BOSTON, Oct. 18—A new study has found that while the number of adults arrested for murder has declined since 1985, there has been a stunning increase in the number of boys under 18 charged with homicide.
"Murder is plunging to a much younger age group," said James Alan Fox, dean of Northeastern University's College of Criminal Justice and a co-author of the report. "What is so dangerous about this is that a 15-year-old with a gun in his hand is a much more volatile individual than a 40-year-old or even an 18-year-old," Mr. Fox said.
The study, by the National Crime Analysis Project at Northeastern University, found that the number of 17-year-olds arrested for murder climbed 121 percent from 1985 through 1991, and the number of 16-year-olds arrested rose 158 percent. But the biggest increase—217 percent—was in the arrest of 15-year-olds. Even the number of arrests of boys 12 and under soared 100 percent in that time.
These figures are the clearest statistical confirmation of what had been just anecdotal evidence...