Thursday, May 10, 2007

Innocence Lost

Some say they deserve no respect, not even a passing glance in a crowd of criminals or a clean place to rest when they die.

Jade Sanders and Lamont Thomas, both vegans, fed their 6-week-old baby boy a diet primarily of soy milk and apple juice. They apparently didn't know it would harm anyone.

Now the baby is dead, and the parents were convicted of malice murder, felony murder and first degree cruelty to children.

For all the questions this issue raises, the answers most likely will be few. For the so-called guilty, it looks like there will be none at all.

An article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides gruesome detail, which might have been all a jury needed to hear. "At six weeks old he weighed just 3 1/2 pounds and was so emaciated, doctors could count his bones through his skin."

The defense maintains the couple was simply ignorant, that they were doing their best while subscribing to a vegan lifestyle, that they knew nothing was wrong until minutes before... The prosecution says it was a chilling case of murder, a prolonged death to the innocent and defenseless.

Before the verdict was issued, there was a discussion. Seven hours of jury deliberation. Seven hours to end with two life sentences...


Anonymous said...

It's hard to pity Jade and Lamont. It appears they thought 3.5 pounds was a healthy size for their "growing" baby. And to claim ignorance that the charge was one of those unforgiving felonies? "Gosh, your honor. I didn't know I was supposed to feed my kid actual food. And golly gee, Mr. Judge, this could put me in prison? Guess I'd better start bulking up on peanuts and oatmeal before I get man-handled in the joint. Hope they have brussel sprouts in there. They're my faaaaavorite! --Fuzzy

sarasel said...

I agree that this is terrible. I can't believe someone would be so stupid. Didn't they have doctors?

John said...

Yes, but I see them as a victim of their own phobias, perhaps. They didn't take the baby to the hospital because they, from what the paper described, are germaphobes.

And should they really be punished so heavily for this? It seems as though there was a mandatory life sentence in this case... and that type of thinking always has a way of undoing people. I don't know that a default sentence should ever be life in jail. It seems cold, crude and thoughtless. Of course, most of the world probably believed these two are cold, cruel and thoughtless for what they allowed to happen...