Fatal Distraction

 Posted by on 12 March 2009 at 2:01 pm  Law, Parenting
Mar 122009

Via The Agitator, here’s a must-read: Fatal Distraction by Washington Post writer Gene Weingarten. It is one of the most heart-wrenching stories that I’ve ever read. It’s about the loving parents — 15 to 25 per year in America — who accidentally kill their own young children by unknowingly leaving them in the car on a hot day. The article makes perfectly clear that the attempted prosecution of such parents for any kind of crime is completely unjust. Memory is inherently fallible — as we all know — and even the most loving parent can forget his or her own child. When such happens as a result of a fluke, rather than as the product of habitual failure to take proper care, the result is an unimaginable tragedy, not a crime.

I wish that I had time to write more about the issues pertaining to memory and negligence that the story raises, as that’s right up the alley of my dissertation. Perhaps I can do that later.

Sadly, as the article observes, the laws regulating the way in which children are strapped into car seats contributes to the problem.

This is journalism at its finest. Prepare to have your mind engaged and your heart broken. Go read it.

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