Friday, February 09, 2007

Child Abuse and Such

Leaving after work for Chicago tonight...it should be fun:-) I may get a chance to post when I am out there, but I can't promise to. Don't worry, I will relay anything of note!

Random subject today, and maybe kind of heavy for a Friday, but so what.

Yesterday I pointed out the parents who overdosed their four year old daughter and caused her to suffer an agonizingly painful four day death. "Surely," you think, "these are the worst parents in America". But, then there is this guy, who left his two-year-old in the woods to freeze to death because she wouldn't go back to bed in the morning. There is one line in that story that made me burst into tears at my desk, so beware before you read it.

I tried several times to write a paragraph detailing my feelings for these people, but I can't...there just aren't bad enough words. Someone should invent a new swear word that is the worst word in the language to describe them.

Anyway, I have spent some time thinking about what would be an appropriate punishment for people like this, and I am stumped. I assume the guy in Pennsylvania will be executed (anyone have any idea how they apply the law there? All I can get through Google is that they do have it.) But the two people in Massachusetts won't...there is no death penalty here.

I should admit that I am anti-death penalty, but not strongly (and not because I know someone who was on death row before all the death sentences in Illinois were cancelled). I don't think that it deters crime, and I think it appeals to our worst base instincts of revenge. Part of the point of our legal system is to remove the emotional things like revenge from what should be a rational process. But, I am not going to argue real strongly that there are not some crimes where it is simply the only appropriate response.

My problem here is that the death penalty is way too good for these people. Unfortunately, the only real appropriate punishments haven't been used since the 17th century...I am thinking of what they did to Braveheart at the end of the movie. I suppose, in lieu of that, a lifetime in maximum security general population will probably be a pretty fair punishment. They may be criminals, but they do have an honor code, and killing babies does not sit well with them.

See, I knew prisons were good for something.

6 comments:

Kate said...

this is one fucked up world where innocent children are hurt like this. it disgusts me.

brookem said...

I have heard all about the parents in Mass. Just now did I hear about this sicko in PA. Disgusting. It's completely awful.

nicole D. said...

I cannot understand how anyone could do something so heinous (its the best word I could come up with). Any crime against children who are so vulnerable should carry extreme punishment. Not sure about what it should be but its true that within the system he won't have friends, so to speak. This story reminds me of one that occured here recently, a man put his baby daughter in the freezer and left her there for who knows how long, at least long enough to get 1st and 2nd degree frostbite. The mother, who left him alone with the baby and her other 3 kids, is in support of him. He just got sentenced to 10 long months in jail to be followed by 2 years probation. Wow. Nice justice system we have in Canada.

allbilly said...

I think the thing to do is tell the world when they will be released after they are found guilty and that noone waiting outside the courthouse will be charged with any crimes. Kinda like throwing a kitten to a pack of Pit Bulls.

Jordan said...

I haven't heard about what happened in Mass. or PA, but the horrible fact is, it's happening everywhere and has, for years. People should not allowed to be parents simply because they are able to reproduce.. I mean, anything else you do in this world requires some sort of training. Shouldn't parenting? My mother abused because she was abused (I think) however, it's not much of an excuse, if you ask me, because I was abused by HER and I don't abuse. The cycle has to stop somewhere... I won't go into details on some of the things or any of the things she did in this comment, but she should have been in jail several times over.
All I know, that as a child, I remember thinking "I am NEVER going to be like this to any kid".. and I haven't. As far as the death penalty.. I'm for it. But I'm MORE for the kinds of punishments they do in other countries (as harsh as that sounds) but if you cause a child to freeze to death, YOU should freeze to death. If you cause a child to have severe burns, then you should have them as well. The problem is finding people that would afflict these punishments... or.. is that really a problem?

laurwilk said...

It makes me so angry to hear things like this and read about people who do these things. But I also have a hard time wishing the worst forms of punishment on the wrong doers. Not sure why.

However, I do think that we should work to aleviate the pain for these children. Adoption and Foster Homes should be more greatly encouraged (not just by government but by communities and individuals).

Sorry to post a long comment -- I am just a huge advocate of adoption and think rather than being so angry at the wrong doers, we should just make right.