Are parents criminally responsible for the actions of their child?
Criminal law, unlike civil law, is less likely to hold defendants liable for the actions of a third party, even if that third party is the defendant’s child. This is because in criminal law defendants face incarceration and the associated stigma that comes with a conviction.
Both Crumbley parents have pleaded not guilty to four counts each of involuntary manslaughter. In the rare instances that parents of school shooters are prosecuted, they are normally charged with crimes such as child abuse, child neglect and failure to properly secure a firearm. The charge lodged against the Crumbleys, involuntary manslaughter, also known as gross negligent homicide, is even more uncommon.