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Should parents be charge with a crime if... - Page 3

post #41 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by KJoslyn78 View Post
I think it would be wise if car makers could make some sort of alarm that could go off if a seat belt was left clipped after a set amount of time (or something simuliar).
Umm...I think this crosses the line into the "big brother" mentality. I leave my kids buckled in their carseats in my driveway and leave all of the doors open so that they can finish sleeping after falling asleep on the way home from somewhere. The alarm thing would just be creepy.
post #42 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamsmama View Post
Umm...I think this crosses the line into the "big brother" mentality. I leave my kids buckled in their carseats in my driveway and leave all of the doors open so that they can finish sleeping after falling asleep on the way home from somewhere. The alarm thing would just be creepy.
Really? I imagine you stay outside with them, right?
post #43 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by erin_d_a View Post
IN regards to this woman in Ohio, I think she should be charged with manslaughter and do time. I don't think in all cases, but in this one absolutely. Here's why:
The day before her daughter died in the car, she had the police called on her for doing the SAME THING! She had left her daughter in the car while she ran in somewhere, and it was on record that she had a history of doing this. This baby was only 5 months old, and she had left her in the car only the day before. Don't tell me she forgot, when she had a run in with the police less than 24 hours before her daughter died.
Thank you for bringing this up. This makes this case different than a lot of other cases, and this is what makes it NOT fall under "everyone makes mistakes".
post #44 of 145
Yes, I think they should be charged. You can accidentally run someone over and still get charged, or a child could accidentally drown in your pool and you could be charged. Neglect is a crime, manslaughter is a crime.

I also don't get the notion some here are putting forth that remorse = no consequences. Don't you think there are drunk drivers who are really sorry they killed their best friends or innocent strangers in car wrecks? Should they just get to say "sorry" and we all move on? Don't you think at least some of them live with heart-wrenching guilt? But they still did something terribly wrong, in violation of the law, that cost a life.

And I'm sorry, but I just don't get "forgetting" where your infant is for 8 hours.

Of course I do believe in clemency, so I don't think these people who claim to have made just one error in judgment should be in prison for years and years or anything. But not filing charges, to me, is akin to pretending a crime was never committed.
post #45 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by ledzepplon View Post
And I'm sorry, but I just don't get "forgetting" where your infant is for 8 hours.

For some, like SAHP who take their children everywhere with them during the day, forgetting them for 8 hrs seems really difficult. I'll give you that one.

But for those that go off to work every morning for 8 hrs, we are already away from our children for 8+ hrs a day. One mistake in the morning (forgot dad wasn't taking kids to daycare) and now the child is forgotten for 8 hrs. I don't sit around at work all day wondering where my child is. . I just assume she's with the sitter like she is everyday. On the weekends, though, I'm in a totally different mindset.
post #46 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazydiamond View Post
Really? I imagine you stay outside with them, right?

We used to let DS sleep in the car like that. There was no need to stay outside as we could hear him from in the house.

Our driveway goes right along the house. I can drive my car right up to my kitchen door.


Sorry to get OT
post #47 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazydiamond View Post
For some, like SAHP who take their children everywhere with them during the day, forgetting them for 8 hrs seems really difficult. I'll give you that one.

But for those that go off to work every morning for 8 hrs, we are already away from our children for 8+ hrs a day. One mistake in the morning (forgot dad wasn't taking kids to daycare) and now the child is forgotten for 8 hrs. I don't sit around at work all day wondering where my child is. . I just assume she's with the sitter like she is everyday. On the weekends, though, I'm in a totally different mindset.
Really? Because I WOH and I think about DS throughout the day, I glance at the clock and think "they're probably at the park" or "he's probably napping." I also spend some time connecting with my DCP each morning. If I arrived at work and hadn't had that moment of chatting with her, I think I'd realize something was amiss (plus she'd call to see where we were).
post #48 of 145
I'll join a pp in saying that I forgot my newborn son in my car. I had just dropped my daughter off at preschool and stopped at a small petstore to pick up dogfood. My mom had just died a month before, I had just been released from the hospital for the second time after complications from an emergency c-section and for about 2 minutes I just blanked on the fact that I now had two children. I beat myself up for days even though he was fine and slept through the whole two minute lapse. I think it's VERY judgemental to say that no decent parent could EVER forget a child. Count yourselves lucky that the universe has never piled enough grief, sleep deprivation, ill-health etc. on you at once to allow something like that to happen.
post #49 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by absinthe View Post
I think it's VERY judgemental to say that no decent parent could EVER forget a child. Count yourselves lucky that the universe has never piled enough grief, sleep deprivation, ill-health etc. on you at once to allow something like that to happen.
:

