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Old 14th November 2012, 07:48 AM   #521
DreamingNaiad
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
How about all the reasons which have been posted here? She has suffered enough. There is no need to deter other parents from feeding their children to wild dogs. There is no danger to society in not prosecuting her. A prosecution will be an expensive waste of public money. The criminal justice system is not primarily directed against terrible and tragic mistakes but violence and dishonesty, neither of which is present here. She was not seeking to profit from her carelessness (by contrast to corporations which negligently kill their workers). She herself will not derive any benefit from prosecution (i.e. there is not likely to be any rehabilitative benefit). No person needs to be protected from her. No one needs to be protected from other mothers thinking of doing the same thing.
I wouldn't have thought we needed to deter this in the first place. But clearly warning signs and common sense didn't work. People are willing to risk their children's lives in this manner and if her being prosecuted stops even one person it would be worth it.

She hasn't suffered enough to make up for causing her child to be mauled to death. He suffered. Anything she feels right now is just the consequences of her actions and people shouldn't be mollycoddling her.

It's not even about her suffering. It's about her being held legally responsible for the death of another human being.
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Old 14th November 2012, 07:58 AM   #522
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Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
I wouldn't have thought we needed to deter this in the first place. But clearly warning signs and common sense didn't work. People are willing to risk their children's lives in this manner and if her being prosecuted stops even one person it would be worth it.
It would but do you really believe anyone out there will alter their behaviour on account of her being prosecuted? They will certainly think twice in view of what happened, but I doubt any parents out there need a prosecution to firm up their concern for their childrens' safety.

Quote:
She hasn't suffered enough to make up for causing her child to be mauled to death. He suffered. Anything she feels right now is just the consequences of her actions and people shouldn't be mollycoddling her.
So go ahead and tell us how much suffering would be enough.

Quote:
It's not even about her suffering. It's about her being held legally responsible for the death of another human being.
Oh, sorry. Didn't read that part. So she has not suffered enough but it also isn't about her suffering. Can you explain the last sentence a bit more. What is the 'it' you refer to and in what way is her being held legally responsible 'about' whatever 'it' is?

I don't mean to nitpick but I would like to know what public benefit is to be derived from holding her legally responsible given that, IMO, no one is going to take one iota more or less care of their children as a result of whether she is proceeded against. Not like if she stole something, when it would obviously not normally be good to let her get away with it since others might follow suit. No one is going to follow suit in this case.
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Old 14th November 2012, 08:17 AM   #523
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
How about all the reasons which have been posted here? She has suffered enough.
Not good enough by half. Many people who commit other crimes feel dreadful for it, we still prosecute them.
Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
There is no need to deter other parents from feeding their children to wild dogs.
Really? You think there might not be other moronic, negligent parents who will think it can't happen to them?
Like I say, I do not want this woman prosecuted because her child died, I want her prosecuted because she killed her child by being grossly negligent. I would want this woman prosecuted if the child had survived.
Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post

There is no danger to society in not prosecuting her.
There's a danger to her kids if she has any others.
Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post

A prosecution will be an expensive waste of public money. The criminal justice system is not primarily directed against terrible and tragic mistakes
Then tell me what the point of the gross negligence law is. I note you ignored that part of my post by the way. Tell me why we have a law against gross negligence and child endangerment if this woman isn't prosecuted under it? If punishing this woman's gross negligence is an expensive waste of time why not strike the law from the books?
Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
but violence and dishonesty, neither of which is present here. She was not seeking to profit from her carelessness (by contrast to corporations which negligently kill their workers). She herself will not derive any benefit from prosecution (i.e. there is not likely to be any rehabilitative benefit).
Neither of which makes any difference. This woman broke the law. You may disagree with the law but that doesn't mean she is any less guilty.

Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
No person needs to be protected from her.
Her child did. Any other kids she has do. If this woman is stupid enough to think that what she did wasn't dangerous, she's a danger to children. If she simply didn't care that it was dangerous, she's possibly dangerous to everyone else as well.
Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
No one needs to be protected from other mothers thinking of doing the same thing.
Other children might.

Originally Posted by sgtbaker View Post
Way to straw man! Why would you think I would hold a different opinion if it were someone else's child? Lapse of judgement is not synonymous with gross negligence. The law agrees.

Yes the law does agree that. The law also covers what this woman did. She is guilty of gross negligence and child endangerment. The law has already been quoted in this thread. She. Is. Guilty.
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Old 14th November 2012, 08:20 AM   #524
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post

So go ahead and tell us how much suffering would be enough.

