CA - Clara Laird, 86, dies in mercy killing, Seal Beach, 21 Nov 2010

Discussion in 'Crimes in the News' started by JBean, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    LOS ANGELES -- When 88-year-old Roy Charles Laird was arrested Sunday on suspicion of killing his 86-year-old wife, Clara, at her nursing home in Seal Beach, the assumption was that he was trying to end her misery.
    The couple's daughter called the single gunshot wound to the head a "mercy killing."
    But on Tuesday, prosecutors had another word for it: murder.



    Read more: http://www.kentucky.com/2010/11/23/1538121/suspect-in-calif-nursing-home.html#ixzz16AF06Waj



    thoughts?

    70 years of marriage.
     
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  3. kileyizzle

    kileyizzle ♥ we have but two lives. The life we learn with, &

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    I stopped reading after i learnt that she couldn't even feed herself.

    This is an EXTREMELY hot topic but ... heck i'll offer out my 2 cents.

    1 - I am a strong supported that in particular cases like this that it is okay to assist in someones death - if it is their wishes. NOW having said that these are the reasons why.

    A ) Ongoing suffering not only affects the person who has the disease but everyone around them. It is a huge mental drain on family freinds - Anyone that is around that person. There is nothing MORE painful than watching somebody you love just fade away powerless. We were given the right to choose.

    B ) Quality of life - When you are unable to care for yourself, and lose the ability, to ENJOY your life.. Your metaphorically gone...

    C ) It's a personal decision - They were married for 70 years, they would of discussed it.

    Now i shall go cower.. and wait for the storm to pass..
     
  4. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    SEAL BEACH – The 88-year-old man accused of shooting and killing his 86-year-old wife in her room at a nursing home on Sunday afternoon is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.
    Roy Charles Laird, of Seal Beach, is in custody at Orange County Jail with bail set at $1 million, according to the Orange County Sheriff's arrest log. He has a scheduled court appearance Tuesday at West Justice Center in Westminster.

    http://www.ocregister.com/news/bowles-277199-beach-laird.html
     
  5. Herding Cats

    Herding Cats New Member

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    This is so sad on so many levels. Dementia is a terrible, terrible illness - it robs you of everything you know, hold dear, and cherish. You truly leave your life behind while your body functions.

    There are many reasons dementia occurs, one being Alzheimers, others being the end result of other illnesses.

    If I were on his jury, I'd have to acquit. Would it be jury nullification? Yes, quite likely. But if this even gets to a jury is a whole 'nother story, and, imho, a travesty and a waste of the court's time.

    Murder? No...not here. Deep grief, loss and sympathetic actions, yes, but definitely not murder.

    Best-
    Herding Cats
     
  6. Beyond Belief

    Beyond Belief New Member

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    Bail set at $1. million. These people are ridiculous.
     
  7. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    It's Orange County. The DA's are known for being ridiculous and for overcharging.
    Although word on the street is that the charges won't stick. Not sure why anyone thinks that though.
    charges:

    1011/21/2010187(a) PC F Murder
    1111/21/201012022.53(d) PC F Use of Firearm
     
  8. mysticrose

    mysticrose The key to change... is to let go of fear

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    Wow, I feel for this man .....

    I work at a nursing home, I love all the residents that live there. It is hard for me of no relation at all to watch some of them just slowly go away both physically and mentally, some I have known for almost a year and some only a few days or months, it is heartbreaking. I worry constantly about them.......

    I hope that the charges are dropped down. I do understand the DA's point of view, but this man isn't a cold calculated killer imo......
     
  9. LadyL

    LadyL Well-Known Member

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    agreed - ridiculous
     
  10. Melanie

    Melanie Inactive

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    Shortly before my mum passed, she said "dogs are humanely put to sleep when they're sick", why do I and others have to suffer. You should have seen what the doctors put my grandfather (who was a navy captain) through. Stripped him naked, plugged him full of tubes, when we all knew he was going to pass. Thankfully, my dad didn't ask for any extreme measures when my mom died and she was put in a quiet room to go quietly into the night.

    Why this man is being charged with murder is beyond me. Hopefully I pray a judge will see past this nonsense and let him go. What is an 80+ year old man going to do in prison? Probably die. Can't he live out his last years with family.

    Bless him, and bless his wife.

    MOO

    Mel
     
  11. noZme

    noZme Active Member

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    Remember this?

    "Huntington's disease first appeared in the mother of Carr's husband. She passed it to a daughter who died from it, a son who committed suicide when he learned that he had it, and Carol's husband, Hoyt Scott. Eventually the disease left Hoyt, a factory worker, unable to move, swallow, talk or think. He died in 1995. By then Carol's oldest sons, Randy and Andy, both had the disease. On June 8, 2002, Carr killed both men in the room they shared at a Georgia nursing home.[3]
    James Scott of Hampton, Carr's only remaining son, who also suffers from Huntington's, said his mother acted out of love, and not out of malice. Watching the boys suffer in agony for 20 years really took its toll on both him and his mother. "I sat there and watched them with bed sores," he said. "It's just a miserable way to live...."
    [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carol_Carr"]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carol_Carr[/ame]


    http://hdlighthouse.org/commlinks/families/updates/0052carrstatus.php
     
  12. LisainWV

    LisainWV New Member

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    This story breaks my heart...

    We have how many convicted sex offenders living among us??...child rapists, killers and the scum of the earth....but this elderly man does this out of love (I am 110% convinced) and we have him in jail with bail set at a ridiculous amount...