In my 13 1/2 years as a parent, I've forgotten a child 3 times - once in the house, twice in the car. It is with deep gratitude that I tell you that no one was ever hurt.

Quote:
This case made my cry every time I heard a report on it. Basically these two parents were so overhwelmed with dealing with their special needs son that they couldn't function. This accident happened the day after an extremely traumatic night. As a mom of special needs twins, I understand that. I know how little support our society gives parents of special needs kids, and on certain days (like after spending 24 hours in the hospital after my son had brain surgery), I know I could be someone that would make a deadly mistake.
Yes. There's a larger societal issue at play here. Life for parents in the US is HARD. There's so little support! We have to work long hours to keep decent jobs with benefits (or live w/o health insurance); we're stressed about money and 12 trillion other things. Yes, there are irresponsible creeps out there who will neglect their children to go out and fulfill their own selfish desires. There are also a whole lot of parents who love their children deeply, and who just have too many things to think about and do.

My mom is a nurse and is on-call 5 nights a week. I've seen her on occasion call-in to work for being "dangerously tired." There is such a thing. There are also dangerously stressed and dangerously alone. But when we don't feel capable of meeting our children's needs, to whom do we "call in"? It's so normal to be that way in the US that we just keep on going and sometimes somebody gets hurt. How many car accidents are caused by over worked, over stressed, over tired people? Medical mistakes? On-the-job accidents?
post #50 of 145

Yes.

Yes.
post #51 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by veggiemomma View Post
Hmm...I guess what I keep thinking about this "accident" vs. "intentional" things is that generally people will lie to get out of trouble. "What officer? Oh, yes I accidentally FORGOT my kid in the car." : Really, or did you just not have a babysitter, or you were tired of hearing the kid crying, or you decided you didn't like being a parent, or it was more important for you to tan than make sure your kids were safe? I am not saying that sometimes it isn't accidental. I am sure it is. But, if we start making a lawful distinction between the two, then people who intentionally abandon their children for hours will just lie and say it was an accident so they don't get jail time.

Here is my very harsh view on this topic. If you are so darn forgetful that you leave your precious baby in a boiling hot car to die the slow agonizing death of dehydration, heat stroke, hallucinations, rapid rise in blood pressure, severe headache, and death because literally their little innocent brains cook : then I don't want you running around the streets. What else might you forget? This is a real hot button issue for me. I am so sick of seeing these parents on the news blubbering and saying "Oh, I just forgot little Timmy in the car for 12 hours while I went to work. Haven't I suffered enough?" Umm...no, you haven't. What about how much your innocent baby suffered. The fact that we have become a society that is so callus that we could FORGET so completely about our children that it causes their deaths is very disturbing and sickening to me.

Okay, stepping down off my soap box. Sorry to go off on a tangent about this, but it just caught me at the wrong time.
I havent read all the replies but this is exactly how I feel. I am disgusted by all of this. I can understand forgetting for a few minutes about your baby in the car but for HOURS? No Im sorry, I dont care how much youve got going on.
post #52 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qestia View Post
Really? Because I WOH and I think about DS throughout the day, I glance at the clock and think "they're probably at the park" or "he's probably napping." I also spend some time connecting with my DCP each morning. If I arrived at work and hadn't had that moment of chatting with her, I think I'd realize something was amiss (plus she'd call to see where we were).
Oh I think about DD throughout the day too. But if I missed that one crucial step of dropping her off and not realized it, I would still think "oh they're probably at the park". Now, I'm lucky because the DCP comes to my house in the mornings to pick DD up and we do chat. But last year when DD was in a daycare center there wasn't much chatting in the mornings. Everyday blurs together for me and I can't keep my days straight. . so I could very well think a conversation I had yesterday really took place today and vice versa. And that center definitely would NOT call if DD hadn't shown up.

