After encountering the “Kid found buried in playground,” headline last week about the death of a toddler I have been plagued by thoughts of similar stories like the all too recent Caylee Anthony case. Cases like these always linger in my mind, much like the Andrea Yates case where the Texas mother had drown her five kids in [the bathtub, correction made possible by contributing readers.] Just in case it was not recent enough for you to remember, Andrea received a verdict of not guilty due to insanity.
While it appears that Casey Anthony will receive a guilty verdict for the murder of her child, there is no telling what the sentence will be. It seems she may be subject to a heavier sentence since so much was done to conceal the body etc, but at what point to juries stop saying “This is so horrific a mother could never do this unless she was insane,” and consider the possibility that maybe, just maybe a sick demented horrible immoral woman gave birth to the child.
I can understand how horrified we all are when reading these headlines; maybe we all tend to lean towards insanity. Most of them certainly are unthinkable. If these crimes were committed by the fathers, would they be shown the same sort of leniency, or would they be demonized. My guess is on the later, as society tends to paint fathers as authoritarians and mothers as the doting idolizing coddling care givers.
For the most part insanity pleas frighten me because I think there are a lot of individuals who manipulate the system, the doctors, the judges, the juries, into buying into their insanity plea. As far as I am concerned, these bloody crimes against children are just not being addressed.
Every year hundreds, upon hundreds of kids go missing never to be found again. It’s disturbing to me that so many kids are not in safe households. It’s not just the parents, or bad mothers by any means. Look at Casey Anthony’s parents—they were well aware of what was going on. I even read in the New Mexico case that the mother’s parents supposedly kicked her out because she was not attentive and loving to her son. Is that possible? Would grandparents just remove the issue from their sight, clearly seeing a detachment with the mother—would there not be some sort of anxiety or fear that the child would not be properly cared for? I think perhaps the media took some liberties with that—but who knows.
To be honest—I am not sure where I was going with this. I know that I am greatly disturbed and very angry. I do have a few questions I want to throw out to you all.
1) If you were a parent—and your child committed a crime, would you turn them in to accept responsibility for that crime?
2) Do you think that sympathetic juries are letting mothers get away with murder?
3) What do you think should happen to parents who commit these crimes?
4) When insanity can be proven beyond reasonable doubt, what do you think penalties should be?
eelliso1 is a contributing writer for projectgroupthink.wordpress.com. Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.