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Mother who forgot her child was in car

by Evo
Tags: child, forgot, mother
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leroyjenkens
#37
May5-12, 03:59 PM
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I think you can only really punish someone for this when they were doing something that would normally be negligent, such as driving extremely fast and crashing with their child in the car. If their child dies, that's a harsh punishment for them, but to further punish them legally makes sense because the death of their child wasn't just due to a brain fart, it was due to blatant carelessness.
Evo
#38
May5-12, 04:23 PM
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Quote Quote by Monique View Post
Another side of the story, which is personal to me, is that my parents lost parenthood of my older twin brother and sister when they were about 1-2 years old, because someone decided my parents were negligent (that's what happened when children didn't fit the development curve). Maybe that's why I'm sensitive to giving the benefit of the doubt, until proven otherwise. No-one wants to lose a child, unless there are some really serious issues.
That's horrible!! Did they get them back?
Pythagorean
#39
May5-12, 04:26 PM
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Quote Quote by cepheid View Post
Alright, I see where the thrust of the argument is going then. The question seems to be not whether she was negligent and is punishable under the US law (which she is), but whether that law is sound in the first place. I argued that (1) it existed for a reason, to prevent such tragedies, and to reduce the instance of such unbelievably (stupendously) careless behaviour on the part of parents. I also was of the opinion that (2) people who do endanger others in this manner should be punished, simply for the sake of accountability. You argue that it is not effective for purpose (1) EDIT: for the sake honesty, you also argued that although she may have been negligent under the law, there is no evidence that this was necessarily incompetence or carelessness. You also argued that purpose (2) is of questionable merit. Let's agree to disagree on (2). If it is not effective for (1), then I guess the law's existence could be called into question. Should the law be changed? Monique seems to be saying that best approach is to evaluate situations on a case by case basis, using experts on human psychology to evaluate culpability. That certainly sounds very reasonable.

Look, I'm sorry if I got a little heated before, but I don't like supercilious people, and I don't enjoy being belittled. Sometimes it takes time to evaluate all the implications of an argument. In some ways, I'm still not over what this mother did, and I have a great deal of trouble accepting that such an oversight could even be possible (EDIT and I'm embarrassed to see that I'm preceded by a post indicating that it happens *all too often*). But we are faced with the harsh reality that it CAN and DOES happen, and we need to think carefully about what to do about it. Thank you for your arguments and insights.

cepheid, out.
I have two kids. Just hearing this story has probably decreased the (already low) chance of me ever leaving one in the heat. I didn't have to see her get punished. I agree with you about the emotional aspects of this argument.

What I think would be more effective use of state resources is to increase awareness in the community and design more intelligent vehicle standards.
Monique
#40
May5-12, 04:51 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
That's horrible!! Did they get them back?
Nope, the children were put into an institution a 4 hours drive from our house. It was one power struggle of my parents against social workers, something that has been documented by film makers in other families as well. I remember my parents battling it out in court for many years, which resulted in our family having very little money to live on. At one point these "people of power" even threatened to take my younger sister and me out of the house, unbelievable since I consider my parents to be responsible and caring.
At some point they were appointed foster parents, where they continued to grow up as teenagers and we lost all contact (mainly due to the threats by the institution). It was when they turned 18 and the institutions didn't have control over them anymore that my older sister out of the blue called the house with the wish to be part of the family.

I remember as a small kid that we'd pick them up from the station that the institution would drop them off at and I would tell my own sister "you know, my mom can bake really nice cakes".. of course it wasn't my mom, but our mom. Strange things happen.
Evo
#41
May5-12, 05:26 PM
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Quote Quote by Monique View Post
Nope, the children were put into an institution a 4 hours drive from our house. It was one power struggle of my parents against social workers, something that has been documented by film makers in other families as well. I remember my parents battling it out in court for many years, which resulted in our family having very little money to live on. At one point these "people of power" even threatened to take my younger sister and me out of the house, unbelievable since I consider my parents to be responsible and caring.
At some point they were appointed foster parents, where they continued to grow up as teenagers and we lost all contact (mainly due to the threats by the institution). It was when they turned 18 and the institutions didn't have control over them anymore that my older sister out of the blue called the house with the wish to be part of the family.

