Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer

From Lincoln Mother, Beth Myers, with firsthand experience, comes a hard hitting criticism of the law. Senator Ashford acknowledged in Martha Stoddard's article this Sunday that there have been problems in a few cases but said “positive aspects of the law outweigh those." Besides the obvious pain that such a comment would cause to the family whose case is one of "those", in criminal law, there is the Blackstone's ratio principle: "better that ten guilty person’s escape than that one innocent suffer." Apparently Senator Ashford is willing to sacrifice the innocent to capture the guilty.

The following words from a Lincoln mother impacted by the law should make all Nebraskans very concerned that this law, which was passed with unanimous support and continues to retain support from the vast majority of law makers and the Governor, is a miscarriage of justice and tramples on the natural rights of parents.


"In response to Sunday's World Herald article and specifically the comment by Hall County Attorney who said, "I don't think the parent is necessarily the best judge of what is a justifiable absence." From my own personal experience this law not only disregards the judgment of parents but at this point even doctors notes are under suspicion. In my case I didn't even "decide" my daughter was sick, her doctor did, and yet we were still taken to court. So if the doctor can't decide, who is next in line?"

"We are scheduled for trial in November, and that will be our 6th court date. I was told by her attorney, if she is found truant, the court will order home visits, she will be placed on probation and she will be required to have Doctor's notes whenever she is absent."

"I really thought I had prepared myself for the teenage years, but I would have never guessed my child would be put on probation for being sick. This is taking a toll on our family. All these court dates are not good for a child who has done nothing wrong, or for that matter any kid!! I haven't even asked her what she thinks of all of this. What would I say about our justice system; at this point the whole thing is insane."

Beth Meyers
Lincoln Public Schools
Lincoln, NE

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