.
I can't tell if you're deliberately misreading what he said or if you're just not picking up on the point. That you choose to end your hilite there makes me think it's the former. His point isn't that she hasn't suffered enough, it's that however much she has suffered isn't enough to make up for his death. It isn't that there is a certain level of suffering that she needs to hit, it's that NO suffering is enough to make up for what she did.
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Old 14th November 2012, 08:21 AM   #525
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
It would but do you really believe anyone out there will alter their behaviour on account of her being prosecuted? They will certainly think twice in view of what happened, but I doubt any parents out there need a prosecution to firm up their concern for their childrens' safety.


So go ahead and tell us how much suffering would be enough.


Oh, sorry. Didn't read that part. So she has not suffered enough but it also isn't about her suffering. Can you explain the last sentence a bit more. What is the 'it' you refer to and in what way is her being held legally responsible 'about' whatever 'it' is?

I don't mean to nitpick but I would like to know what public benefit is to be derived from holding her legally responsible given that, IMO, no one is going to take one iota more or less care of their children as a result of whether she is proceeded against. Not like if she stole something, when it would obviously not normally be good to let her get away with it since others might follow suit. No one is going to follow suit in this case.
And I wouldn't have thought it would take a child dying for people to stop and think but there you go.

"It" is the idea of charging her. I don't want her to be charged to make her suffer. Whtever is happening in her head right now is probably worse than anything anyone can do to her. I want her to be held accountable instead of being hidden behind a wall of "but hasn't she suffered enough?" and "what's the point?".
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Old 14th November 2012, 08:24 AM   #526
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
I can't tell if you're deliberately misreading what he said or if you're just not picking up on the point. That you choose to end your hilite there makes me think it's the former. His point isn't that she hasn't suffered enough, it's that however much she has suffered isn't enough to make up for his death. It isn't that there is a certain level of suffering that she needs to hit, it's that NO suffering is enough to make up for what she did.
Exactly. Thank you.
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Old 14th November 2012, 09:58 AM   #527
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Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
So I could do this with some random persons kid and if they died you would be against prosecuting me?
Under the exact same circumstances? Yes.
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Old 14th November 2012, 10:22 AM   #528
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan
Not good enough by half. Many people who commit other crimes feel dreadful for it, we still prosecute them.
Admitted, but what they usually feel dreadful about is getting caught. I am assuming our mother is distraught at the loss of her child and probably couldn't care less whether she is prosecuted or not.

Quote:
Really? You think there might not be other moronic, negligent parents who will think it can't happen to them?
I am sure there are other moronic parents out there and they will be there regardless whether this woman is persecuted prosecuted, which is among the reasons why it's pointless.

Quote:
Like I say, I do not want this woman prosecuted because her child died, I want her prosecuted because she killed her child by being grossly negligent. I would want this woman prosecuted if the child had survived.
You seem to be unaware that a decision to prosecute is discretionary. In the state of Pennsylvania (where this incident occurred) the duty to prosecute appears to be set out in the County Code Act 1955 but this is subject to a discretion described as 'tremendous' by Justice Robert H Jackson sitting in the Supreme Court. You can read all about it here:

http://www.pacourts.us/OpPosting/Cwe...D10_8-9-12.pdf

It is not a knee-jerk reaction so 'I want her prosecuted because she [committed an offence]' does not cut it. I have not found a detailed code explaining how the discretion is exercised in PA but other jurisdictions (like mine) have well developed, detailed codes that require a public interest test to be satisfied before any prosecution is launched. Here is the English version:

http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/d...010english.pdf

It badly needs a contents page but see the horribly named 'Full Code Test' - section 4 from which I would quote if the document permitted me to do so.

Quote:
There's a danger to her kids if she has any others.
If there is, prosecuting her is neither the only nor the best way to deal with it. How about parenting classes? Or removal of the children into public care?

Quote:
Then tell me what the point of the gross negligence law is. I note you ignored that part of my post by the way. Tell me why we have a law against gross negligence and child endangerment if this woman isn't prosecuted under it? If punishing this woman's gross negligence is an expensive waste of time why not strike the law from the books?
The point of the law is to criminalise gross negligence resulting in harm but the law is not rendered pointless just because the discretion I have mentioned is exercised not to prosecute. Sorry, I did not mean to ignore your point btw.

Quote:
Neither of which makes any difference. This woman broke the law. You may disagree with the law but that doesn't mean she is any less guilty.
On what I know, yes she broke the law. That's the easy part out of the way.

Quote:
Her child did. Any other kids she has do. If this woman is stupid enough to think that what she did wasn't dangerous, she's a danger to children. If she simply didn't care that it was dangerous, she's possibly dangerous to everyone else as well.
So take her kids into care. Btw. if she were callous and uncaring about the loss of her child then I most certainly would prosecute. I am assuming she is devastated however and that makes a difference. Maybe we are imagining the parts we don't know differently (and maybe not).

Quote:
Other children might.
Naw. No one out there is thinking 'oh goody, I can get away with throwing my kids to wild dogs now I've seen what happened to that lady in PA'. Be serious.


