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The Killing Season - Websleuths

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  1. #1
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    Nov 2007
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    TX may have first " Infanticide law" regarding PPD

    I am concerned over implications of the broad, sweeping statements being made in TX MSM today over the State Law proposal to add " Post Partum Depression"(I really think they mean Post Partum Psychosis) as a legit. defense for infanticide. If the bill passes, Texas will be the first state in the USA to have an " infanticide law".
    Of course, the Andrea Yates case was the spotlight case which brought the possibility of using this as a valid defense. It's just now hitting the courts.
    Here's the article that addresses it most.
    Date is today 3/22. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/6330186.html

    Snipped from the article:
    DALLAS Postpartum mental disorder could be used as a legal defense for women who kill their children under a bill introduced in the Texas Legislature.
    The bill was filed this month by Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, and it applies to women who commit the crime within a year of giving birth, The Dallas Morning News reported in Sunday editions. If jurors find a mother guilty of murder, they could take testimony about postpartum issues into consideration during the trial's punishment phase.
    If jurors find that the woman's judgment was impaired because of childbirth or lactation, they could judge her guilty of infanticide, a state jail felony that would carry a maximum punishment of two years in jail.

    Much more at link.

    What this indicates to me is that instead of allowing PPD to reach the stage of PPP and infanticide, the medical system should have the added responsibility to screen women for one year after they give birth.
    WHY not try to prevent and treat PPD instead of simply allowing a defense into the courts after a child or children are dead??


    "Acquiring a pet may be the only opportunity a human has to choose a relative".

    This is MY truth, and this is my new baby puppy, Beau Monde.
    He will be joined in July by a tiny playmate.
    Please spay and neuter your dogs and cats.

  2. #2
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    Feb 2007
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    I agree SeekingJana! I know PPD and/or PPP is difficult, but the bottom line is the sufferer should be seeking help before they kill their child. Two years in jail is NOTHING! And does not provide any incentive whatsoever to prevent or to seek help.

    I don't think we should be going in this direction with our laws.

    Salem

  3. #3
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    As someone who personally suffered from PPD after the birth of my twins, I am appalled by this law. NEVER did I have thoughts of harming my children, only myself. 2 years, 2 YEARS for killing a baby, that is BS!!!

    I hope people in Texas are all over this ridiculous law.
    Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don't say it mean.
    We are all just trying to make sense of an unimaginable crime.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2008
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    It will be a license to kill your child and use that for an excuse.
    Ladies that suffer PPD feel it, family should see it and help given BEFORE this ever has to happen.
    Laws are to protect not to help criminals.........IMO
    Kyron, HALEIGH, ADJI & Gabriel NEEDS PRAYERS NOW TO FIND THEM!. Zahra & Jonathan in heaven
    Justice for Hailey!!!!
    No Justice for Caylee Marie..........

  5. #5
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    Nov 2007
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    Angry I am advocating post- partum emotional wellness screenings

    The thing is, Texas is contemplating what to do with the charred remains after the house has already burned down.

    The way I was taught and believe is that if you firmly believe that a treatable disorder can take a life, then the first steps to take are to prevent the disorder from reaching the stage of causing harm.

    It boggles my mind that we, as a nation, do not value mental health any more than we do. I firmly believe that PPD and PPP exist. I feel extreme empathy for the many new moms with this who do NOT go on to kill their babies.

    For example, let's consider the NEED vs the OUTCOME. The USA has expensive mandatory blood testing of ALL newborn infants for PKU, an extremely rare metabolic disorder just because some Senator's child was born with it in the 1960's! As far as I know, states don't even trend PKU any longer, it's so rare.. But, all babies are tested just the same.
    If we could legislate sticking babies' heels 3 times during their infancy to test for such a very rare genetic disease, why on earth can't new mothers be screened during their and their baby's checkups for PPD?

    Screening new mothers is the obvious and sensible approach to save children's lives, not thinking up ways to be lenient on the women who weren't discovered to be suffering from PPD or PPP until they had committed infanticide!!! The proposed leniency indicates to me that we as a society are recognizing that PPD and PPP are serious emotional disorders.
    I have the feeling that it is the age-old cultural bias and fear of mental health screening and testing that keeps people from taking the logical approach to prevention and cure instead of lenient sentences when a baby is murdered.

    I am so upset over the continued lack of protection for helpless babies.

    Maria


    "Acquiring a pet may be the only opportunity a human has to choose a relative".

    This is MY truth, and this is my new baby puppy, Beau Monde.
    He will be joined in July by a tiny playmate.
    Please spay and neuter your dogs and cats.

  6. #6
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    Does it say how much time the enabling spouse will get for sitting by and allowing his wife to suffer and progress (or decompensate) to the point of murdering their innocent children?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lovejac View Post
    As someone who personally suffered from PPD after the birth of my twins, I am appalled by this law. NEVER did I have thoughts of harming my children, only myself. 2 years, 2 YEARS for killing a baby, that is BS!!!

    I hope people in Texas are all over this ridiculous law.
    You are fortunate. Many women who suffer from PPD do have thoughts of harming their children - and those who suffer from PPP often act out on those thoughts.

    This is an interesting potential law. Can anyone explain to me how it would be different from the insanity defense? I guess PPP is not classified as legally insane.

    Seeking Jana, I don't know that post-partum wellness checkups can be legislated. My understanding is that doctors already do such checkups routinely for women after they have delivered children - at least, my docs and my friend's docs did.

