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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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He plans on appealing the case because he see's $ signs and that's what lawyers do, milk the cow.

554 days ago


Obviously Madison or Morgan have fully developed brains.

554 days ago


These rapists deserve to have their peckers cut off. As well as all who knew and did nothing. If there were girls that knew and did nothing...deserve to have their utersuses removed. No kids for any of them. That justice in my world.

554 days ago


same as you.

554 days ago


These guys assaulted that young lady, bragged about it, tweeted and emailed about it. Now the lawyer wants his 15 minutes. They knew what they were doing. They thought "It's not what you do, it's what you get caught doing". They got caught. Young minds or not, it's jail time.

554 days ago


It is true that teenagers' brains aren't fully developed into the adult brain that will hopefully come later. I say we lock all the teenagers in the house until they are about 25. No kidding. Of course, I didn't believe that when I was a teenager, but now all is clear. However, you just have to continually pound into their dense little skulls right from wrong, over and over, and hope repetition will kick in at opportune moments. Teenagers are more dangerous than we have thought. They are usually adult-size, with access to weapons, money, cars, drink, drugs. Don't turn your back on one.

554 days ago


I think the kid's crying were not for the victim but for themselves. They make me sick to my stomach and the sentencing should of been longer.

554 days ago


Oh please... he's crying because he got caught, got to do a year in prison and has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his miserable life. I don't believe for a second neither of them are sorry nor are they crying for that girl they sexually assaulted while she was under the influence unable to give her sane consent. They're disgusting and I don't feel the least bit sorry for them, for they didn't feel the least bit sorry for the girl they embarrassed, shamed and humiliated with those pictures on a social network laughing and bragging about what they done to her nor do they feel sorry for ruining her life, something she has to remember for the rest of it. UGH! Can't even call them animals!!

554 days ago


who cares if their brain's fully developed or nor? this little punks should have a date with "sparky" the chair, and the parents that molded these creeps should be burned at the stake, for all the public to see.

554 days ago

tkay82's true. We are technically adolescents until we are 25 because of brain development. And basically what that means is we don't make decisions based on consequences. "I could go to jail - don't do that."

But here's the thing, even if we fail to consider the consequences....if we were raised to be good and take care of those who are weaker (drunk female at party) there would be no decision to make.

We can't make laws regarding our brain development...we have to make laws regarding the crime. Just be good to one another & no one has to do time.

554 days ago


Bull crap!!!! Their brains are developed enough to understand what they are doing!!! At 16 and 17 you are old enough to know right from wrong!!! Stop making excuses for rape!! They were sure old enough to understand what they did wrong when the apologized to the family and community.The commited a crime and they know it!!! PLEASE

554 days ago


animals are animals, no matter what color. lock em up!

554 days ago


This lets you hack anyones facebook its 100% free and easy really check it out

554 days ago


The real deal is Madison smells more $$$ and plan on keeping the kids family on the retainer hook with these B.S theories trying to milk every dime out of these people. He lost the case. The kid is properly punished. Time to cut off the $$ clock. This is why lawyers suck.

554 days ago


I'm not excusing the rape but he is 100% accurate in what he's saying. The decision making part of your brain doesn't fully develop until around age 25.

I know teenagers are going to drink but when you consider the science of an underdeveloped brain and add alcohol to the mix, there are going to be some really bad results. Unfortunately, in this case, they were REALLY bad.

554 days ago
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