Quote:
Yes the law does agree that. The law also covers what this woman did. She is guilty of gross negligence and child endangerment. The law has already been quoted in this thread. She. Is. Guilty.
Yes. She. Is (probably). But. That's. Not. The. End. Of. The. Discussion.
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Old 14th November 2012, 10:29 AM   #529
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
I can't tell if you're deliberately misreading what he said or if you're just not picking up on the point. That you choose to end your hilite there makes me think it's the former. His point isn't that she hasn't suffered enough, it's that however much she has suffered isn't enough to make up for his death. It isn't that there is a certain level of suffering that she needs to hit, it's that NO suffering is enough to make up for what she did.
I don't think I misread the post or highlighted it unfairly. The sentence I partially highlighted said:

Originally Posted by Draemingnaiad
She hasn't suffered enough to make up for causing her child to be mauled to death
to which one could fairly add the unspoken meaning ' ... so she should suffer some more'.

My problem with this is the suspicion that few of us have ever lost a small child and probably none in such terrible circumstances. I imagine, but confess I don't know, that the average mother might not get over such a thing no matter how long she lived and, to me, that would be plenty of suffering, assuming I felt vengeful at all, which, in this particular case, I don't.

Last edited by anglolawyer; 14th November 2012 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 14th November 2012, 10:34 AM   #530
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
Admitted, but what they usually feel dreadful about is getting caught. I am assuming our mother is distraught at the loss of her child and probably couldn't care less whether she is prosecuted or not.


I am sure there are other moronic parents out there and they will be there regardless whether this woman is persecuted prosecuted, which is among the reasons why it's pointless.


You seem to be unaware that a decision to prosecute is discretionary. In the state of Pennsylvania (where this incident occurred) the duty to prosecute appears to be set out in the County Code Act 1955 but this is subject to a discretion described as 'tremendous' by Justice Robert H Jackson sitting in the Supreme Court. You can read all about it here:

http://www.pacourts.us/OpPosting/Cwe...D10_8-9-12.pdf

It is not a knee-jerk reaction so 'I want her prosecuted because she [committed an offence]' does not cut it. I have not found a detailed code explaining how the discretion is exercised in PA but other jurisdictions (like mine) have well developed, detailed codes that require a public interest test to be satisfied before any prosecution is launched. Here is the English version:

http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/d...010english.pdf

It badly needs a contents page but see the horribly named 'Full Code Test' - section 4 from which I would quote if the document permitted me to do so.


If there is, prosecuting her is neither the only nor the best way to deal with it. How about parenting classes? Or removal of the children into public care?


The point of the law is to criminalise gross negligence resulting in harm but the law is not rendered pointless just because the discretion I have mentioned is exercised not to prosecute. Sorry, I did not mean to ignore your point btw.


On what I know, yes she broke the law. That's the easy part out of the way.


So take her kids into care. Btw. if she were callous and uncaring about the loss of her child then I most certainly would prosecute. I am assuming she is devastated however and that makes a difference. Maybe we are imagining the parts we don't know differently (and maybe not).


Naw. No one out there is thinking 'oh goody, I can get away with throwing my kids to wild dogs now I've seen what happened to that lady in PA'. Be serious.



Yes. She. Is (probably). But. That's. Not. The. End. Of. The. Discussion.
In what way is she being persecuted?

And why do her feelings matter? If I feel really bad about killing someone do I, too, get a free pass legally speaking?
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Old 14th November 2012, 10:40 AM   #531
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Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
In what way is she being persecuted?

And why do her feelings matter? If I feel really bad about killing someone do I, too, get a free pass legally speaking?
I was mischievously characterising the posts of some here as having a flavour of persecution about them. I have no idea whether she is being persecuted at all, other than by remorse.

Her feelings are central given the victim of her crime and the effect it is likely to have had on her. I am surprised you don't see that but it explains a lot.
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Old 14th November 2012, 10:43 AM   #532
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
I don't think I misread the post or highlighted it unfairly. The sentence I partially highlighted said:


to which one could fairly add the unspoken meaning ' ... so she should suffer some more'.

My problem is this is the suspicion that few of us have ever lost a small child and probably none in such terrible circumstances. I imagine, but confess I don't know, that the average mother might not get over such a thing no matter how long she lived and, to me, that would be plenty of suffering, assuming I felt vengeful at all, which, in this particular case, I don't.
Except that I said I was not supporting prosecution to make her suffer. Please don't put words in my mouth. I DONT WANT HER TO SUFFER. I WANT HER TO BE HELD RESPONSIBLE.

I was just pointing out that she is not the victim here, which is why I find the argument offensive that she should be allowed to just wander off into the sunset.

