Friday, September 16, 2011

Canada: Mother Who Killed Baby Gets No Jail Time


Katrina Effert was sentenced Friday for killing her newborn and then throwing the body over a fence into the neighbor’s yard on April 13, 2005, when she was 19. She was given a three-year suspended sentence by Judge Joanne Veit wherein if she abides by the court’s conditions for the next three years, she will not spend time behind bars. CBC notes the justification given by the judge for such an astounding sentence:
“The fact that Canada has no abortion laws reflects that ‘while many Canadians undoubtedly view abortion as a less than ideal solution to unprotected sex and unwanted pregnancy, they generally understand, accept and sympathize with the onerous demands pregnancy and childrbirth exact from mothers, especially mothers without support,’ she writes.
The judge noted that infanticide laws and sentencing guidelines were not altered when the government made many changes to the Criminal Code in 2005, which she says shows that Canadians view the law as a ‘fair compromise of all the interests involved.’
‘Naturally, Canadians are grieved by an infant’s death, especially at the hands of the infant’s mother, but Canadians also grieve for the mother.”
The judge also rejected arguments that the single father and the grandparent also face “the same stresses of the mind” as a mother who kills her own baby.

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