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Court upholds infanticide defence for mentally ill mothers who kill babies

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1292209
Canada
03/11/2011 07:15 PM
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Court upholds infanticide defence for mentally ill mothers who kill babies
[link to www.theglobeandmail.com]

Mothers who kill their infants while in the grips of a mental disturbance deserve leniency instead of a life sentence for murder, the Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled.

The decision thwarted an attempt by the Ontario Crown to remove the offence of infanticide as a shield when mothers are charged with murdering their infants.

Punishable by up to five years in jail, only a handful of infanticide sentences are handed out each year. However, the profound questions of culpability, mercy and maternal love that they raise loom far out of proportion to their number.

For the mother at the centre of the test case – identified only as L.B. – Wednesday’s ruling made the difference between life imprisonment and a short stint behind bars.

L.B. was convicted of infanticide in the smothering deaths of two of her children, who were found dead in 1998 and 2002. Both were believed to have died of sudden infant death syndrome. Their mother was charged in 2005, after she blurted out an emotional confession.
Spitting Into The Wind

User ID: 1284853
United States
03/11/2011 07:18 PM
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Re: Court upholds infanticide defence for mentally ill mothers who kill babies
bump
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 1292209
Canada
03/11/2011 07:19 PM
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Re: Court upholds infanticide defence for mentally ill mothers who kill babies
I kind of don't agree ... because if a father commits infanticide, he will get life in prison, but a woman will only get 5 years in jail.





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