    As far as I am concerned, he only needs to answer the questions his family has for him and what he did...

    God Bless all of them!!!
     
  13. animlzrule

    animlzrule New Member

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    This poor man and family. He should never have had to feel that it was his responsibility to take such a violent action, and one that leaves him vulnerable to criminal charges and public scrutiny. End of life decisions should be proactively examined by members of the healthcare community and there needs to be a legal avenue by which to pursue the end of one's life under one's own terms and with dignity. I know it can be an extremely volatile issue, but having worked in hospice for several years, those families that take the time and the courageous step to help prepare all involved to help a loved one die as comfortably and peacefully as possible are spared a lot of guilt and grief in the end. I hope that when the press fades away and the dust settles, the prosecutors will give up this callous, wasteful and cruel pursuit.
     
  14. impatientredhead

    impatientredhead New Member

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    It is tragic that he felt he had to make this decision and take the action.
    I admire that he is willing to stand by his convictions and made no effort to hide it or get away with it. I agree with the analogy upthread that we are allowed to compassionately end our elderly dogs lives when their quality of life has clearly diminished. In fact if you leave a dog that cannot eat to slowly starve to death or lie in a bed of infected sores I am pretty sure you can be charged with a crime.

    I would fully support a well thought out assisted suicide law.

    My heart goes out to the entire family that is dealing with this loss, and will now face a legal battle for their father. And it is heartbreaking to me that she died the way she did when we have much gentler ways for her to have left the planet.
     
  15. Salem

    Salem Former Member

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    I'm not a fan of assisted suicide or mercy killings, but I do try to be compassionate about the reasons for such concepts.

    I just feel like we don't die until we are supposed to. However, I don't believe in prolonging life where the quality of life is gone either.

    I think this is just so difficult and I hope I am never, ever in a position where I feel like this poor man must have felt. I pray our legal system shows him mercy.

    Salem
     
  16. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    This is my county too, JBean and you are so right about the DA here. I didn't read your links but I read in an LA Times article that many other states or counties that have had such cases have either charged them with something less, not charged them at all or given them nothing more than probation at trial.
    This couple have been together since high school. 70 years, I think. The husband tenderly cared for his wife for years and was with her every day in the nursing home. He killed her when she lost the ability to eat, walk or sit up.
    I understand that it's a slippery slope. We don't want people using "mercy killings" as an excuse to off a disabled or unwanted spouse. But I think common sense needs to come into play in such cases. Clearly, this was a strong marriage with a husband who absolutely adored his wife. Clearly, she had no more quality of life and was likely suffering. I have told my spouse to not let me go on if there was no more hope. I just don't want to suffer. This man is 88 years old. His family supports him and understands. Let him go home.
     
  17. Sooner Fan#1

    Sooner Fan#1 Rest in Peace

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    My husband and I have been married 43 years. He has cancer...they are going to try and operate if it hasn't spread too much. Has prostrate cancer, maybe colon and pancreas. Because of our religious beliefs suicide is not an option, nor could I ever kill him. Never ever.... But we have discussed (we fly A LOT) that if we happen to die together that would be ideal. It isn't easy watching someone die of some horrible disease. If it got really really bad..I just would make sure the doctor's medicate the heck out of him to ease his suffering and I would want the same for me.

    BTW we both have a living will and no heroic's. And both of our children know it. We also want to be cremated and have arrangements to have us strewn in our pond on our land.
     
  18. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    Orange County so desperately does not want to become like LA County that the OCSD and the DA arrest and overcharge for just about everything.

    There are good parts about it,like how hard they are working to keep Lawrence brown in Chino.

    Kyle Nachriener from the Haidl gang rape just got picked up on a parole violation too.

    But I see a lot of gross overcharging generally and overall in the county and when they have you once it is hard to stay out of their clutches LOL.
    This guy should have taken her up to LA County and he probably wouldn't even have been charged.
     
  19. kgeaux

    kgeaux New Member

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    I so totally agree with you, Lisa, (BBM) While I think life is to be held in the highest regards, I also know that if I were in the condition this man's wife found herself, I would crave, demand, scream for release.

    There should be a clear, definitive difference between MURDER, the act to maliciously end the life of another, and EUTHANASIA, an act of mercy toward another.

    This man acted out of LOVE for his wife, he had no malicious intent. Like Lisa, I 100% believe that. These charges should be dropped, right now.

    There are so many who need to be prosecuted, however, this man is not one of those. God grant him strength, God be with his family and help them to stand by him and not to waiver.


    I believe that the days of our lives are recorded before we are ever born. However, scientific medical technology has far out paced our common sense as human beings. We have the technology to prolong life, even when the life in question may be crying for release. I guess I believe that some poor people are left with a physical shell that has a beating heart, breathing lungs, but a soul that has been released from that body. IOW, we are keeping a body alive, even when the human spirit has long departed.

    I have watched loved ones become lost in disease, I've watched loved ones pray, BEG, for release. I've never made the decision this husband made, but I do believe it was made out of love and mercy, and I hope he is treated with the highest level of mercy.
     
  20. Tinsamd

    Tinsamd Justice for Shaniya!!!!

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    From the original post:

    A million bucks bond! Really?

    70 years of marriage.

    Daughter says it was mercy.

    Let this man go, & call it a day.
     
  21. Salem

    Salem Former Member

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    Does anyone think the DA may be overcharging this husband in order to get a debate going on this issue or the issue of assisted suicide?
     

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