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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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Little jerks thought they were gonna get away with it. I hope the family sues their parents. Little *******s knew what they were doing.

498 days ago


A 16 year olds spine isn't fully developed. Should they have been allowed to play football? This guy just wants his face plastered on the media. And bravo. You got what you wanted. Now if you dig down deep and find your sense of morality because if this was your sister or daughter or friend you would not be trying to give excuses for an inexcusable act.

498 days ago


And here Cosby has been saying teenagers were brain damaged all this time!

498 days ago


Your brain may not be fully developed but you should have some sort of moral compass in you that says this person is too drunk to do know what's she's doing. If they don't have that 16 or 17, they aren't going to have that at 18 or 19 in college and would feel it was perfectly fine then.

498 days ago


With that apology . he just became a Man.

498 days ago


Their brains were working just fine when they were not only raping the girl repeatedly, but making 15 minute videos on their iPhones joking about urinating on her. Really weak argument, bro!

498 days ago


"16 year olds don't have fully developed brains???!!!" but they sure do have fully developed fingers and know where they put them!

498 days ago


This guy is an ass!! At sixteen you know right from wrong and your moral compass is set!! The young guy got what he deserved and his tearful apology was too little too late!!

498 days ago


Ma'Lik won't need a fully developed brain the 1st time he's somebody's b*tch in central lock up. He'll only need the Crisco.

498 days ago


Please. When will people take responsibility for their own actions instead of lame excuses. Rape is rape.

498 days ago


For once I agree with douchy piers

498 days ago


I agree that the brain may not be fully developed yet but it understands right from wrong. Kids now are smarter than kids were, even 20 years ago.

498 days ago


Sounds like a defense attorney to me. A stupid one, but a defense attorney indeed. He's lucky those a*hole rapists weren't charged as adults, AS THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN and let the irresponsible little effers rot in jail where they belong. He is a RAPIST, pure and simple, and no amount of tap dancing is going to make it any different.

498 days ago


Finger raped ? oh yea hes a sex offender smh now who gets fingered and sit there

498 days ago


At 16 I am pretty sure I knew whether what I was doing was right or wrong in the sex department.

Although in the two boy's defense, I did do some rather stupid stuff as a teenager, so they should go a little bit easier on them.

498 days ago
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