It’s been quite a week here. Two sentencing hearings. Something that can really only be described as a courtroom circus. A lot of emotions, screams, accusations, tears…
Personally, there’s been a lot of meditation, tea, and more questions as my husband and I have dove head first into Kansas laws, sentencing regulations, and the like as this shit storm rages.
Last August, my husband and I’s niece lost her life as a result of child abuse. It’s become very clear that drugs were very much an issue in this case. In the end, both parties, the boyfriend and the child’s mother, ended up making plea bargains to lesser charges that could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
As a result, you can imagine the amount of questions that have risen from the plea agreements and the sentencing.
And the outrage from a good majority of people that feel the sentences weren’t tough enough and this isn’t justice, even though both parties received the maximum sentencing they could as dictated by our laws.
And of course on the flip side, sentencing being too tough or unwarranted or there should have been no charges at all.
It’s not hard to see how something like this can divide a family pretty quickly.
It’s extremely tough being in the middle: to have an open mind to both sides, both arguments when you’re surrounded by family, friends, and a community out for something they call “justice” which smells an awful lot like blood. And when everyone wants you to pick a “team.” And even if refuse to choose a team, treat you like you’re automatically against their team.
AppelJuice and I have tried to maintain that neutrality as there are other children involved in this case. It’s because of them we’ve tried to sit back and examine the evidence, the laws, previous cases that while they appeared open and shut to the outside eye ended up not being so cut and dry and shocking communities, how past history does and doesn’t play in to sentencing, etc. It’s been a hard road to be on, especially when his sister is the mother and it’s his family threatening to tear each other apart.
It’s because of the above that AppelJuice, and myself, have chosen to take the route of advocacy, regardless the outcome of this tragedy. He and I have realized that there’s a lot of gray areas in these cases and that while lawmakers seem to be desperately trying to protect the rights of fetuses, once they become children, there is a gaping hole they can fall in to. The law (in Kansas) is tough on people who hurt, endanger, or sexually violate children, but when it comes to taking a child’s life, the law has no differentiation.
This is why AppelJuice has created a petition for the Kansas State House, calling for Harsher Punishment for Child Killers in Kansas. At the very least, the laws need to be reviewed and revised. It’s why I’ve been tweeting about it and a bit more about what our family is going through on Twitter.
If you can, if you’re so inclined, please take a moment to read the petition. Sign it if you feel moved to do so. I urge you to look into your own state’s laws regarding these matters. Look in to ways how you can be more informed about Child Abuse and its prevention.
This is a matter that no one wants to hear on the news or see in the papers. Child abuse is needless and senseless. With the right knowledge, awareness, and tools families can help prevent it. As a family going through this, it is my sincere wish that no family have to endure this turmoil.
With love, light, and probably a few stray Raid dog hairs,
Scruffy, the Druid Lady