Christopher Pittman Case Study

916 Words4 Pages

On November 28, 2001, 12-year old Christopher Pittman shot and killed his grandparents, Joe and Joy Pittman, in their South Carolina home. The moments leading up to the murder of his grandparents, Christopher patiently waited for his grandparents to fall asleep. Once he felt his grandparents were soundly asleep, he shot both of them in their beds — they never saw what was coming. After he murdered them, he set his grandparents’ house on fire and he fled from the flames by driving off with his family’s truck. The only items that he brought along with him were some money and weapons. The state of South Carolina sentenced Christopher Pittman to a mandatory minimum of thirty years in prison for first degree murder. Christopher Pittman was a juvenile at the time of the crime. In the state of South Carolina, the law states that life without parole for a juvenile is …show more content…

One issue at the center of this case is whether Christopher Pittman, age 12, had an underdeveloped brain for a premeditated murder. Based on research published in Scholastic.com, the gray matter of a 12-year old boy’s brain is slowly developing, which has an effect on the teenager’s prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex carries out major functions such as controlling impulses, performing tasks, problem-solving, and organizing thoughts. This is applicable to Christopher Pittman’s case because Christopher was right at the age where his young mind was at its weakest, which transformed his thoughts. Despite this, some would argue that Christopher should have clearly seen the difference between right and wrong. At the end of the day, Christopher did not have any power to have a better support family or psychiatric treatment and those are the factors that made his prefrontal cortex more underdeveloped than it already

Open Document