Father Jailed for Daughter’s Crime
Father Jailed for Daughter's Crime
In an interesting story Foxnews reports that the father of an 18 year old girl will be released from jail today. He was jailed because the 18 year old girl refused to attend GED classes.
To me, this is a very interesting case. Or should I say an interesting abuse of the legal system. According to this legal thesis, relatives of any criminal can and should be held to account for the crimes of other adults.
An example: you give your 28 year old brother a helping hand by letting him stay in your spare bedroom. He robs the 7-11 down the street and the judge says "We can't find your brother but until he turns himself in YOU go to jail".
The Foxnews story, <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2008May16/0,4670,ODDDiplomaFatherJailed,00.html" mce_href="http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2008May16/0,4670,ODDDiplomaFatherJailed,00.html">which can be found here,</a>is not that unusual. In Texas, some cities also jail parents of delinquent children or at the least impose a hefty fine. What is unusual here is the fact that the "child" is over the age of 18.
This really raises serious legal questions. Can and/or should the parents of criminals be held responsible for the illegal actions of their adult children?
Should the courts hold the parents of O J Simpson equally responsible for the deaths of his wife and her friend? Should the parents of Timothy McVeigh be held equally responsible for the bombing of the federal court house in Oklahoma City? Should the parents of Ted Bundy be held equally responsible for the serial murders he committed?
One can certainly argue that the parents of each of these individuals were grossly negligent in raising and instilling morals into these criminals. Perhaps to the point that each parent can be considered a contributory factor to the crime committed. In other words, an accessory before the fact, as opposed to an accessory after the fact.
I will not bore you with how long its been since I took a course in B-Law. But when I took the course, parents were only responsible for the necessaries (food, clothing, shelter, medical, etc.) of a minor child. Any child over the age of 18 was considered an adult and not under the care and custody of the parents.
As our population grows the rules (laws) by which we govern ourselves seem to multiply at about the same rate as humans do. That is not as worrisome as the expansion of the interpretation of the laws by Judges.