Pennsylvania residents have been hearing a lot about child abuse in recent weeks, as news media cover the allegations against an NFL athlete, among other stories. This has sparked a lot of debate over how parents discipline their children and when their actions go so far that the state should get involved. Certainly, almost everyone agrees that the authorities should get involved in a case in which a child dies. However, it is important to remember that even in the most shocking cases, the accused must be presumed innocent.
A 22-year-old Pennsylvania woman faces charges of criminal homicide in the death of a 10-month-old boy. The woman, who was the boy's stepmother, told police that she was the only one home when the boy fell and hit his head. Police said they arrested the woman after they examined the boy's body and found that he died from head trauma that appeared consistent with child abuse.
In addition to the homicide charge, the woman has been charged with aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
The death of a child is tragic, and the violent death of a baby is shocking. No doubt, many people hear the basic outlines of such a story and immediately want to lock the accused up for life. However, it's important for everyone to remember that the presumption of innocence is a cornerstone of our criminal justice system. Everyone deserves a defense. When the allegations are most shocking, the accused has the greatest need of a defense. Pennsylvania attorneys with experience in violent crime defense can help the accused to understand their rights and their legal options.
Source: WGAL.com, "Pa. stepmom charged with homicide in child's death," Sept. 8, 2014