I guess all I'm saying is that I'm not toting DD around for 8 hrs every day. I think about her but I do not have to be concerned with where she is every second. I go to meetings, I talk to people, I get caught up in my work. The days I remember to drop her off wouldn't be any different than the days I forgot. I compare this to the weekends where she is with me constantly -- these days I do watch her every second and know I have that additional responsibility of making sure she's okay every second.

DH and I are both very busy and have a lot going on. Thankfully, though, our schedules are pretty set and we are stuck in a routine. I always see DD off in the mornings and DH always picks her up. Maybe twice in her entire life did we switch roles. . .and then we constantly called each other asking "Did you remember to drop her off?" or "You picked her up, right?". It's such an unusual occurrence that we constantly double-check.
post #53 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by absinthe View Post
I think it's VERY judgemental to say that no decent parent could EVER forget a child.
ITA.
And ftr I've never forgotten my child but I can see how in some crazy instances it can happen and it truly is a tragic accident. And as someone who has frequent miscommunications with my DH I can see how that could happen too, even when each person thinks he or she is being very clear.

Oh and re: leaving a sleeping child in a car--that's a good point about how those backseat alarms wouldn't work very well. When DS was a toddler I did this often as long as it wasn't hot outside. I left windows down and watched him from the kitchen window. My driveway was actually inside my walled/gated yard and I could easily see him from the house. Or sometimes we'd be elsewhere but as long as it was somewhere where DS was safe and we could see him, we'd let him sleep.
post #54 of 145
About 10 years ago, my 19 year-old cousin was babysitting my other cousin, who was 2 at the time (they were not sisters, just cousins). She and her husband put her down for a nap in their bedroom at the back of the house and then my cousin went to run to the store in her truck. She backed out of the driveway and suddenly heard a thud. My 2yo cousin had managed to unlatch the lock in their room and go out the side screen porch and was playing under the truck. It killed her almost instantly.

My cousin had to be taken to the police station and arrested and questioned while they waited for my aunt to arrive and be told what had happened. My cousin was on suicide watch because she kept threatening to kill herself and said she couldn't live with herself. My aunt refused to press charges and I guess the police decided to let it go. She might've received probation, I don't know as I wasn't really told what exactly came of it, but she didn't serve any jail time. But her life was almost destroyed by that incident as she beat herself up every single day and stopped attending family functions because she couldn't look my aunt in the eye. She thought we all looked at her as a murderer. She ended up getting divorced because she just completely changed as a person and her self-worth went through the floor. She also has never had children and vows she never will as it wouldn't be fair to our aunt for her to have a child when she took one of hers away.

I feel really, really sorry for my cousin and have seen how much she has punished herself. I doubt she'd be alive right now if she'd had to serve prison time for the accident as I'm pretty sure she would've committed suicide.

I'm not saying that no one should ever receive a jail sentence for neglect or manslaughter in these situations, but it shouldn't be automatic either. As with everything, each case varies and it depends on the circumstances and individiaul situations. I would'nt like to see a blanket law that doesn't account for these circumstances.
post #55 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazydiamond View Post
Really? I imagine you stay outside with them, right?
Just when I think it's safe to post without being judged....... Don't want to get OT, so........I won't.
post #56 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamsmama View Post
Just when I think it's safe to post without being judged....... Don't want to get OT, so........I won't.
Ha! Why would you think it's safe to post without being judged? Around here, of all places?

I do not think parents should be criminally charged for forgetting or miscommunicating so a child is left in the car. It is an absolute tragedy, emblematic of our harried car-cultured times, and it is heartbreaking. But it is not a crime.
post #57 of 145
There may be exceptional cases where people are truly negligent, but the judgement in this thread makes me so sad.