No amount of suffering ever makes up for killing your child. As I said, she will probably punish herself more than anyine else could (but feel free to deliberately ignore everything I say).
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Old 14th November 2012, 10:54 AM   #533
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
I was mischievously characterising the posts of some here as having a flavour of persecution about them. I have no idea whether she is being persecuted at all, other than by remorse.

Her feelings are central given the victim of her crime and the effect it is likely to have had on her. I am surprised you don't see that but it explains a lot.
Just because you feel really bad about it shouldn't mean you aren't charged with someone's death. That's ludicrous. Her remorse should be taken into account with sentencing. Parenting classes might be a good sentence. No one has asked for her to be given a custodial sentence on this thread AFAIK so your idea of persecution is way off. Being held accountable for your actions is not persecution.

I could be playing with fire and accidentally burn a building down, killing someone. I would feel horrible but I wouldn't have meant to do it. Oh well, lesson learned. No public interest in punishing someone who is punishing themselves.

Would you charge her if she had done this with someone else's kid? Or would she not be suffering enough then?
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Old 14th November 2012, 11:18 AM   #534
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Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
Except that I said I was not supporting prosecution to make her suffer. Please don't put words in my mouth. I DONT WANT HER TO SUFFER. I WANT HER TO BE HELD RESPONSIBLE.

I was just pointing out that she is not the victim here, which is why I find the argument offensive that she should be allowed to just wander off into the sunset.

No amount of suffering ever makes up for killing your child. As I said, she will probably punish herself more than anyine else could (but feel free to deliberately ignore everything I say).
Exactly


This woman should be held responsible for her crime. I don't think she should be given a long prison sentence and never be allowed to see the light of day. That would be extreme. I think however she should have a criminal record, have (as you say anglo) her kids taken away, and not be allowed to take care of children in the future.

I'm not saying "Lock the bitch up!" I'm saying "Make sure she is held responsible for her crime and send the message that even in cases where you might not get the slammer, you have to pay for your crimes like an adult."
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Old 14th November 2012, 11:54 AM   #535
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
Exactly


This woman should be held responsible for her crime. I don't think she should be given a long prison sentence and never be allowed to see the light of day. That would be extreme. I think however she should have a criminal record, have (as you say anglo) her kids taken away, and not be allowed to take care of children in the future.

I'm not saying "Lock the bitch up!" I'm saying "Make sure she is held responsible for her crime and send the message that even in cases where you might not get the slammer, you have to pay for your crimes like an adult."
LOL - I am not saying take any other kids of hers away. That's a possibility which an assessment by social services might suggest as beneficial to them, but bear in mind, if there are other kids, they have lost their brother and have a grieving mother and taking her out of their lives might not be best for them.

If her fitness as a parent (I will admit there are some issues there) is reviewed, as must be inevitable, then she will have a record of sorts, just not a criminal one but at least something actually relevant to what happened and to society's need to ensure no other child of hers is endangered.

I don't see why you want her stigmatised as a criminal, which is what your post suggests. She will be stigmatised enough, we can be sure of that.
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Old 14th November 2012, 11:56 AM   #536
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
It would but do you really believe anyone out there will alter their behaviour on account of her being prosecuted? They will certainly think twice in view of what happened, but I doubt any parents out there need a prosecution to firm up their concern for their childrens' safety.


So go ahead and tell us how much suffering would be enough.


Oh, sorry. Didn't read that part. So she has not suffered enough but it also isn't about her suffering. Can you explain the last sentence a bit more. What is the 'it' you refer to and in what way is her being held legally responsible 'about' whatever 'it' is?

I don't mean to nitpick but I would like to know what public benefit is to be derived from holding her legally responsible given that, IMO, no one is going to take one iota more or less care of their children as a result of whether she is proceeded against. Not like if she stole something, when it would obviously not normally be good to let her get away with it since others might follow suit. No one is going to follow suit in this case.

No one has answered my question.


How do you know for sure that she didn't do it on purpose? By not making these things criminal we open the door for murder.

That's my basic concern about the whole thing. How do you really know for sure she didn't do it on purpose?
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Old 14th November 2012, 12:00 PM   #537
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Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
Just because you feel really bad about it shouldn't mean you aren't charged with someone's death. That's ludicrous.
I agree. Who are we arguing with?

Quote:
Her remorse should be taken into account with sentencing. Parenting classes might be a good sentence. No one has asked for her to be given a custodial sentence on this thread AFAIK so your idea of persecution is way off. Being held accountable for your actions is not persecution.
This was my original view (so it can't be that dumb) but I have replaced it with no prosecution at all. Btw. I think I recall prison sentences being advocated some pages above.

Quote:
I could be playing with fire and accidentally burn a building down, killing someone. I would feel horrible but I wouldn't have meant to do it. Oh well, lesson learned. No public interest in punishing someone who is punishing themselves.
If the victims were your entire family it would make no difference, according to you.

