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Domestic CP - August 2007
The Chronicle-Telegram, Elyria, Ohio, 27 August 2007
The Judge and the belt
By Patti Ewald
Here's the story:
An 8-year-old boy has red marks across his back made by a belt.
(The photo 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?
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