Thursday, March 12, 2009

One hell of a bargaing chip

Take a look at this (and this) and tell me what the hell is wrong. And I'm warning you that the second link goes into graphic detail of the conditions this girl was living under. I've been so enraged that I can barely finish reading it (so pardon me if my anger causes me to get all rant-like and shit).

1. Abuse - Yes it is horribly wrong that this woman abused an innocent little girl so harshly and for so long that at the age of about 5 she had never learned to speak or eat properly. But that is not what I'm talking about.

2. Female sentencing discount - Another reason this has be pissed is be because of the "sentence" she got. Facing up to 20 years in prison, Crockett was actually sentenced to two years of house arrest, probation and 100 hours of community service. That's a WTF moment if I there ever was one. Close but that is not what I'm talking about.

I'm sure you noticed those two things but what I was really talking about was how she got the discount.

Danielle's birth mother, Michelle Crockett, was charged with child abuse and faced 20 years in prison. Still, she refused to give up custody of her daughter. So prosecutors offered a plea deal: She could wave her parental rights and avoid jail time. She was sentenced to two years of house arrest, probation and 100 hours of community service

You read that right. This woman, after abusing her daughter for years, would have still had her parental rights over this child if she had refused the deal and taken the 20 years in prison. Mary Winkler all over again. And if I'm not mistaken judges have the authority to negate plea bargains at their own discretion. So first I want to know why the hell he didn't negate this bullshit (assuming its possible to do so) and second how in the ten circles of hell do someone abuse a child and still be able to use parental rights as a bargaining chip?

Now we know that the parental rights of fathers are usually held at the mercy of mothers and the courts (as if a father could use his parental right like this woman did) but I find it shocking that a mother was able to possibly maintain them despite facing 20 years (too short of a sentence) as if a mother's connection to her children somehow trumps the children's well-being.

Cases like this are a shining example of why the current state of child care in this country needs to seriously examined and seriously overhauled.

Okay I'm out.
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