Friday, January 06, 2006

Child neglect law

More on the child neglect case of 2 days ago.

Here is the California Penal Code:
273a. (a) Any person who, under circumstances or conditions likely to produce great bodily harm or death, willfully causes or permits any child to suffer, or inflicts thereon unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or having the care or custody of any child, willfully causes or permits the person or health of that child to be injured, or willfully causes or permits that child to be placed in a situation where his or her person or health is endangered, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison for two, four, or six years.
I listened to some radio talk show callers comment on whether parents should be prosecuted for leaving their home alone. They were just amazingly irrational and vindictive. For example, a caller argued that she raised latchkey children, but that was okay because she was working while the kids were left alone at home. If the parents left kids alone while partying, then she thinks that they should be prosecuted.

I don't see how this statute applies to the couple who left their kids home alone at all. The law is against willfully endangering a child in "conditions likely to produce great bodily harm or death". The kids were fine, and not in any significant danger that anyone has identified.

I am really appalled at the folks who approve of the grandmother's behavior. She refused to babysit the kids, had the (in-law) parents arrested, opportunistically seized temporary custody of the kids, and manipulated the kids into betraying their parents. I wouldn't give the kids to that grandmother. Most of these child care court cases are driven by custody disputes or vindictive relatives and neighbors, and busybodies are encouraged by cases like this one.

Here is another story:
The boys' father, Jacob Calero, 39, appeared at the hearing in a yellow jumpsuit and handcuffed.

Any decision made in the hearing will not be disclosed because representatives from all parties involved are under a gag order issued by Judge Lois Haight. ...

"The judge must determine what happened and why the parents acted as they did, and that could take some time."
So we may not hear what happened. The father has apparently lost his constitutional rights already.

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