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Children who murder are grimly fascinating because they challenge normative ideas about both the nature of childhood and the nature of violence. Can children be inherently ‘innocent’ if capable of murder? Can such violence be inherently ‘evil’ when committed by children? This entry examines the public fascination with children who murder, murder’s legal definition, reported risk factors connected to children who murder, and the challenges children who murder pose in the criminal justice system.

The Public Fascination With Children Who Murder

Cases that involve children who murder can become highly publicised and are often seen as symbolic of wider concerns about the breakdown of society, law and order, and of childhood itself. However, it is only very unusual cases of the already-unusual category of ‘children who murder’ ...

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