Fourteen-year-old killer Nathaniel Brazill got 28 years for the murder of his English teacher last year after the teacher, Barry Grunow, wouldn't let Brazill into a classroom to speak to a couple girls.
Brazill testified at his own trial and reinforced most people's take on him, that he was cold and unfeeling and aloof from his actions and their life-altering consequences.
The testimony did little good and Brazill was convicted. Then came yesterday's sentencing hearing. Brazill testified, saying he was sorry, apologizing to the family, saying it was an accident. But once again, he came off as cold and distant.
I actually felt bad for the kid. Here he was making a speech that would determine the course of his life. It was do or die and under that kind of pressure, any amateur public speaker is bound to crack or fold or just not measure up.
Nathaniel Brazill did precisely that. He made it easy for people to think he was a cold-blooded killer who should be put away. The judge didn't pass as harsh a sentence on Brazill as he could have. Still, he won't be a free man until he's a middle-aged man.
I think the judge is right. I remember how immature my friends and I were in our late teens and 20s, and even 30s ... and that kind of immaturity in a young man who has already demonstrated the cold heart of a killer is just not a good bet.
Brazill has wasted the first half of his life by wasting his teacher. If he is lucky, he will achieve some transcendent phase of his life in prison and come out in his early 40s as a man ready to live the second half of a life as he should have lived the first half — in peace, posing no threat to any other human.
He will be angry and bitter for the next 15 years, at least. Who wouldn't be? It's the next 15 years after that which will tell the tale.
Brazill may come out and never be heard from again. He may come out, act on his pent up anger and kill someone again.
Nobody has any idea. We'll just have to wait and see.
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