Thursday, September 28, 2006

Injustice

Welcome to the wild west. The land that Canada will turn into when the New Government brings in more minimum sentences. In this case a young woman got the maximum sentence for killing her baby. The reason she killed her baby was that she was terrified of her parents finding out she was pregnant. What was that the right wing says about leaving sex ed up to parents. Yep this is another shining example of the success of that..... Jail for mom a perversion of justice

verdict shocks experts

The jury at Effert's trial had the option of finding her guilty of second- degree murder, of infanticide or of manslaughter. Convicted of infanticide or manslaughter, Effert might have gone to jail for a short period of time or she might have received only a conditional sentence and done no time at all.

In almost every case of infanticide, a mother gets a conditional sentence, Kramar said. The longest sentence in recent Canadian history was the nine-month jail term of a New Brunswick woman in 1990.

News of Effert's life sentence with no parole eligibility for 10 years rocked local legal circles.

"This is an odd decision based on the unanimity of expert opinion that Effert had a disturbed mind," said Sanjeev Anand, a professor of criminal and constitutional law at the University of Alberta.

Still, lawyers said Effert should have been convicted of the lesser offence of infanticide, not second-degree murder. Two expert witnesses -- a forensic psychologist and a forensic psychiatrist -- testified at her trial she suffered a "disturbed mind" after secretly giving birth in the basement of her parents' home in the early hours of April 14, 2005.

Her secret pregnancy, the hormonal changes she underwent and the trauma of secretly giving birth must have proved overwhelming, they said.

Within hours of giving birth Effert strangled her baby with her thong panties and threw his body into a neighbour's yard.

If psychiatric examinations indicated Effert was insane when she committed her crime that would have rendered her not criminally responsible, expert witnesses testified during the trial. She wasn't insane but she did suffer from a disturbed mind, they told the court.

Well Duh' Oh. I liked this bit too the family is now concerned about their daughter, sister. Well kinda late for that. And they got upset at the decision well what did they expect from a bunch of hicks from the sticks who like them deny women the right to choose. Deny sex education to their kids and believe that their religious morality will save them from sin. But also beleive in punishing the sinner.

Prosecutor David Labrenze said the jury didn't appear to believe she was suffering from a "disturbed mind."

After the verdict was announced, Kim Effert asked to speak with his daughter, crying out: "I want to see my baby."

"You heartless bastards," Ryan Effert yelled at the jury after they convicted his sister of second-degree murder and concealing a dead baby. "That's what our justice system is all about."

As the guard led her out of the courtroom, Effert wept and said: "I want to see my family."

Outside the courtroom, Effert's mother, Marlene, said the family is a victim because their daughter had been charged with something she is not responsible for.

Nope the family is responsible for her predicament. If anybody deserved punishment it was them for their stupidity.

Alta.-town baby-killing verdict discussions echo national infanticide debate

"It's an anachronism that should be seriously amended, if not gotten rid of," said Sanjeev Anand, a law professor at the University of Alberta.

"This is a difficult time," said Kim Effert. "Justice was not served."

Anand said many legal experts consider the law on infanticide a holdover from paternalistic 19th-century medicine, when women were considered weaker vessels.

"Women were considered more frail than men, and the act of having a child could unhinge certain women," he said.

Anand said murder legislation allows for the consideration of mitigating circumstances and can accommodate such cases.

Infanticide legislation works against women, he said.

"You're treating women as a lesser human being."

But Kramar said that overstates the case and that social pressures such as disgrace and poverty were as much in the minds of those who wrote the act as hormones.

"The text of the law overstates the physiological motive," she said.

She called Tuesday's verdict "American-style retributive justice."

Rosemary Gartner, a criminologist at the University of Toronto, said women who commit this crime tend to be among society's most vulnerable - young, poor, isolated, often living in "strict circumstances".

And note in the cases below 9 out of 10 occur in Alberta, home of Real Women and other Christian fundamentalist political groups who make regular attacks on Planned Parenthood and Sex-Ed in public schools part of their "Father Knows Best" ideology.

A list of infanticide cases in Canada

(CP) - Katrina Effert of Wetaskiwin, Alta., has been convicted of second-degree murder for killing her newborn baby boy. Here's what has happened in some other Canadian cases of newborn killing:

Melanie Sheila Murphy, 21: left her baby daughter in garbage bag at the college she was attending in Camrose, Alta. Given suspended sentence in 1998 for infanticide and ordered to perform 75 hours of community service

Shelley Netter, 26: left her baby daughter in garbage bag on her Edmonton doorstep. Originally charged with infanticide, but received three-year suspended sentence in 1998 after pleading guilty to failing to provide the necessities of life.

Leanne Wise, 27: delivered her baby in a washroom at the Calgary bingo hall where she worked, dumped it in a trash can and then went back to her job. Received 18-month suspended sentence in 2000 for disposing of the dead body with intent to conceal its delivery.

Kelly Lynn Rector, 19: gave birth in a bingo hall washroom in Brantford, Ont., and left the infant in a toilet bowl. Granted absolute discharge after pleading guilty to concealing the body of a newborn.

Liza Santos, 31: strangled her seven-week-old baby at home in Calgary, thinking she was protecting him from demons. Charged with second-degree murder but found not criminally responsible due to mental disorder.


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2 comments:

McGuire said...

I think the case you cite has more to do with the killer having incompetant legal counsel than it does with the merits of minimum sentences. They could've copped a plea to a lesser charge but instead they went for broke & lost.

Don't blame the minimums sentence concept, but rather the lawyer

eugene plawiuk said...

Actually I blame the State. Seeing the incompetance of the family in creating this situation and the distress it caused leading to infanticide, they chose to prosecute to the maximum sentence of Second Degree Murder. Leaving defense council doing the best it could. The State could have prosecuted with manslaughter or infanticide, but didn't. And obviously refused a plead bargain.
So I too blame the lawyer(s) in this case the prosecution.