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How To Escape The Death Penalty In Texas
The children in the first story were 11, 5 and 3 years of age. The family resided in a cheap motel, the ones that you can pay by the week. The horrors suffered by the children are appalling and an alarming as the rate of abuse against children in Texas is rising steadily.
The family lived in the motel for almost a year. During this time the children were kept locked in the bathroom, pieces of bread and crackers were thrown in the door, it and water was the only food they recieved for almost a year. The children lived with their mother and step-father. The children were beaten daily. The 11 year old was a girl, the other two were boys. During the day the mother worked. The step-father would take the girl from the bathroom and after beating her, sexually molested her. The girl told her mother of the abuse but instead of protecting her as a mother should, she beat the girl again, this continued for almost the entire period of a year. The girl also went many days without eating so her younger siblings could eat. The torture endured by these children ended only because a relative from out of town visited and reported the childrens condition and circumstances to the police. At the time of the arrest the children were so malnourished they required feeding tubes to be inserted since they could not swallow. The bathroom which was their cell, was covered in fecal matter and urine. The children were covered in bruises. Both the mother and the step-father were arrested. The 11 year old girl testified in open court regarding all of the abuses and neglect suffered at the hands of those who should have been her protector. the entire time she was on the witness stand the step-father smirked and made intimidating faces at her. The step-father recieved two 99 year sentences with no parole and the mother took a plea bargain of life with out parole to avoid the death penalty. The trials are over but the trauma suffered by the children will be with them forever.
There are many things about this case that continue to bother me. The first of these being, the room where they lived during this time was adjacent to another room. If you have ever been in a motel (and most of us have) then you know that the walls are not sound proof. How then could these children be beaten and molested and no one hear or suspect anything? What about the maid, even with weekly rates, the room is cleaned and the linens changed once a week. A family registers with three children, yet they are never seen by motel staff. What about the father of the children? The children did not attend school, why was this not reported, or noticed? But the biggest question of all to me is why plea-bargains were given when the prosecution had all the evidence they needed to execute these depraved individuals. Texas leads the nation and the world in executions. It's justice is swift and unforgiving, yet in this case the system failed these children miserably. I have often been called anti-death penalty, that is not the case. I know there are situations where it is the only solution, when a person is clearly a danger to society, as these two were. My only problem with the death penalty is that it is not consistently applied, or that there is any shred of evidence of innocence or doubt. The latter does not apply in this case. If there was ever a case that deserved the sentence of death the above is a prime example. The system has failed these children time and time again, the child protection services, the school, and now the system that is supposed to give them justice has once again shown them that they are expendable. The inhumanity, the degradation, the cruelty and sheer lack of remorse shown by both of the defendants by their smirking faces on tv of their mugshots makes me sick. The failure of the criminal justice system to try to right the wrongs suffered at the hands of their torturers by sparing them the death penalty is even more sickening.
Another child, 3 years old was taken to the hospital and later died of severe head trauma and internal injuries suffered at the hands of the mothers boyfriend. The mother was arrested and tried also. The boyfriend was given 33 years in a plea-bargain, the mother was given life, she will be eilgible for parole in 40 years, he in 10-15 years. The little boy on the other hand was given a life sentence, no trial, no jury. His precious little life was snuffed out, like an insect, someone not deserving of the right to grow up, go to school, get married or even to know what love is. Yet again a plea-bargain allowed the killers to be confined where we will now have to house, feed, clothe and provide recreational activiyies for them for the years they are incarcerated. We will provide the exact things that they denied these children. They will be segregated so the other inmates can not take their own form of justice. Who provided the protection for these innocents?
The answer no one!! In a state where the govenor refused a thirty day stay to a man facing execution because there was evidence of innocence, this is a travesty of so called justice. In a state so hard on crime and so self-rightgous about justice...WHERE IS THE JUSTICE FOR THESE CHILDREN??