By Debra Minor Wilson
Times West Virginian
In a perfect world, childhood should be a carefree, joyous time of play, friendship and innocence.
The reality is that the number of juveniles committing felonies in the United States, while declining some from past years, continues to plague society.
According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, in 2010:
• Known juvenile offenders were involved in at least 766 murders in the United States in 2010, representing about 8 percent of all known murder offenders.
• Juveniles under age 14 committed 29 homicides; 57 by those age 14; 134 by age 15; 281 by age 17; and 423 by juveniles age 17.