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Lawyer In Ohio Rape Case:

16-Year-Olds Don't Have

Fully Developed Brains

3/19/2013 6:02 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Ma'Lik Richmond -- one of the high school football players convicted of rape in Steubenville, Ohio -- shouldn't be forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life because he's only 16 ... and therefor doesn't have a fully developed brain ... this according to Richmond's lawyer.

Walter Madison went on "Piers Morgan" last night and told the CNN host why he plans to appeal the case -- in which Richmond was sentenced to at least one year in juvenile prison for raping a 16-year-old girl with his fingers at a high school party.

As part of the punishment, Richmond will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life ... something Madison says is completely unfair. 

"I don't believe that a person at 75 years old should have to explain for something they did at 16 when scientific evidence would support your brain isn't fully developed ... when evidence in the case would suggest that you were under the influence."

Translation -- if you're underage and might do something stupid, make sure you get drunk first ... so you have an excuse and can't be held completely responsible.

After the comment, Morgan immediately fired back with rational thought -- saying, "I got 3 teenage sons and when you get to 16, 17 ... your brain's developed enough to know you shouldn't be raping girls."

BTW -- Richmond's brain seems to be more developed than the one in his lawyer's head ... 'cause the kid issued an emotional apology to the family of the girl in open court, acknowledging he did something wrong.


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Oh, sure. They are too dumb to not know how to rape, but smart enough to get their hands on alcohol regardless of the fact that they were all underage. Makes perfect ****ing sense.

547 days ago


"Sex Offender" registries are the biggest waste of resources, are unconstitutional, and serve absolutely no purpose other than to ostracize those unfortunate to be placed on it. Once you have completed your prison sentence and completed your probation, you should be allowed to try and rebuild you life. These registries are continuing punishment that serves no purpose.

547 days ago


WOW! What a frickin moron!

547 days ago


He's not saying that he shouldn't be condemned and punished for his crimes. All he's saying is that trying people as youths is supposed to take into account that they are underage and should be give at least a chance to redeem themselves as adults. Being on the sex registry will all but guarantee this teenager won't get a legitimate job (anything over the table, or anything that requires a background check) for the rest of his life. People say life is short, and maybe it feels that way when you're 60, but it most definitely isn't at 17.

Btw TMZ, why bother "translating" if you clearly can't read or comprehend English?

547 days ago


Thank you Capt. Obvious. That's why his client was tried in juvenile court & not adult court.

And now he has a chance to develop his brain in a lockdown environment where he can get therapy to deal with his stupidity and to learn how to maybe become a positive member of society in the future.

547 days ago


So people with down syndrome are allowed to rape people? I dont understand this "fully developed brain" theory. i guess appealing a case means the defendant will owe you more money $$$

547 days ago


this lawyer doesn't have a brain !

547 days ago


I've been sixteen; I was developed enough not to rape unconscious women.

547 days ago

BB not bb    

An embryo has a fully developed brain, because it has a soul, and that is the main part of the brain. When I stumbled across news of this horrific crime, it was noteworthy to hear of it in the USA. Then I heard the perps were popular black football players who were being defended based on that, which is sad but happens. Then I heard that the girl was a blonde girl whose face was decimated by their attack, just a girl from their school. Now I find out the lawyer with his crazy excuse is named, Malik, a Muslim name.

Now it all adds up. This is Islamic jihad against white Christian infidel America. This is insane. The boys are brutal, gang raping, homicidal terrorists. If they don't have the brains not to act this way, then they don't have the brains to live among decent humans.

This is what racial and religious and cultural tolerance gives you. I am not saying be against people wihtout cause, but neither accept them without justification either. Trusting the wrong people will get you hurt.

This girl suffered for what, being the personification of a crazy religion's blind hate for people? For ethnic hatred and lust for revenge for that which was never even suffered by them?

This lawyer sounds like he should be disbarred.

547 days ago


haha, hes gonna be on sex offenders list till death and he didnt even get his dick wet

547 days ago


Here's a fun question: is Steubenville run by 16 year olds? Where are the parents? These kids were developed enough to utilize social media to mock their victim, to acknowledge that she was "dead", and to suggest a song for the evening. Sorry, I'm having difficulty garnering sympathy for them.

547 days ago


Perhaps the decision-making area of their brain isn't fully developed at 16, but if their moral compass isn't fully developed by then, it never will be. And that, my dear Attorney Walter Madison, is the difference.

547 days ago

Erin Parker    

With his fingers!? Thanks for clarifying tmz bc that was soooo necessary

547 days ago


Richmond and Mays were convicted of a sex crime - that makes them sex offenders. The fact that all 3 (both boys, plus the rape victim) are under the age of 18 irrelevant. Both boys got off so so lightly (they could be out in as little as 1-2 yrs), but will have to register as sex offenders, because, duh, they ARE sex offenders, for the rest of their lives. As a result, there are many opportunities they will be denied as a direct result of their actions -- they'll have trouble finding housing and employment, etc. The bottom line is that BOTH boys will be denied opportunities in life because they are sex offenders. People who are NOT sex offenders will have MORE opportunities in life . This is FAIR. This is justice at work!!

547 days ago


there are some acts so cruel that you should be marked for life for, this is one of them. Their victim sure will be...

547 days ago
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