Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Finding Excuses and Shirking Responsibility

The following news report appeared a couple of days ago. Unfortunately, I have lost the attribution information, however, it was from a reputable news organization Web site.

The mothers of five children killed in a house fire surrendered to police Thursday to face involuntary manslaughter charges for allegedly leaving the youngsters alone while they went to a bar.

Wearing a T-shirt that read "Mommy Loves You" and "God Loves You More," Shakita Mangham, 25, arrived at municipal court early Thursday. Furaha Love, 25, turned herself in at police headquarters a short time later.

Mangham initially told police she left the children with a baby sitter, but later admitted she lied, according to a criminal complaint. Love also said later that she knew there was no baby sitter, and that the children had been left in the care of two 8-year-olds.

Authorities said the early morning fire June 12 was started by children playing with matches.

Love was taken from police headquarters in handcuffs to a patrol car and was expected to be arraigned Thursday. Her attorney, Ernest Sharif, said they were ready to fight the charges.

"We're in a very emotional climate right now," the attorney said Thursday. "Five children died. Automatically people want to make the connection it was her fault. But from a legal standpoint, it was not her fault."

He said Love was "a loving parent who did something she regrets, but she didn't kill the children."

Mangham was arraigned and was to be released after posting 10 percent of a $10,000 bond, said her attorney, Jim Ecker. A preliminary hearing was set for June 29.

Surely everyone recognizes that this is a tragic situation and that these two women are grieving heavily over the loss of their children. But I find it interesting the way Furaha Love’s attorney attempts to rationalize the women’s obvious and undeniable guilt in the deaths of those five children, as he announced that they will fight the involuntary manslaughter charges.

Are there no people left in this country that will simply face up to their mistakes without trying to wiggle out from under their responsibilities through some legal maneuver or another? And what about lawyers? There seems to be an endless supply of them at the ready to try to find some loophole or another to get people released from their proper punishment.

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