Violent teens need serious penalties

In Spokane, Wash., two 16-year-old boys are charged with beating an 88-year-old World War II veteran to death during a robbery.

Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub said both the suspects in that murder have criminal records – for assault.

How on earth is it that two 16-year-old boys, apparently guilty of assault, were roaming the streets of Spokane in the first place? Why were they not in custody?

Juveniles should not be treated the same as adult criminals, of course. But those guilty of violent crimes cannot merely be slapped on the wrists and released.