Friday, May 09, 2008

Why Solomon Made The Big Bucks: Quandaries of Justice

A criminally negligent idiot sits in an Indiana jail today. If I were an official news agency, I'd have to say "alleged criminally negligent idiot", but I'm not, and I think in this case the facts pretty much speak for themselves.

A look at his record shows that his career arc probably would have landed him there sooner or later. Unemployed. Probably guilty of child abuse. Already lost some of his children to Protective Services. His idea of safe storage of a semiautomatic pistol was to remove the magazine and place it on a bookshelf, this despite the fact that his son had already accessed it once and fired off the round left in the chamber.

His son repeated his feat, climbing the bookcase, retrieving the pistol, and firing it again. This time the bullet struck and killed his sister. The idiot father was arrested at his daughter's burial service and spent the rest of his day in an orange jumpsuit, sobbing into the camera.

Something tells me, however, that this was the kind of guy who didn't put covers on the electical outlets. Or store dangerous chemicals in safe places. Or cook on the stove with the pot handles turned inwards. And if the child had been electrocuted, or drank a tall frosty glass of Drano, or died from severe burns after wearing a pot of boiling Ramen for a hat, would he still be free to get a chance to contribute to the death of another one of his children while we all shook our heads at the fateful "accident"? Are some kinds of negligence more heinous than others?


staghounds said...

In Tennessee, that's going to be aggravated child neglect or endangerment, child under eight- it carries 15 to 60 years and is in the same penalty classification as murder.

Sort of like boiling your child to death in its own juices while you turn off the alarm that's warning you, repeatedly.

Unless, of course, he's a wonderful Christian and father. In that case, he's suffered enough.

karrde said...

Curiously, all the hypothetical negligence cases you mention are ones in which the child hurts himself with the negligently-stored items.

This is one case in which the child has a high probability of hurting someone else with the negligently-stored weapon.

I don't know if it changes things significantly. Except that there are too many other negligent patterns for them all to be legislated specifically.

Ahab said...

IIRC, one of the big Mitch-driven initiatives was child safety, so it's likely that if the kid guzzled a gallon of bleach and kicked off, that the shitty dad would have been charged then as well. I have no sympathy for the father.

phlegmfatale said...

It's enough to put one off one's feed. Heartbreaking story, and so unnecessary.

OA said...

"Are some kinds of negligence more heinous than others?"

Apparently. Many kids have been removed from neglectful homes to be placed in neglectful foster homes. Though I think when the State sponsors it, it doesn't count.

somerled said...

"... would he still be free to get a chance to contribute to the death of another one of his children while we all shook our heads at the fateful "accident"? Are some kinds of negligence more heinous than others?"

Tam, in the confines of a courtroom, one would assume the judge and other participants in the justice system would divorce themselves from emotion and prejudices and see if the all of the elements of the crime the defendent has been charged with were met.

Journalists, on the other hand, cover "newsworthy" stories, which are anomalies. Journalists do not generate readership by covering normal events such as the millions of cases where children live in homes with reasonable parents.

Would we, as your readers, be more interested in reading about an unattended child who died in their parents' swimming pool as one killed by an "unloaded" pistol? Would a news editor devote more resources to the death of a child than a bank robbery, airliner crash, or a fist fight at city hall?

The news business is very subjective. Hopefully Solomon didn't watch CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, or read "All the news that's fit to print" before he decided to cut the baby in half. :)

Assrot said...

Yep. This one is about as smart as the guy that shot his own son on the boy's first Turkey Hunt last week.

Seems the guy couldn't tell the difference between a 14 year old boy and a Turkey. Yet we let him have a gun, roam the woods and we'll probably give him a slap on the wrist because it was a hunting accident.

Some folks you just can't reach. Its very sad but true.



Old Grouch said...

"Journalists, on the other hand, cover "newsworthy" stories, which are anomalies."

Journalists, or more correctly, newspaper publishers, also have agendas. Note that it only took four paragraphs before today's Indy Star front-page story (print version not on web, was similar to this one) started in quoting the Brady Campaign and something called "Common Sense About Kids and Guns"... whoever they are. Usual Gannett Big Mother advocacy masquerading as news coverage.

Beyond that, stupid, stupid, stupid: Especially since the kid had gotten hold of - and fired - the gun once before.