"Is this American justice?" Mom given life sentence...

  1. A news story in the papers about Mexican immigrant parents whose 47 day old son died and the pathologist determined cause of death as starvation. Little Ramiro weighed 5# 13 oz at birth. 47 days later he weighed 5# 7 oz. The parents had been married five years, had three other children. They lived in a 10x12 foot steel storage building shack ....no water, etc. The dad did odd jobs, the mom was working at a nursing home as a janitor. The mom was breast and bottle feeding. All her co-workers said she was a hard worker, and a good mom. Told how she had brought Ramiro to work and showed him off and they had seen her feed him, also the neighbors said she took good care of the kids, the mom was working 50 hours a week. A defense expert testified that starvation is rare for mothers who want to eliminate their children. The most common form of child murder is a blow to the head, suffocation , drowning, or abandonment. One of the neighbors testified when the baby was found not to be breathing, the mom was hysterical and came running, screaming and crying , screaming for help and asking to use the phone to call 911. Sociologists pointed out this case does not fit the profile of child murder. Child protective services took the three other children the same day, even before Ramiro was buried in a Catholic service. The mom's only defense was, "I didn't pay close enough attention to Ramiro, I didn't realize he was sick. I was wrong ". She said she loved Ramiro and routinely fed him. A jury of twelve white men convicted her and she was sentenced to life in prison. Her husband was sentenced to 25 years for child endangerment. This all happened in 1998. It is in the papers now, because a lawyer is trying to get a new trial...because no nutrition , medical, or child development experts were brought into the trial to testify that the child could have had a malabsorption syndrome and or a dozen other things to keep him from thriving. It was used against her that she had no prenatal care. In the meantime, the other three children have been permanently adopted out to three separate homes. The judge who presided over the case has denied a motion for a new hearing.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Robin61970
    That is nuts....goes to prove how you can't get good representation without money for a good lawyer........
  4. by   live4today
    NOT GUILTY, AND I PRAY THE PARENTS GET A NEW TRIAL! THIS IS INSANE! SHE OBVIOUSLY DID NOT KILL HER BABY. IGNORANCE (LACK OF EDUCATION AND HOW TO APPLY WHAT YOU KNOW) IS THE DOWNSIDE OF MANY PEOPLE IN A POSITION LIKE THAT. THE TRIAL SHOULD'VE BEEN MOVED TO ANOTHER STATE AND THE JURY SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN 'ALL MEN' ANYWAY. DUH!
  5. by   canoehead
    Guilty. She may not have directly killed him but she had those 47 days to seek help. And what mother doesn't know that a child who loses weight is ill. No, I vote for death by neglect.
  6. by   fergus51
    I wonder how she could not know that a baby is supposed to gain weight? Especially if she has other kids. I don't see that putting her in jail forever will really help the situation though, but I think she has to do at least some time for letting a baby die.
  7. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    I'm with canoehead and fergus. Even if she didn't do it directly, she had 6-7 weeks to notice something was wrong. She didn't notice that the baby hadn't gained weight in that time?

    Didn't have money for good representation by a lawyer? How about DON'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO KEEP HAVING MORE KIDS!

    Even if the baby had some sort of malabsorption problem, should she not share fault for not seeking help? A 5# newborn baby is a peanut anyways, let alone at 6-7 weeks.

    Heather
  8. by   LasVegasRN
    Originally posted by OBNURSEHEATHER
    Didn't have money for good representation by a lawyer? How about DON'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO KEEP HAVING MORE KIDS!
    Heather
    Now that is one question I wish someone could really answer. Why in the hell do people keep having kids when they can't afford it? Birth control is free to those who really need it. Damn.
  9. by   oramar
    The sentence is to sever for the crime. It sounds like the result of poverty. The people should have been put on probation and recieved social services. Sometimes it seems to me from what I hear about the state of Texas that it has a very harsh attitude toward the poor.
  10. by   jayna
    You still haven't given her a fair trial. There must be reasons behind the case. Poor people are always vulnerable and couldn't fight for their rights. Give her a chance one time, and look for evidence.
  11. by   prn nurse
    I think poverty and ignorance were the culprits here. A mom working too many hours, probably noticed baby was not fattening up, probably figured her milk wasn't adequate....how do you keep milk without refrigeration? No medicaid and all that other free stuff poor mom's receive. Fear of immigration/deportation.

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