Originally Posted by frazod
I sometimes wonder if the state's pound of flesh is really necessary in cases like this. I mean, they lost a child, now have another child that will probably be scarred for life, and have to live forever with the guilt and shame of knowing their carelessness and stupidity caused it all.
Is it really necessary to jail and fine them, too? Isn't all that other shit bad enough? Imagine a crime bad enough where the punishment would be making one of your children kill another one of your children.
I don't think there's much chance of them being repeat offenders.
I started discussing this topic yesterday on another site with the normal "the parents are idiots" response. After some reflection, I found myself admitting that pretty much every parent has at one time or another been stupid or distracted and was lucky enough not to have to burry a child.
Yes it is stupid to have a loaded gun where a 5 year old has access, just like it is stupid to leave out household cleaner, mouse or bug poison in reach, or to leave a child in a car just for a second because you left something in the house. For those of us who have experienced that moment of terror when you realize what could have happened, our scorn for these parents should be replaced with or at least tempered with sympathy. Most of us were lucky at least once.