Steubenville Lawyer Will Appeal, Says Client's 'Brain Isn't Fully Developed'

One day after his client, 16-year-old Ma'lik Richmond, was convicted by an Ohio judge of raping an incapacitated girl, attorney Walter Madison said on CNN's Piers Morgan Live that he plans to appeal the verdict and that Richmond should not have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

"I don't believe he should have to register as a sex offender until he dies. ... 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," said Madison, "when the evidence in the case would suggest you were under the influence."

Since briefly making his case last night, many people have been quick to mock Madison. Piers Morgan himself told the lawyer, "I've got 3 teenage sons and when you get to 16, 17, your brain's developed enough to know you shouldn't be raping girls."

Morgan's sons aside, Madison's brain-development complaints are not so outlandish when one considers that the Supreme Court abolished the death penalty for juvenile offenders in 2005 for a similar reason. After hearing from numerous medical practitioners who stated that young criminals' mental capacities are not yet matured, the court struck down juvenile executions, stating in its opinion "it would be misguided to equate the failings of a minor with those of an adult, for a greater possibility exists that a minor's character deficiencies will be reformed."

Judge Thomas Lipps, who presided over the Steubenville rape case, said both Richmond and Trent Mays, who was also convicted of raping the same girl, will go through a separate hearing to decide which sex offender registration category applies to them after they've served their jail time.

[Image via AP]