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article imageSupreme Court Refuses To Hear Famed 2001 Zoloft Murder Case Involving 12-Year-Old

By Nikki Weingartner     Apr 14, 2008 in Crime
The Supreme Court decided today that they would not hear the case where attorneys tried to link Zoloft to a 12-year-old who murdered his grandparents while in their bed in 2001 and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Christopher Pittman, now 18, will be released from prison when he is 42. According to a news report, his attorneys asked the Supreme Court to hear his case to see if the sentence “violates the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment”.
That request was denied.
In response to Pittman’s attorney’s contention that courts across the United States refuse to punish children in such a harsh manner, State Attorney General Henry McMaster said
"Simply because the combination of factors justifying adult punishment for those so young ... does not happen often, does not mean that when it does the Eighth Amendment forbids a sentence that appropriately addresses society's need for retribution, incapacitation and deterrence,"
Pittman was convicted for shooting and killing his grandparents while they were in their beds. He then set their home on fire. His attorney tried to connect the anti-depressant Zoloft to his actions, but that effort proved futile in court.
According to the National Center for Juvenile Justice, approximately 20,000 children are tried as adults every year based upon their age or the nature of their crime.
South Carolina deemed Pittman’s crime adult-worthy, in that he planned out the double murder of his grandparents, including his escape from the burning home, and created a false account of what happened.
Christopher Pittman’s original sentence was “without” parole eligibility.
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