I remember as a small kid that we'd pick them up from the station that the institution would drop them off at and I would tell my own sister "you know, my mom can bake really nice cakes".. of course it wasn't my mom, but our mom. Strange things happen.
They destroyed your family because your older brother and sister didn't test high enough? And I guess your family can't sue, not that any amount of money can undo this. OMG.
cepheid
#42
May5-12, 06:08 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
I was agreeing with you.
Yeah I realized that. I was just trying to quote examples of both sides of the argument. I apologize for the confusion. I agree that it was definitely confusing because in the rest of that post I was basically addressing only Monique and pythagorean's points.
turbo
#43
May5-12, 06:36 PM
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Quote Quote by cepheid View Post
Yeah I realized that. I was just trying to quote examples of both sides of the argument.
I have trouble with that concept, especially since the major "news" outlets in the US tend to put left-wing and right-wing mouthpieces together and tout it as news. I'm not trying to be argumentative. The idea that every situation can be seen as black or white (both sides) is pervasive in the US. Very few issues issue can be consigned to such a linear dichotomy.
John Creighto
#44
May5-12, 07:21 PM
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I think Evo's point of fairness (AKA equality before the law) in her original post is relevant. However, for better or worse, people do look at the cost of arresting people and if someone is deemed to contribute to society then that works in their favor.

When people are having bad days the can commit a lot of careless actions beyond their control but that does not necessarily mean that they won't be found legally culpable. There is a concept in law called "Strict Liability" were with regards to some crimes you don't have to prove someone was at fault.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strict_liability
http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/bridge/...s/neg-liab.htm
http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/c...0law%20yale%22
Monique
#45
May6-12, 04:49 AM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
They destroyed your family because your older brother and sister didn't test high enough? And I guess your family can't sue, not that any amount of money can undo this. OMG.
Yes, it's unbelievable. My brother and sister were removed from the house by social workers, while my sister and me grew up fine in their care. Recently I saw a documentary "Lost Mother", where similar atrocities happened. An older child was removed from a family and the mother was discouraged and finally forbidden to visit that child. The reasoning: because it is traumatic for a child in an institution to be visited by parents: it is better for ties to be broken. Letters that she sent to her child were returned unopened, at one point she received a card from her child saying "mom, why don't you visit anymore, I miss you".

When she wanted to sue the institution for a right to visit her own child, the institution wrote reports filled with lies and threatened to take the younger child as well. All in the "benefit of the children", "of course". The aim of the documentary maker was to demonstrate the flawed system to policy makers, but it's hard to change the system. How to sue, the parents are made out to be incompetent liars and stand no chance speaking up to authorities.
Office_Shredder
#46
May6-12, 05:05 AM
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When people are having bad days the can commit a lot of careless actions beyond their control but that does not necessarily mean that they won't be found legally culpable. There is a concept in law called "Strict Liability" were with regards to some crimes you don't have to prove someone was at fault.
"As a jurisdiction with due process, the United States usually applies strict liability to only the most minor crimes or infractions. One example would be parking violations, where the state only needs to show that the defendant's vehicle was parked inappropriately at a certain curb. But serious crimes like rape and murder require some showing of culpability or mens rea. Otherwise, every accidental death, even during medical treatment in good faith, could become grounds for a murder prosecution and a prison sentence."

