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Old 06-18-2011, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
192 posts, read 367,349 times
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Pulitzer Prize winning article that may change your perspective on this issue:

Fatal Distraction: Forgetting a Child in the Backseat of a Car Is a Horrifying Mistake. Is It a Crime?
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Old 06-18-2011, 08:19 PM
 
5,499 posts, read 4,580,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ans57 View Post
While I agree that accidents such as this could happen without malicious intent...I still don't understand how and why...after all we hear about the danger of forgetting ones child in the car, do these cases still persist? The grave responsibility parents have is to ensure that their loved ones are safe no matter the preoccupation with other things. Isn't it instinctive for parents to see to it that their children are out of harm's way or are we that preoccupied and self-absorbed nowadays???
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nbbphh View Post
Pulitzer Prize winning article that may change your perspective on this issue:

Fatal Distraction: Forgetting a Child in the Backseat of a Car Is a Horrifying Mistake. Is It a Crime?
Thank you for this informative article...it helps to understand the mindset of the people involved, the grief and the guilt that one has to endure after this horrific experience.

Snippet from the article...
Quote:
The answer to the problem, Fennell believes, lies in improved car safety features and in increased public awareness that this can happen, that the results of a momentary lapse of memory can be horrifying.
Politics also plays a big role in implementing these safety measures...ie., Car manufacturers who are fearful that their device could be used against them if it failed to deliver 100% what it promised do. What can we do to push this law forward???

It is ironic that multi-tasking...being a must in our highly developed society...also presents a danger of overloading the brain.

Last edited by ans57; 06-18-2011 at 09:16 PM..
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,408 posts, read 16,507,338 times
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Every day, on the way to work, I passed by a grammar school and often had to wait while moms dropped their children off. I was at first shocked to see the risks that some of these mothers took in their driving with their precious cargo in the cars. Later I felt, 'Don't cut me off, lady, it isn't my fault you have that kid'. Sometimes what people say clashes with what they actually do. People should not have families because it's the next step in a normal adult life, but because they have thoroughly thought out the consequences of their decision.
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:04 AM
 
8,767 posts, read 10,877,322 times
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If you're at the point of forgetting your child in the car--you need to take a major regroup of what your life/priorities are. Not blaming these people because I don't want to judge anyone (I have my own quirks), but something wrong here....
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Old 06-19-2011, 07:49 PM
 
5,499 posts, read 4,580,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix lady View Post
If you're at the point of forgetting your child in the car--you need to take a major regroup of what your life/priorities are. Not blaming these people because I don't want to judge anyone (I have my own quirks), but something wrong here....
I agree!!!
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:21 PM
 
18,852 posts, read 31,777,758 times
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My Grandmother had a favorite saying
"My house is a mess, the laundry is overflowing, ...etc..
But, the baby is well tended". Excellent priorities, if you ask me.

Who cares about anything else, but the baby!
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:58 PM
 
5,499 posts, read 4,580,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
My Grandmother had a favorite saying
"My house is a mess, the laundry is overflowing, ...etc..
But, the baby is well tended". Excellent priorities, if you ask me.

Who cares about anything else, but the baby!
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:31 AM
 
Location: Dublin, CA
3,813 posts, read 3,664,316 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
What is particulary interesting about these cases is the decisions whether to press charges, and if so, what charges. The situation in each case is the same, a helpless child is dead, in a horrible fashion.

I have seen the range from no charges filed, to manslaughter and felony child abuse. While each case has it's own unique circumstances, I can't help but wonder what, if any factor race plays in this situation. That is why I feel like some circumstances like this should have mandatory charges, after all, a child is dead.
Which is exactly why it should not be mandatory. Every single case is different. In order to have a crime, in Californa, you must have an intent to committ that crime. Now, there are several ways of getting there, however, in these cases alot of criminal lines are "blurred."

The larger issue is one of politics. Like it or not, a more liberal county would not charge the case, where a more conservative party would.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:02 PM
 
9,235 posts, read 9,305,514 times
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Quote:
Which is exactly why it should not be mandatory. Every single case is different. In order to have a crime, in Californa, you must have an intent to committ that crime. Now, there are several ways of getting there, however, in these cases alot of criminal lines are "blurred."

The larger issue is one of politics. Like it or not, a more liberal county would not charge the case, where a more conservative party would.
Excellent, Phil.

What some people never do is take the time to realize that the police, lawyers, and judges are bound by written statutory law. They can't just do whatever is emotionally appealing.

Most statutes require some form of intent for there to be a conviction. The exception to this rule is a statute that makes an accidental death or killing negligent homicide or manslaughter. Statutes that make accidental death a crime generally rely on proof of carelessness or recklessness. Ordinarily, that carelessness is not the same type of carelessness involved in doing something like running a stop sign or failing to see a car stopped on the road ahead. It may require being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Criminal negligence would be required in my state to charge someone with the death of an infant left in a car seat. Criminal negligence has been defined by the courts here as being extremely careless. A busy parent who forgets their infant is in a car seat for an hour or so probably wouldn't meet this standard where I live. Perhaps, a parent who forgot and left a child in a car seat for three hours or four hours might. A parent under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time would be charged.

Than there is the element of prosecutorial discretion. Prosecutors have a right to decide not to file charges in some cases. If people want to dispute that, they can go talk to the state attorney general. Prosecutors don't like to waste their time and they don't like to take cases that are speculative. They have limited resources and they can't file charges everytime the police bring them a report. Of course, the taxpayers don't seem to understand why they can't get the same service out of the criminal justice system if they cut budgets for prosecutors and police by 10% in one year.

Some people abhor any complexity in life. But that's how and why it works.
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:25 PM
 
5,499 posts, read 4,580,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Excellent, Phil.

What some people never do is take the time to realize that the police, lawyers, and judges are bound by written statutory law. They can't just do whatever is emotionally appealing.

Most statutes require some form of intent for there to be a conviction. The exception to this rule is a statute that makes an accidental death or killing negligent homicide or manslaughter. Statutes that make accidental death a crime generally rely on proof of carelessness or recklessness. Ordinarily, that carelessness is not the same type of carelessness involved in doing something like running a stop sign or failing to see a car stopped on the road ahead. It may require being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Criminal negligence would be required in my state to charge someone with the death of an infant left in a car seat. Criminal negligence has been defined by the courts here as being extremely careless. A busy parent who forgets their infant is in a car seat for an hour or so probably wouldn't meet this standard where I live. Perhaps, a parent who forgot and left a child in a car seat for three hours or four hours might. A parent under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time would be charged.

Than there is the element of prosecutorial discretion. Prosecutors have a right to decide not to file charges in some cases. If people want to dispute that, they can go talk to the state attorney general. Prosecutors don't like to waste their time and they don't like to take cases that are speculative. They have limited resources and they can't file charges everytime the police bring them a report. Of course, the taxpayers don't seem to understand why they can't get the same service out of the criminal justice system if they cut budgets for prosecutors and police by 10% in one year.

Some people abhor any complexity in life. But that's how and why it works.
It's ironic that you've stated the bolded above. I am fully cognizant as to how tortuous our legal procedures are. However...I am aghast by the thought that this phenomena which appear to be happening at such an alarming rate (2 or three cases in one day?) should be treated with complacency by our lawmakers.
I remember a case treated as child abuse, where the parents were criminally charged for abusing a child who turned out to be suffering from a rare disease of brittle bones...not from beating. If they can pass a law to protect the children in these cases, surely they must find this issue deserving the same serious urgency as well.
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