    The problem is - many women who suffer from PPD and/or PPP won't tell the truth about what they are experiencing. They feel ashamed and are scared someone may take their children away. I am all about helping women find a voice when they struggle like this after childbirth.
    I do not intend to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mymeow View Post
    Does it say how much time the enabling spouse will get for sitting by and allowing his wife to suffer and progress (or decompensate) to the point of murdering their innocent children?

    Fortunately, I had many friends and family (including my husband) that noticed. Also, I have no embarassment when it comes to my, or a loved ones mental health.

    It actually would have been really hard for me to try and hide it, even if I had wanted to.

    PPP, is something I don't know much about and haven't ever experienced
    Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don't say it mean.
    We are all just trying to make sense of an unimaginable crime.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2008
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    Gosh, I thought I moved to the state WHERE THEY HANGEM HIGH???!!!!

    I really don't agree with this. I agree with Andrea Yates psychosis and where she is but I do not believe in a blanket law as a 'free for all'... what about the baby here in Houston that was just tossed in an abandoned dryer???

    Geezzz TEXAS, I thought you had the biggest Prairie Oysters around.
    Only my opinion, no one else need agree.

  10. #10
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    Dec 2008
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    I saw this yesterday in our local paper but didn't bring it here. I found another article that discusses some interesting points.

    http://www.txcn.com/sharedcontent/dw...1.4a95c40.html

    If you all don't mind I'll put my thoughts in with red text. I don't have many at this time. I do not see this bill passing soon.

    Snippets from the article (but very good article, I suggest reading it all too)

    "The bill, introduced earlier this month by Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, applies to women who commit the crime within 12 months of giving birth. (I'll have to look up Farrar's track record on bills and voting and other business in the capitol)

    'If jurors believe that the woman's judgment was impaired as a result of childbirth or lactation, they can find her guilty of infanticide – a state jail felony that would carry a maximum punishment of two years in jail.' (That's a mighty short Max sentence for a homicide or manslaughter)

    "Only one or two in 1,000 women develop postpartum psychosis..." (Does this proposed law only cover these women that suffer postpartum psychosis?)

    For SouthCityMom:

    "Even if the infanticide bill becomes law, however, the insanity defense would still be an option for women charged with such crimes."

    _______________________
    Okay I turned the red off, but these are my thoughts. I have a lot of doubt that this law will be passed this year, or anytime soon. I think a law that requires some kind of screening for new Mother's would be more beneficial rather than waiting until those few women who do suffer psychosis kill or severly harm their children.

    But then I wonder if such a law were to be passed that requires all women to have a mental health screening within the first 12 months after birth~ would one screening do it? Would it be done at the hospital prior to discharge? Would the PP psychosis show up that soon or does it take a while to develop?

    Bottom line, if we make laws that require adult women to adhere to a mental health screening, I can see the civil liberties lawyers having a field day with that one. (Not saying that's right just saying I can see that happening).
    "Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind." ~ Henry James


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lovejac View Post
    Fortunately, I had many friends and family (including my husband) that noticed. Also, I have no embarassment when it comes to my, or a loved ones mental health.

    It actually would have been really hard for me to try and hide it, even if I had wanted to.

    PPP, is something I don't know much about and haven't ever experienced
    I think this is a good point. I only had a case of the Baby Blues, and I did try to hide it because I was so embarrassed to be sad after trying so hard to have a baby, but it was obvious to the nurse on the post-partum wing. She told my husband to watch out for it and some of the warning signs when she heard me crying in the shower.

    I also had an acquaintance with PPP, and she thought she was acting perfectly normal. She wasn't. It was obvious to people who knew her only slightly that she was not okay, and many of us called her husband. He was right on top of it and getting her help, but she was calling all kinds of people to "warn" us about the dangers ahead. Very frightening to watch her mental state deteriorate.

    I think the major worry is for people who have no support network. But then you see people like Andrea Yates who was under the care of a doctor and that still wasn't enough.

    I think awareness needs to be increased tremendously. The stigma of mental health issues are the biggest barrier to people getting the help they need in every area. If nothing else, perhaps this proposed legislation will get the discussion going.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelmom View Post
    I think this is a good point. I only had a case of the Baby Blues, and I did try to hide it because I was so embarrassed to be sad after trying so hard to have a baby, but it was obvious to the nurse on the post-partum wing. She told my husband to watch out for it and some of the warning signs when she heard me crying in the shower.

    I also had an acquaintance with PPP, and she thought she was acting perfectly normal. She wasn't. It was obvious to people who knew her only slightly that she was not okay, and many of us called her husband. He was right on top of it and getting her help, but she was calling all kinds of people to "warn" us about the dangers ahead. Very frightening to watch her mental state deteriorate.

    I think the major worry is for people who have no support network. But then you see people like Andrea Yates who was under the care of a doctor and that still wasn't enough.

    I think awareness needs to be increased tremendously. The stigma of mental health issues are the biggest barrier to people getting the help they need in every area. If nothing else, perhaps this proposed legislation will get the discussion going.
    I love this statement! It is the absolute truth. I personally know people who still think that it is a sign of weakness if you reach out for help, that could NOT be further from the truth. It actually takes incredible strength.
    Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don't say it mean.
    We are all just trying to make sense of an unimaginable crime.



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