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Would you charge her if she had done this with someone else's kid? Or would she not be suffering enough then?
It is more likely she would be charged in such a case since her personal suffering would be less, in the nature of things. I think this is right.
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Old 14th November 2012, 12:02 PM   #538
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Originally Posted by truethat View Post
No one has answered my question.


How do you know for sure that she didn't do it on purpose? By not making these things criminal we open the door for murder.

That's my basic concern about the whole thing. How do you really know for sure she didn't do it on purpose?
You know by investigating, like with other crimes. And you have your last question the wrong way round. We would have to be sure she did.
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Old 14th November 2012, 12:24 PM   #539
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
I agree. Who are we arguing with?


This was my original view (so it can't be that dumb) but I have replaced it with no prosecution at all. Btw. I think I recall prison sentences being advocated some pages above.


If the victims were your entire family it would make no difference, according to you.


It is more likely she would be charged in such a case since her personal suffering would be less, in the nature of things. I think this is right.
So you agree it's ludicrous to not charge someone because they feel bad but you don't think she should be charged because she is probably suffering (ie she feels bad)?

I don't see why I should get a lesser (or no) punishment just because the people I killed have some kind of biological or familial connection to me.

It would feel like their deaths meant less than those of strangers. My suffering shouldn't be a get out of jail free card. It would be deserved suffering.

Any injury you cause yourself, physical or psychological, is your problem. It's sad but you shouldn't expect any special treatment.
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Old 14th November 2012, 01:23 PM   #540
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
I was mischievously characterising the posts of some here as having a flavour of persecution about them. I have no idea whether she is being persecuted at all, other than by remorse.

Her feelings are central given the victim of her crime and the effect it is likely to have had on her. I am surprised you don't see that but it explains a lot.
So the child's' life has no intrinsic value.
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Old 14th November 2012, 01:29 PM   #541
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Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
So you agree it's ludicrous to not charge someone because they feel bad but you don't think she should be charged because she is probably suffering (ie she feels bad)?

I don't see why I should get a lesser (or no) punishment just because the people I killed have some kind of biological or familial connection to me.

It would feel like their deaths meant less than those of strangers. My suffering shouldn't be a get out of jail free card. It would be deserved suffering.

Any injury you cause yourself, physical or psychological, is your problem. It's sad but you shouldn't expect any special treatment.
This case is like killing your parents then asking for amnesty because you're an orphan. She contributed to the death of her child but we're supposed to let her off scot free because she's the grieving mother of a dead child.
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Old 15th November 2012, 02:45 AM   #542
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
So the child's' life has no intrinsic value.
No, not really, not now he's dead. The focus of the criminal justice system is on the defendant (is she guilty and, if so, what should we do with her?). Of course, the wider social interest in attributing high value to human life (we all have a stake in that) means these two basic questions tend to acquire an acute aspect where homicide is involved, but I don't think not prosecuting means not assigning value to the life of the particular child here. You can still have an inquest, a funeral, a memorial etc. but it's not the primary function of criminal justice to do what these things are for, except maybe the inquest - but even there, a trial is not to find out what happened, as in an inquest, but whether D is guilty of a crime.

Here, absent any special explanation of which none of us is aware, the case for guilt would seem pretty clear cut so we are leap frogging that and considering sentence. I can see the argument, which either you or MarkC have made, that the mere fact of a conviction is worth something ('she should have a criminal record') as a mark of social disfavour, regardless of sentence. A criminal trial is a public, social activity after all. However, in this case the woman's identity is known, the full facts are or will also be known (an inquest can bring them out if they are not) and she has all the disfavour she deserves, and more, coming her way for a lifetime without piling an unnecessary trial on top.

None of this will bring the boy back, nor can it be seriously argued that society will suffer some degradation of standards if she is not prosecuted. What's important is to learn about better safety at the zoo and ensure this woman's other children (if any) are safe and well cared for and that she herself is appropriately advised or supervised as necessary, all of which can be achieved outside the criminal justice system, assuming she is co-operative. If she is not, then prosecute away.

Last edited by anglolawyer; 15th November 2012 at 02:47 AM. Reason: Typos
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Old 15th November 2012, 02:53 AM   #543
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Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
So you agree it's ludicrous to not charge someone because they feel bad but you don't think she should be charged because she is probably suffering (ie she feels bad)?
In a nutshell. Thanks. Plus one or two other considerations I mentioned already.

