Friday, November 19, 2004

Parents get prosecuted for minor mistakes

15-year-old Christopher Osbourne got mugged, and his parents got arrested for failing to notice that his head was bleeding. His lawyers say:
The story of the interrogation and arrest of Carlene Francis and Neville Henry is far from unique; this is a case that we as lawyers at the Bronx Defenders' Family Defense Project see every day in the criminal justice system and in family court.

In poor communities of color, like the South Bronx, the criminal justice system is routinely used by the police and prosecutors to call into question reasonable and necessary parental decisions that should never be criminalized.

As the lawyers for Ms. Francis, we saw the rush to judgment by the police and prosecutors and the subsequent trauma and separation this family endured. There should never have been an arrest or a child protective investigation of this family.

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