Friday, November 21, 2008

An interesting letter to the editor from someone upset by lenient sentencing. For the most part, I can't agree with the prescribed remedies, but I certainly understand the frustration about sentences that are a slap on the wrist...

Upgrade punishment for shaking infants
Editor:Lebanon Daily News

Once again a parent got a slap on the wrist for abusing and shaking his baby. The courts determined that it wasn’t aggravated assault — it was only simple assault for putting his child on life support.

The justice system wants to nail people with petty crimes like a dime bag of weed,but when it comes to a 2-month-old baby on life support, all the judge and jury says is “please don’t do that again.” And the worst part about it is the parents always say, “the baby wouldn’t stop crying.” Welcome to parenthood, people! Babies cry because they are hungry, sick or just plain upset and tired. They have feelings just like the rest of us. How about if somebody shakes them for crying in the courtroom until their bones break and their eyes roll back in their heads?

Who has to suffer? The child does. He or she will never lead a normal life. Once they take that child off life support he or she won’t be alive anymore. So all the parents and baby-sitters who cause these babies shaken baby syndrome should be charged with murder or aggravated assault.

They all seem to make the most pathetic excuses of why they did it. Either they weren’t thinking, or they blacked out, or they have bipolar disorder. Give me a break.

If you know you are physically unstable, why risk it with your child? A child isn’t a person’s throw toy. Somebody may get five to 10 years in prison, but that child has a lifetime of problems physically, mentally and emotionally.

The people who do stuff like that to babies should be ordered by the courts to get spayed or neutered — they are animals. Some people might be offended, but just because someone gets upset doesn’t mean he can take it out on an infant. Go to the gym. Punch a pillow. Don’t take it out on the child.

Babies cry because they can’t talk. If they could then they wouldn’t cry. I don’t have any kids of my own, but I do have nieces and nephews, and yes, they cry. I would try to find out what is wrong. I could never look at them as an object to take frustrations out on. People want babies but they don’t want the responsibility of having a baby. I think all want-to-be parents should go to parenting classes before they decide to have a baby. We are supposed to protect our children from harm, not bring harm to them. I don’t judge because only God can do that.

The justice system should be a lot more stable and harsh for these types of crimes, because people know what shaking a baby does.

It doesn’t take much to seriously hurt an infant.

Charles Witherson

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