I’m a pretty light-hearted person. I’m usually pretty happy and I really pride myself on not taking life too seriously. Sure, some days I’m angry or bothered by little things, but rarely does that happen.
I came across a story the other day that really disturbed me. This blog is supposed to be whimsical and fun, so I will not go into details, but it involves two parents who tortured their three-year old son to death. The article can be found here, but I will warn you, the details are extremely graphic and it paints a very upsetting picture. Read that at your own risk.
Before I go into my analysis of this situation, I feel it’s worth providing some background about the state of people’s psyche. We live in a world where violence is so prevalent, we tend to just forget about it. I myself am guilty of this. It seems random acts of violence, murders, school shootings, sex crimes, and assaults are so commonplace they barely even register as newsworthy.
This story, however, is such a messed up situation, it really allows you to pause, take a step back, and really question things. Seriously, I don’t want to give details about this story, so just read it, if you’re up to it, and then I guess all of this will make more sense. But anyway, it’s the type of horrific violence displayed in this story that causes concern.
When I see a story that is sure to rile up controversy, my guilty pleasure is to always check the comments section. Sure, most commenters are just trying to start trouble, but some have wonderful insight. So, of course, when I heard about this story, I checked the comments. Some people said the death penalty is warranted (the prosecutors in this case are seeking the death penalty). Others suggested torturing the perpetrators themselves, delivering an “eye-for-an-eye” form of punishment. A lot of people suggested just throwing them in jail and forgetting about the parents.
In private, I will discuss politics all day and all night. I love debate, I love argument, and I love hearing opposing viewpoints. However, I’m the one with the public forum here, and I will not use that to discuss my feelings regarding capital punishment. There’s no room to fog your judgement with my personal feelings about the matter. No matter how you feel about the death penalty one thing is for certain: these parents who orchestrated this grisly murder will be justly and severely punished. Rest assured, the book will be thrown at them on this one. I say that because I feel too often cases like this devolve into an ethical debate regarding punishment, and people often refuse to ask questions.
The murder of the boy was carried out by his mother and her boyfriend. However, the boyfriend’s girlfriend also lived in the trailer with the boy, his mother, and her boyfriend. A 6-year old boy lived in the trailer, the other son of the mother, as well as an 11-month old infant, the daughter of the girlfriend (insert generic redneck joke here). My first question is why that family dynamic existed in the first place. After the arrest of the parents, the 6-year-old boy and baby girl were placed in the custody of relatives. How did these relatives know such a situation was going on and refuse to do anything? People who exhibit psychotic characteristics get away with their crimes because they are calculated and precise in their execution as well as cover up. The parents who murdered this boy left his body out strapped to a chair for police to find. This leads me to believe there are red flag behaviors displayed by these parents, but were left ignored.
My second question involves the girlfriend. She was charged with “child endangerment”, despite witnessing the horrors occurring in this trailer. Adrian Peterson was charged with child endangerment for disciplining his son, albeit in a controversial fashion. With her plea, this woman will likely avoid prison time. It disgusts me this woman allowed a child to be beaten to death while caring for an 11-month old of her own in the same house.
I don’t want to speculate on too much more, as the freshness of the case means many details are still unavailable. Technically, I should be referring to the accused as “alleged” murderers, as they haven’t yet seen their day in court. One notable fact that was known is there was no drugs or alcohol found in the home, meaning the torture was conducted with a clear mind.
For those of you wondering, yes, the death penalty is legal in the state of Pennsylvania. Since it’s reinstatement 1976, only three individuals have been put to death, the last occurring in 1999.