Justice or Too Far?

The parents of an eight-year-old boy recently pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter of their son.  Their son died from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2008.  The state of Ohio brought involuntary manslaughter charges against the parents.  The two parents face up to eight years each in prison.

The charges stem off of the parents’ lack of medical care in regards to their son.  From reports, they believed that their son had swollen glands.  He did not complain of any tenderness or pain.  Their son exhibited no signs of failing health.  The parents claim that their son had a lump near his glands that would swell and reduce periodically.  Other than this lump, their son exhibited no symptoms.  According to the Mayo Clinic, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is linked with symptoms that include painless swelling of the lymph nodes, constant fatigue, fever and itching.  Not every case identifies itself through all or any of these symptoms.

As for the child in question, his lymph nodes periodically swelled and then went down, with no other symptoms.  The charges brought against his parents, go substantially past substantiating them for abuse or neglect of a child.  Rather, these charges hold them out as murdering their eight-year-old son.  It appears as if these parents struggled financially and were trying their best to provide for their child.  Is it necessary to charge grieving parents, ones who probably feel their failure everyday, with murder of their own child?  What exactly is the justice here?  If the state is seeking deterrence, is a murder charge truly needed? … <Read More>

A Kid Named Adolf Hitler

Losing custody of your children because of what you chose to name them? Seems unlikely, if not impossible, especially in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Not for New Jersey couple Heath and Deborah Campbell who lost custody Thursday, October 26, 2011.

Before screaming out, “erroneous, erroneous on all accounts!”, get a load of these names: Adolph Hilter Campbell, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell.

That’s right. The couple gave each of their children Nazi-inspired names. The battle began in January 2009 when a grocery store refused to put the full name, “Adolf Hilter,” on a birthday cake . Last year the New Jersey appeals court ruled there was sufficient evidence of abuse and neglect; because of domestic violence occurring in the home the children were removed from their home.

The parents remain fighting for their children and have said that in early December a judge is set to decide whether or not the children will be coming home. The children are currently living in foster care.

This case definitely calls into question the sanity of the parents, but sans the evidence of domestic violence, there is no way our constitution would allow for this…right?

See the full article here: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/10/26/baby-hitler-parents-lose-custody-kids-even-though-judge-says-no-abuse/

 … <Read More>

Texas Mother Banned from Using the Internet


While “sexting” (the act of sending nude pictures via text message) is a major issue in connection with adolescents, Lori David, 38, has expanded the scope of concerns surrounding sexting.  Several weeks ago, in Katy, Texas, Ms. David pleaded guilty to a charge of solicitation of a minor – Ms. David sent naked pictures of herself to a classmate of her 16-year-old son.  Ms. David knew of the Katy Taylor High School sophomore as she was “jogging buddies” with his mother and she had befriended him while volunteering at the high school.  Ms. David and her son’s peer exchanged sexual messages on a regular basis via text message, e-mail and Facebook, which ultimately culminated in her sending two racy photographs of herself to the teen.

One of the photographs featured the mother of two topless, while the other featured a full nude body shot of her kneeling on her bed.

While punishment for this type of offense typically includes jail time, the Texas judge, for reasons unknown, deviated from tradition and put Ms. David on probation for five years, and placed multiple unconventional qualifications on her sentence.

In addition to probation, the judge prohibited Ms. David from using the Internet for any reason other than for work.  The judge also banned Ms. David from sending text messages to anyone other than immediate family members, and forbade Ms. David from having any unrelated children at her home.  Moreover, Ms. David was also placed on the registered sex offenders registration for fifteen years and is not allowed on school grounds except to attend her son’s graduation.… <Read More>

Is Poverty Causing Increased Child Abuse?

http://www.charitico.org/images/hungry-children.jpgWhile few people doubt the devastating effects that poverty has on the well-being of families, poor teenagers in Texas are entering the foster care system at a higher rate than in the past.  The New York Times recently published an article about the poor economy in Texas and its correlation on the number of children in foster care.  Recent census data revealed that 1.7 million children, who make up 26% of the Texas population, are living in poverty.  Another startling statistic is that the number of child abuse and neglect reports has increased 6% in the past three years.  In one particularly poor county in Texas, the number of child abuse and neglect reports rose 36% in the last three years.

There is a strong correlation between the increase in poor families and the increase in child abuse and neglect reports, with no magic wand that legislators or judges can wave to make these families more affluent, or better able to care for their children.  Judge Darlene Byrne, a Texas judge who hears child protective cases, said the following to a poverty-stricken young mother who was pregnant with her ninth child but hoping to reunite with her other eight children who were in various foster care homes:

“These children did not make this mess; the adults in this room made this mess.  Love does not feed or shelter or clothe or take your kids to the doctor. Love’s a good thing, but it’s not enough to raise a kid.”  As harsh as this statement may seem, poverty can, and does, prevent parents from adequately providing for their children’s health and well-being, especially when a ninth child is on the way when she has eight siblings whom her parents cannot care for. … <Read More>

Should Childhood Obesity Be a Form of Medical Neglect?

As obesity is plaguing our nation, it is no surprise that it is finding its way into the legal arena as well. In a recent case out of Ohio, a 200 pound 8 year old boy was removed from and placed in foster care, with the social workers citing medical neglect for the removal.[1] A typical 8 year old weighs around 60 pounds. The social workers stated that the boy’s mother was not doing enough to control her son’s weight problems. Children’s services was first notified of this family a year earlier, when the boy was brought into the hospital for sleep apnea problems, which can be weight related. This story, and others like it, begs the question whether childhood obesity can be classified as medical neglect, resulting in the removal of the child from the home?… <Read More>