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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

031913_pierce_morgan_launch
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.

202 COMMENTS

No Avatar
31.

Your S&M Girlfriend    

He's right, they don't. So I guess that makes it okay for those young men to transport a semi-conscious or unconscious girl to parties, penetrate her with various appendages, masturbate over her, try to have her open her mouth to have oral sex with them, then leave her naked to sleep it off. So I guess Mr Lawyer is saying they didn't know this was wrong?

396 days ago
32.

Dohi    

How can anyone make excuses for rapists? You're just as bad as him.

396 days ago
33.

BillyBoy16    

It's funny tho bc a child knows the difference between right and wrong by the young age of 8 and can actually reason quite well by that time. This kid is old enough to accept adult responsibilities such as driving, he's old enough to accept the consequences of forcing himself on another person for sexual pleasure. Add him to the registry and call it a day!

396 days ago
34.

BillyBoy16    

Oh and the brain doesn't fully mature until mid twenties so I guess anyone younger than 25 should just be allowed to act out however they wish without consequences. This is the dumbest argument I have ever heard!

396 days ago
35.

J    

ok lawyer - we will have some 14 year olds rape and abuse your daughter. then we want to hear you say it is ok and you feel sorry for them and that it is your daughters fault. trouble is no one would want to touch your fat, ugly daughter. you must be one of the stupidest lawyers ever and that is saying something because all lawyers are idiots.

396 days ago
36.

elysummers    

Oh I do agree with the lawyer - 16 year olds don't have fully developed brains. But that doesn't mean I can't discipline mine when they do wrong. This punishment is probably the least they should get. They should count their lucky stars and repent.

396 days ago
37.

taz    

That was great how the first guy to speak apologized for TAKING and RELEASING THE PICTURES, not for violating someone, yeah, cause that was the worst thing that happened that night. What a dumb F.

396 days ago
38.

msgtpow    

The girl was drunk as well how is she was unable to make the best decision but they were she was a there grinding on everybody and when her friends told her what she done she played the rape game.

396 days ago
39.

katsie    

This lawyer is as vile a human being as the 2 rapists. Too bad he can't be sentenced along with the spawns of satan.

396 days ago
40.

Sue from jersey    

Tell their parents that they should of told them about date rape and how to be gentlemen and then they go to their coach that's a pig too and didn't guide them to do the right thing . Yes it's a shame it had to come to justice you stupid lawyer why should they get special treatment because they were football players with their whole life in front of them? Well parents job well done .

396 days ago
41.

anonymous    

The two little twerps Malik and Trent got off easy, they knew the difference between right and wrong and now they will have to pay. Too bad that they are branded.

396 days ago
42.

Lekili    

He'd be singing a different tune if his daughter was the victim. Does he really think that 16 year olds today don't know what they are doing, give me a break. They should be registered sex offenders for what they did and nobody give a damn that they chose to ruin their lives but I do care that they ruined the girls.

396 days ago
43.

Lauren    

Give me a break! I think you're taught WAYYYY before that rape is NOT a good thing. If he wasn't taught that, his parents failed him... not his under-developed brain.

He was thinking with his other brain, obviously. The one in his pants and now he will have to live with the consequences.

396 days ago
44.

JOEY    

Well, at least not these 2!

396 days ago
45.

TMZ addict    

Lawyers never seem to amaze me! I wonder if this was his daughter, would he have said the same? Even worse, would this lawyer defend these young punks that thought this was funny?

396 days ago
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