Quote:
I don't see why I should get a lesser (or no) punishment just because the people I killed have some kind of biological or familial connection to me.
We are on the same side on that.
Quote:
It would feel like their deaths meant less than those of strangers. My suffering shouldn't be a get out of jail free card. It would be deserved suffering.
Did you say 'get out of jail'? I assume you meant that figuratively, right? Or is that what you want? To see her go to jail, maybe after being pulled through the streets on a hurdle with rotten fish hanging round her neck and the populace throwing mud and horse droppings at her.
Quote:
Any injury you cause yourself, physical or psychological, is your problem. It's sad but you shouldn't expect any special treatment.
I am sure she has no such expectation and if she were other than contrite, remorseful, devastated and in grief (all of which I assume to be the case) that would alter my view.
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Old 15th November 2012, 06:07 AM   #544
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
In a nutshell. Thanks. Plus one or two other considerations I mentioned already.


We are on the same side on that.

Did you say 'get out of jail'? I assume you meant that figuratively, right? Or is that what you want? To see her go to jail, maybe after being pulled through the streets on a hurdle with rotten fish hanging round her neck and the populace throwing mud and horse droppings at her.

I am sure she has no such expectation and if she were other than contrite, remorseful, devastated and in grief (all of which I assume to be the case) that would alter my view.
Continue nitpicking over words. It really shows how strong your argument is.

I used 'get out of jail free card' as an expression. Meaning that some people think she shouldn't be held accountable just because she feels sad.

What is with your insistance that being charged with manslaughter or child endangerment after killing her child is some kind of persecution. And that, despite my saying repeatedly that I don't think jail time would be necessary, I apparently want her dragged through the streets. Do you have any coherent views that don't descend into hyperbole and making stuff up?

I shouldn't be surprised really since you think feeling bad shouldn't stop people being charged, but she shouldn't be charged because she feels bad.

Not prosecuting her probably wont be detrimental to society but what is the point of having negligence laws if we just let people punish themselves?
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Old 15th November 2012, 06:54 AM   #545
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Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
Continue nitpicking over words. It really shows how strong your argument is.

I used 'get out of jail free card' as an expression. Meaning that some people think she shouldn't be held accountable just because she feels sad.

What is with your insistance that being charged with manslaughter or child endangerment after killing her child is some kind of persecution. And that, despite my saying repeatedly that I don't think jail time would be necessary, I apparently want her dragged through the streets. Do you have any coherent views that don't descend into hyperbole and making stuff up?

I shouldn't be surprised really since you think feeling bad shouldn't stop people being charged, but she shouldn't be charged because she feels bad.

Not prosecuting her probably wont be detrimental to society but what is the point of having negligence laws if we just let people punish themselves?


The laws in question do not become 'pointless' just because other laws come into play sometimes and override or influence the way we use them. It is equally part of the law that there exists a discretion whether or not to prosecute. If you look into the code for crown prosecutors I linked to yesterday (sorry I can't cut and paste from it - how dumb is that? Not me, the ***holes who put these things on the web as if it's their property) you will see from paragraphs 4.10 onwards a clear statement to the effect that it has never been the law (in England of course but PA is a very similar, common law jurisdiction) that suspected criminal offences must always be the subject of prosecution. At 4.16 and 4.17 there are detailed lists of the kind of considerations affecting the exercise of the discretion. We can bat some of those back and forth if you like. In fact, looking them over, my first impression is that this woman probably would be prosecuted here but it's a fine judgment. See what you make of it.

One of the reasons for not prosecuting, at 4.17e), definitely goes your way:

'[If] the loss or harm can be described as minor and was the result of a single incident, particularly if it was caused by a misjudgment'

but how about 4.17d):

'the offence was committed as a result of a genuine mistake or misunderstanding'

or 4.17b) which, paraphrasing, says can apply where the offence can be dealt with out of court in a manner which the suspect accepts and complies with.
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Old 15th November 2012, 07:01 AM   #546
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
This case is like killing your parents then asking for amnesty because you're an orphan. She contributed to the death of her child but we're supposed to let her off scot free because she's the grieving mother of a dead child.
There really does seem to be some sort of mental disconnect here where people just aren't getting that the "grieving mother" and the woman that directly lead to child falling into a pit of wild dogs are the same person.
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Old 15th November 2012, 07:14 AM   #547
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
There really does seem to be some sort of mental disconnect here where people just aren't getting that the "grieving mother" and the woman that directly lead to child falling into a pit of wild dogs are the same person.
Beautifully ambiguous post. I have no idea who does not get this (on either side of the discussion) so what's your point?
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Old 15th November 2012, 07:20 AM   #548
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
[/hilite]

The laws in question do not become 'pointless' just because other laws come into play sometimes and override or influence the way we use them. It is equally part of the law that there exists a discretion whether or not to prosecute. If you look into the code for crown prosecutors I linked to yesterday (sorry I can't cut and paste from it - how dumb is that? Not me, the ***holes who put these things on the web as if it's their property) you will see from paragraphs 4.10 onwards a clear statement to the effect that it has never been the law (in England of course but PA is a very similar, common law jurisdiction) that suspected criminal offences must always be the subject of prosecution. At 4.16 and 4.17 there are detailed lists of the kind of considerations affecting the exercise of the discretion. We can bat some of those back and forth if you like. In fact, looking them over, my first impression is that this woman probably would be prosecuted here but it's a fine judgment. See what you make of it.

