Willie Bosket, born on December 9, 1962, is a convicted murderer, whose crimes, committed while he was still a minor, led to a change in New York state law, so that juveniles as young as thirteen could be tried in adult court for murder and would face the same penalties.
On Sunday, March 19, 1978, Willie Bosket, then fifteen years old, shot dead Noel Perez on the New York City subway during an attempted robbery. Eight days later, Bosket shot dead another man, Moises Perez (no relation to his first victim) in another attempted robbery.
Bosket was tried and convicted of the murders in New York City's family court, where he was sentenced to five years imprisonment, the maximum sentence for someone of his age. The short length of Bosket's sentence caused a huge public outcry, and led the New York State Legislature to pass the Juvenile Offender Act of 1978. Under this act, children as young as thirteen years old could be tried in an adult court for crimes such as murder, and receive the same penalties as adults. New York was the first state to enact a law of this nature; many other legislatures have since followed suit.
Bosket was released from prison but was subsequently convicted of a number of felonies, for which he has received a number of life sentences. He is currently in solitary confinement in New York's maximum-security Shawangunk Correctional Facility.
In 1995, New York Times reporter Fox Butterfield wrote All God's Children: The Bosket Family and the American Tradition of Violence, an examination of the escalating violence and criminality in succeeding generations of the Bosket family.