From the wikipedia page
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strict_...#United_States

The Harvard and Yale links you posted are about civil liability, not criminal.
Hobin
#47
May6-12, 05:10 AM
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Quote Quote by Monique View Post
When she wanted to sue the institution for a right to visit her own child, the institution wrote reports filled with lies and threatened to take the younger child as well. All in the "benefit of the children", "of course". The aim of the documentary maker was to demonstrate the flawed system to policy makers, but it's hard to change the system. How to sue, the parents are made out to be incompetent liars and stand no chance speaking up to authorities.
I tend to think that the media is at least partially to blame for this. We hear a lot of more in the media about parents abusing their children, so this has become somewhat of the 'default'. Of course, it's horrible when parents abuse their children, and I don't mean to make it sound like that's not a big problem of its own, but parents shouldn't have to prove that they do *not* abuse their children. Where's the 'innocent until proven guilty' gone?
NeoDevin
#48
May7-12, 05:04 PM
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To those claiming criminal negligence applies, according to wikipedia:
Negligence arises when, on a subjective test, an accused has not actually foreseen the potentially adverse consequences to the planned actions, and has gone ahead, exposing a particular individual or unknown victim to the risk of suffering injury or loss.
In other words: In order for it to be criminal negligence, the act must have been intentional, but the consequences unforeseen. If the lady had intentionally left the infant in the vehicle, without realizing or thinking about the danger, it would be criminal negligence.
Monique
#49
May20-12, 11:21 AM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
They destroyed your family because your older brother and sister didn't test high enough? And I guess your family can't sue, not that any amount of money can undo this. OMG.
Quote Quote by Monique View Post
How to sue, the parents are made out to be incompetent liars and stand no chance speaking up to authorities.
I just talked to my lawyer neighbor about ways for the government to overcome budget deficits in this economic crisis.

Then he says: "and while we're at it we should close down child welfare services that steal children from families and puts them into institutions: a complete waste of money". Wow. Apparently he is representing families in the same situation and is running into the same troubles as my parents did in the past. The system is corrupt and the people in power do not tolerate to be spoken back at. His frustration was extremely high, he's gone up to the highest courts but it's impossible to overcome the pervasive view of "the parent had it coming, it's all their fault". Lawyers don't like taking on these cases, because 1) it's an emotionally stressful battle and 2) there's no other outcome then to lose the battle against these government institutions. Lawyers are forbidden to question the integrity of judges in these cases, if lawyers can't question the rule of law.. who can?
Evo
#50
May20-12, 01:30 PM
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Quote Quote by Monique View Post
I just talked to my lawyer neighbor about ways for the government to overcome budget deficits in this economic crisis.

Then he says: "and while we're at it we should close down child welfare services that steal children from families and puts them into institutions: a complete waste of money". Wow. Apparently he is representing families in the same situation and is running into the same troubles as my parents did in the past. The system is corrupt and the people in power do not tolerate to be spoken back at. His frustration was extremely high, he's gone up to the highest courts but it's impossible to overcome the pervasive view of "the parent had it coming, it's all their fault". Lawyers don't like taking on these cases, because 1) it's an emotionally stressful battle and 2) there's no other outcome then to lose the battle against these government institutions. Lawyers are forbidden to question the integrity of judges in these cases, if lawyers can't question the rule of law.. who can?
The child should not be removed unless they are at risk of abuse. What happened to your family is just shocking. I can't get over it.
Monique
#51
May20-12, 02:10 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
The child should not be removed unless they are at risk of abuse. What happened to your family is just shocking. I can't get over it.
Thanks for the sympathy. But the risk of abuse is a vague term, it's the perceived risk that these workers are capitalizing on: children are taken away before anything has happened (or afterwards, when the risk is gone). I'd say that is child abuse in itself, not to speak of the abuse that takes place in these institutions.

I hope the neighbor lawyer can make a break somehow, at least he's very passionate about the cases.
turbo
#52
May20-12, 02:14 PM
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Quote Quote by Monique View Post
I hope the neighbor lawyer can make a break somehow, at least he's very passionate about the cases.
Passion doesn't pay the bills, though. If he sticks with it, kudos for him. There is not a lot of money to be made pursuing civil cases, especially when you're challenging a government with teams of lawyers, and unfriendly judges.


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