his family.


    Lock him in and throw away the key!!!!!

  • Someone smarter than you

    lern2spell numbnutt
    Before you go about criticizing civilization, you perhaps might consider learning to spell it correctly.

    Chris Pittman was tried as an adult because he clearly demonstrated (Through his statements and actions) that he understood right from wrong, understood his actions and attempted to conceal his crime. His behavior was proof enough. If you want someone to blame for the concurrent 30yr sentences (The state minimum by law for the offense) then you need to blame his dumbnutt defense counsel. They could have plea-bargained a reduced sentence, perhaps… but instead they attempted an emotional appeal, using fuzzy statistics which were proven to be stacked in favor of the defense and not on par with recognized data… and also called a questionable “expert” witness for the defense, who’s bias was clearly exposed to the jury.

    Just because you have a blog doesn’t mean you can think clearly.

    Focus your energy on helping Chris get on with his life, accept his consequences UNDER THE LAW for his ACTIONS, and cease the diatribe.

    Stop fucking up America.

  • Jason

    I’ve been on Zoloft for 10 years. I started taking it when I was already an adult, so I wasn’t susceptible the issues that the current black box warns about.

    Let me tell you, if you stop taking Zoloft without weening yourself off of it SLOWLY (just like you slowly build up your dosage to the prescribed amount), you WILL have problems.

    This is not speculation. This is not some conspiracy theory. This is truth. It is called SSRI discontinuation syndrome and it is terrible.
    When my insurance wouldn’t cover my pills and I couldn’t afford the price tag, I went an week without.
    It was miserable. I had a constant tingling sensation in my brain and found it impossible to concentrate. I was having severe mood swings between anger and desperation.
    That week was something I hope to never experience the likes of again.

    I know from talking to other people who have been on SSRI (selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors such as Zoloft and Paxil) that the doctor’s aren’t doing enough to explain how vitally important it is to follow his or her instruction on dosage exactly. You DO NOT ramp up your dosage unless prescribed and you DO NOT just decide to quit taking it and stop on your own.

    When I learned about this particular story, my first thought was “yes, I believe that Zoloft withdrawal could drive someone to commit horrific acts.” The fact that the jury just didn’t think that was possible shows that the defense team did a lousy job.

    Zoloft is a DRUG that ALTERS YOUR BRAIN CHEMISTRY. Of course it can drive someone to do things they wouldn’t normally do! That’s the point! It is just that they are designed to help people overcome chemical imbalances in the brain, not to fix a temporary problem that should be handled with traditional therapy.

    I saw a psychologist for a year and a half before she referred me to a psychiatrist who ended up prescribing Zoloft. It seems like many people end up on anti-depressants when they really just need time, love, and attention.

    This is what happens.

  • Taxpayer in New York

    To all the people who have felt sorry for “little Chris”, take a look at his NC Dept of Corrections picture, then when he gets out – lets see how brave all of you are when he points a double barrel 20 gauge shotgun at you – just be sure to wear a Depends peepee pad.

    He was never declared insane. He of his own will picked up a shotgun, pumped it several times and killed two human beings.

    What part do you idiots don’t get?

    And don’t read me the “lack of compassion BS”, I’m raising (AND adopting) a foster child who is 7.

  • Charllie

    Maybe it was just me but it seems you are way more concerned with yourself than the victims here. If you don’t want to see this person charged with murder, what do you suggest they do with him?

  • BLASe

    Children’s brains are not developed in reason or judgement until their early 20’s and in some cases later. This makes me wonder how we can lock a child up forever when they may not have had the capeability to think things through. Just a thought.
    I am not suggesting that nothing be done with a child who commits murder. I am just not so sure locking them up in adult prison for life is the answer.

  • Boston

    I can’t believe the ignorance of this nation. He CLEARLY knew what he was doing, he made sure to burn his grandparents, steal cash and weapons, oh and wait alos tell people that a “black man” kidnapped. I am sorry but I don’t care if you are 12 or 20, he needed to be convicted.

  • Boston

    Thank you to all of you who agree that he deserved this… “little chris” is a troubled man who killed two people. I was getting nervous there that know one but me thought this, I have hope again!

  • JoAnne Braley

    I just saw his story on I.D. TV. I know about Zoloft, I’ve worked for lawyers, I know about children, and psychology. This is what I think. The lawyer he had the first time should have accepted the plea deal and the judge could give him as little as two years. Instead, he went for the not guilty and when jury foun him guilty, he was given 30 yrs. which fits that State’s requirements. In my heart and mind, I do think Chris is a sociopath as he didn’t seem sad about them at all. But, it wasn’t just Zoloft that did it. I’ve known Paxil to cause such but not Zoloft (which can make one mean, but made me less depressed). However, nothing these drugs do to you can MAKE you kill a close one, or my ex would have died by my hand, I was so mad at him. The asthma drug Theodur made me very angry! I got over it with lots of self-help and group therapy. He should not have been sent to an adult prison, or given that many years. However, I think he IS a threat to society. Anyone who crosses him is in danger. Now, if they have the right therapy, and he outgrows his aggression (even if he was wronged, we all get wronged at times), then he might be returned to society.