One of the reasons for not prosecuting, at 4.17e), definitely goes your way:

'[If] the loss or harm can be described as minor and was the result of a single incident, particularly if it was caused by a misjudgment'

but how about 4.17d):

'the offence was committed as a result of a genuine mistake or misunderstanding'

or 4.17b) which, paraphrasing, says can apply where the offence can be dealt with out of court in a manner which the suspect accepts and complies with.
I agree that this could be settled out of court but I don't think it *should* be. Morally and in the interest of justice.

I disagree that this act of gross negligence could ever be called 'a genuine mistake or misunderstanding'. I doubt she meant to kill him but she deliberately put him in danger. If she had turned her back and he had climbed over that would be a genuine mistake and a tragedy.

Note: I also understand that the law and justice are not the same thing.
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Old 15th November 2012, 07:25 AM   #549
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
Beautifully ambiguous post. I have no idea who does not get this (on either side of the discussion) so what's your point?
It probably has to do with the "she's suffered enough" drivel that doesn't take into account that if you cause your own suffering it doesn't count as an excuse.
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Old 15th November 2012, 07:47 AM   #550
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Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
I agree that this could be settled out of court but I don't think it *should* be. Morally and in the interest of justice.

I disagree that this act of gross negligence could ever be called 'a genuine mistake or misunderstanding'. I doubt she meant to kill him but she deliberately put him in danger. If she had turned her back and he had climbed over that would be a genuine mistake and a tragedy.

Note: I also understand that the law and justice are not the same thing.
You are probably right on the highlighted part. I don't think the facts of this case are what that particular element of the process is primarily directed at. Mind you, it's not easy to think of examples of genuine mistakes and misunderstanding that would not afford a complete defence, so I am not sure what that one means TBH.
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Old 15th November 2012, 09:33 AM   #551
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Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
It probably has to do with the "she's suffered enough" drivel that doesn't take into account that if you cause your own suffering it doesn't count as an excuse.
Not as an excuse, no, but as a factor to be taken into account in whether to prosecute and, if so, how to sentence. Let;s face it, this is a pretty unusual crime. Mostly the criminal courts are filled with seriously bad people who steal, rape, rob and assault other people. In the field of manslaughter by gross negligence it will often be corporations that have failed to put in place proper safety measures and which will only feel the consequences in their pockets. Or there may be well-intentioned but insufficiently careful people running school trips or adventures for children and these sometimes go disastrously wrong with canoes capsizing or kids wading into powerful streams and getting washed away. Such persons are making a living and must take criminal responsibility, where the facts justify it. But our mother is none of these. She is not a crook, she was not trying to make a buck. She was taking her son on a day out to the zoo, disaster struck (through her own fault) and now she is paying a heavier price than any criminal court could possibly impose. And the fact it was her own fault can only make it worse.

I am at a loss to detect in your posts even the slightest indication of sympathy and understanding for her. Justice must be tempered by mercy, don't you think?
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Old 15th November 2012, 10:06 AM   #552
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
Not as an excuse, no, but as a factor to be taken into account in whether to prosecute and, if so, how to sentence. Let;s face it, this is a pretty unusual crime. Mostly the criminal courts are filled with seriously bad people who steal, rape, rob and assault other people. In the field of manslaughter by gross negligence it will often be corporations that have failed to put in place proper safety measures and which will only feel the consequences in their pockets. Or there may be well-intentioned but insufficiently careful people running school trips or adventures for children and these sometimes go disastrously wrong with canoes capsizing or kids wading into powerful streams and getting washed away. Such persons are making a living and must take criminal responsibility, where the facts justify it. But our mother is none of these. She is not a crook, she was not trying to make a buck. She was taking her son on a day out to the zoo, disaster struck (through her own fault) and now she is paying a heavier price than any criminal court could possibly impose. And the fact it was her own fault can only make it worse.

I am at a loss to detect in your posts even the slightest indication of sympathy and understanding for her. Justice must be tempered by mercy, don't you think?
I don't feel much sympathy. She did something stupid and killed her child. Why would I waste any sympathy on her? I feel sorry for her husband, other child, the dead boy etc but not her.

I think it's mercy to give her a suspended sentence. Not charging her in the first place seems like holding her to a different standard to others just because she was related to the victim.

I understand that employers should be prosecuted because they are making money by putting workers in danger. But this woman was also 'well-intentioned but insufficiently careful. The planners of these trips usually aren't skipping out on safety features to increase profits. They are just as misguided as this mother. So why hold them to a higher legal standard than a parent? Surely parents should have more legal responsibility to their children than strangers.
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Old 15th November 2012, 10:15 AM   #553
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Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
I don't feel much sympathy. She did something stupid and killed her child. Why would I waste any sympathy on her? I feel sorry for her husband, other child, the dead boy etc but not her.

