Staff Acquitted in Boot Camp Youth Death

Jury deems guards not responsible in case that scrapped Fla. system
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2007 6:45 PM CDT

(Newser) – In a case that led to reforms in the state's controversial juvenile justice system, eight former Florida boot camp workers were acquitted of manslaughter today in the death of a 14-year-old boy. "You kill a dog, you go to jail. You kill a little black boy and nothing happens," said the family's lawyer, echoing the frustrations of many outside the courthouse.

Videotape of Martin Lee Anderson being kicked and punched was entered into evidence  during the 3-week trial, but the guards, who faced sentences of up to 30 years, argued they were following the facility's rules. Jurors deliberated for 90 minutes before returning their verdicts. The case led to passage of the Martin Lee Anderson, which scrapped juvenile boot camps.