It used to be that when people lost a child they received sympathy and compassion from the community, or at least that is what my great aunt tells me. But now the finger-pointing seems to start right away.

Yes, I think parents who forget their kids - I've never forgotten mine, at least not yet - are clearly not behaving normally, but who knows what kind of stress and strange schedules they are coping with. The truth to my mind is that all of us will at some point, some day, make a mistake that is potentially fatal - some of which we are probably not EVER aware of. It might not be leaving a child in a car, but it will be something, and anyone who thinks they NEVER EVER do a single thing wrong ever for 16 years is in my opinion just delusional.

Of course that is terrifying; if our oversights could result in the death of a child, it's awful. We shut it out and tighten our carseats and do our best. But it can still happen.

I lost my first child to a cord accident at birth - and NO LIE, a mother who had been in prenatal classes with me asked if I thought it could have been the aquafit classes I took that wrapped the cord around her neck. She had to blame someone, because otherwise it might happen to her.

People go a long way to blame the parents right now. We are fortunate to live in a society where the rates of death for babies and children are low, and so we have, I think, forgotten how to be compassionate about it. (There but for the grace of God go I, sort of thing.)

I think a lot of that is happening in this thread. Trust me, what these people go through - even the most negligent - is likely enough.
post #58 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
There may be exceptional cases where people are truly negligent, but the judgement in this thread makes me so sad.

It used to be that when people lost a child they received sympathy and compassion from the community, or at least that is what my great aunt tells me. But now the finger-pointing seems to start right away.

Yes, I think parents who forget their kids - I've never forgotten mine, at least not yet - are clearly not behaving normally, but who knows what kind of stress and strange schedules they are coping with. The truth to my mind is that all of us will at some point, some day, make a mistake that is potentially fatal - some of which we are probably not EVER aware of. It might not be leaving a child in a car, but it will be something, and anyone who thinks they NEVER EVER do a single thing wrong ever for 16 years is in my opinion just delusional.

Of course that is terrifying; if our oversights could result in the death of a child, it's awful. We shut it out and tighten our carseats and do our best. But it can still happen.

I lost my first child to a cord accident at birth - and NO LIE, a mother who had been in prenatal classes with me asked if I thought it could have been the aquafit classes I took that wrapped the cord around her neck. She had to blame someone, because otherwise it might happen to her.

People go a long way to blame the parents right now. We are fortunate to live in a society where the rates of death for babies and children are low, and so we have, I think, forgotten how to be compassionate about it. (There but for the grace of God go I, sort of thing.)

I think a lot of that is happening in this thread. Trust me, what these people go through - even the most negligent - is likely enough.
GuildJenn, thank you for the great post! You said it much better than I did. The story about the woman who had to blame you for your baby's death broke my heart, and I think it's absolutely emblematic.

It seems to me that, in our US culture, everything, all the time, is the parent's (and most often the mother's) fault. Don't get me wrong; I believe in personal responsibility, but I also know that human beings are not omnipotent. I feel so deeply sad sometimes living in a culture where people jump up to judge and condemn at every opportunity.

It's painful and scary and sad to think of the neglect and abuse that happens every minute to children, whether by sick parents, or mean parents, or parents who are trying to do their best and make a mistake. I think it's just much easier to get mad (and self-righteous anger is a very powerful place to sit) than to acknowledge that having children is frightening and painful, even when they make it safely to adulthood. They grow up and grow away from us and that hurts, even in the best of circumstances.
post #59 of 145
How in the netherhell do you forget about your kid for HOURS? Hours in a hot car. Sorry, I'm judging all the way here. Harried car-culture, my a**. I have never once forgotten about my boy's whereabouts, though I have had many a nightmare about it.

I can see forgetting for a few minutes, but hours? Nuh-huh. There is something very wrong in that.

P.S. I'm sad about the kids who have overheated and died, not about online judgments of strangers...
post #60 of 145
You don't accidentally leave your kid in the car. WTF?
I don't buy that. I don't understand how you forget your kid in the car. I just don't. I can't wrap my head around that.:
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