I think it's mercy to give her a suspended sentence. Not charging her in the first place seems like holding her to a different standard to others just because she was related to the victim.

I understand that employers should be prosecuted because they are making money by putting workers in danger. But this woman was also 'well-intentioned but insufficiently careful. The planners of these trips usually aren't skipping out on safety features to increase profits. They are just as misguided as this mother. So why hold them to a higher legal standard than a parent? Surely parents should have more legal responsibility to their children than strangers.
Well, we're just different I guess. Makes the world go round.
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Old 15th November 2012, 10:30 AM   #554
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
So the child's' life has no intrinsic value.
Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
No, not really, not now he's dead. The focus of the criminal justice system is on the defendant (is she guilty and, if so, what should we do with her?). Of course, the wider social interest in attributing high value to human life (we all have a stake in that) means these two basic questions tend to acquire an acute aspect where homicide is involved, but I don't think not prosecuting means not assigning value to the life of the particular child here. You can still have an inquest, a funeral, a memorial etc. but it's not the primary function of criminal justice to do what these things are for, except maybe the inquest - but even there, a trial is not to find out what happened, as in an inquest, but whether D is guilty of a crime.

Here, absent any special explanation of which none of us is aware, the case for guilt would seem pretty clear cut so we are leap frogging that and considering sentence. I can see the argument, which either you or MarkC have made, that the mere fact of a conviction is worth something ('she should have a criminal record') as a mark of social disfavour, regardless of sentence. A criminal trial is a public, social activity after all. However, in this case the woman's identity is known, the full facts are or will also be known (an inquest can bring them out if they are not) and she has all the disfavour she deserves, and more, coming her way for a lifetime without piling an unnecessary trial on top.

None of this will bring the boy back, nor can it be seriously argued that society will suffer some degradation of standards if she is not prosecuted. What's important is to learn about better safety at the zoo and ensure this woman's other children (if any) are safe and well cared for and that she herself is appropriately advised or supervised as necessary, all of which can be achieved outside the criminal justice system, assuming she is co-operative. If she is not, then prosecute away.

I'm really shocked that you'd say a dead baby doesn't matter. Do you feel the same way about all humans, that when they're dead it doesn't matter how they got that way?
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Old 15th November 2012, 10:46 AM   #555
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
I'm really shocked that you'd say a dead baby doesn't matter. Do you feel the same way about all humans, that when they're dead it doesn't matter how they got that way?
Your shock seems to have affected your comprehension. You might think about seeing someone about it.
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Old 15th November 2012, 11:15 AM   #556
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
Your shock seems to have affected your comprehension. You might think about seeing someone about it.
I see, no answer, just snark.

You clearly said that the child's life had no intrinsic value and that the main thing was the grief of the mother, ignoring the fact that the mother was the proximate cause of the death, this naturally led to me wondering if it was just infants lives you dis-valued in a "once they're dead they're dead" manner or if it applied to all humans.
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Old 15th November 2012, 12:26 PM   #557
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
I see, no answer, just snark.

You clearly said that the child's life had no intrinsic value and that the main thing was the grief of the mother, ignoring the fact that the mother was the proximate cause of the death, this naturally led to me wondering if it was just infants lives you dis-valued in a "once they're dead they're dead" manner or if it applied to all humans.
No, not snark. I just can't be bothered with the fag of getting you to understand what I said. Just go and .... read it all again.
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Old 15th November 2012, 02:50 PM   #558
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
So the child's' life has no intrinsic value.
Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
No, not really, not now he's dead. .
Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
No, not snark. I just can't be bothered with the fag of getting you to understand what I said. Just go and .... read it all again.
You plainly said the child's life had no value. I've tried to find out if this cavalier attitude to human life applies only to children whose mother kill them then show remorse but you have evaded every time.


If you feel uncomfortable with what you said you're free to retract it but while the statement remains public I will follow up on it.
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Old 15th November 2012, 02:52 PM   #559
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
You plainly said the child's life had no value. I've tried to find out if this cavalier attitude to human life applies only to children whose mother kill them then show remorse but you have evaded every time.


If you feel uncomfortable with what you said you're free to retract it but while the statement remains public I will follow up on it.
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Old 16th November 2012, 08:49 AM   #560
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
You know by investigating, like with other crimes. And you have your last question the wrong way round. We would have to be sure she did.


Exactly, yet when people knew nothing about the situation some immediately felt bad for her and gave her a pass.

This is why it is problematic to me. Saying that people "investigated it" is dishonest. The story in the news was based on it just happening. People's reactions were based on it just happening, not based on an investigation.
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