Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The judge and the belt

Here's the story:
An 8-year-old boy has red marks across his back made by a belt.
(The photo at right, taken by the police sometime after the beating, shows the marks on the boy's back.)
A teacher sees these marks and reports it to authorities.
The boy's father, a 28-year-old Lorain man, is charged.
Lorain County Common Pleas Court Judge James Burge clears the man of wrongdoing.
The prosecution, Burge told our reporter, failed to prove the necessary element of the crime — that the 8-year-old boy had suffered serious physical harm and that the punishment was excessive.
I guess "excessive" is the key word here.
Burge said the marks looked worse than they were.
“Cosmetically they were bad, but I didn’t see any deep tissue problems,” he said. “I didn’t see bruises. I saw red marks. I didn’t see any welts where the skin was raised.”
Yep, "excessive" is definitely the key word.
While Burge said he probably would not have done what this father did, he said he is in favor of corporal punishment.
“I think that we would have far fewer juveniles in the system if their parents and teachers could correct them,” he said.
Most of us in the newsroom were shocked that a dad would do such a thing to a child -- and a judge would think it's OK.
But comments to the story posted on our Website this morning show that readers agree with the dad and the judge.
"If parents didn’t have to worry about going to jail for wooping the kids butt then I believe many more would and there would be a little respect in these kids. Also PLEASE get it back in the schools," writes Steve D.
Well, my kids are out of school but if they weren't, I wouldn't want no wooping of them there.
Meanwhile, Becky writes, "WE ALL WANT RESPECTFUL CHILDREN, NO ONE WANTS TO SPANK THEIR CHILD, BUT IF THE NEED PRESENTS ITSELF WHAT ARE WE TO DO? CALL THE POLICE BECAUSE THEY ARENT CONTROLLABLE, OR BEAT THAT ASS? I’LL TAKE THE LATTER, AND BEAT THAT ASS!"
What can I say to that?
What can I say to any of this?

3 comments:

Get Real!!! said...

Patti,
I think the picture tells you everything you need to know. How can that be acceptable?
I am seeing a pattern in Judge Burge that will make sure he loses the next time he runs for office. I think Mr. Burge is a great defense attorney, and as a Judge he is a great defense attorney. I hope he can grow into his role and learn to let his bias go by the wayside. I mourn the day he lets someone go and they take their crimes to the next level.

Anonymous said...

I think it is sad and pathetic that it is not only condoned but encouraged to flog your child. I would like to know what a small 8 year old did to unleash that kind of anger. Anyone involved in abuse will tell you this will only escalate....keep track of this story. I expect we will see this child's name appear again in your newspaper. Lynn B.

Anonymous said...

You reall think that's an eight year old boy? This is a hoax.