Saturday, October 25, 2008

20/20 Rant

First of all my rant isn't with 20/20, I think they reported the story accurately, which is something that has been missed by the local media. First off, let me say, that I do NOT know this family. I know people well, who know them well.

That prosecuting attorney really irked me. "I did the right thing in convicting her." What the crap? You didn't even give the jury proper instructions. They found her guilty of omission. Guilty of not getting medical help. What you failed to tell the jury is this, in order to find her guilty of capital murder you have to know BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT, that she withheld medical treatment knowing he would die if she did. One of the jurors they interviewed kept saying "we'll never know" when asked that very question. DING DING DING DING DING, we have reasonable doubt.

If you go to you'll see in the appellate papers that at least one juror has issued a statement to the fact that they were unaware that the standard to be met had to be that Hannah knew the boy would die.

As for the camera in the bedroom. I have been asked by many a caseworker to put them in our bedrooms. We've always refused, but they particularly urge it when room sharing is going on between children not biologically related.

In my opinion Hannah is the scapegoat for the incompetence of our system. Both the foster system and the legal system. People were outraged that a child died while in foster care. More importantly, the biological family still had legal rights to the boy and you can bet they were filing lawsuits left and right, convicting Hannah alleviated some of the liability of the state.

The local media focused on Hannah's emotional state in the Urgent Care Center. She was performing CPR when they arrived and wasn't upset enough. So had she been too hysterical to perform CPR that would have been better? Apparently she didn't think he was going to die.

Something else they tried to put out in the media was that Andrew had cigarette burns all over his body. Turns out they were mosquito bites he'd picked at obsessively, and if you've ever been on the south coast of Texas in September you know all about mosquito swarms, they are quite literally the size of house flies.

I hate this whole case. I think that the prosecutor needs to become a foster parent for about five minutes, her whole attitude will change. I think someone needs to bring her a baby that lived for two years with a meth addict and then two years in the foster system.

and another little tangent here, the former foster parent saying "he didn't act like that when he lived with me." Yeah, he was probably attatched to you, but since you didn't want to adopt him, you perpetuated the breaking attachment cycle and amped it up a notch or two. I know attachments can be transferred but neither the state nor most foster parents want to take the time to do it properly. Especially to a family who has never fostered before. It takes four to six months to do it properly, four to six months of the caseworker working with two families for one child. Four to six months that the foster family has to deal with another intrusion in their life. Four to six months seems for ever when all you want to do is bring your child home, but no one explains this to the adoptive parents. When Felpsy came to our house, I specifically begged that they do it as weekend respite for about a month then more frequent visits. They wouldn't do it.

Sorry this is so poorly written and non objective, but I'm emotionally involved here. I'm stuck on the fact that she'd have gotten off with probation had she been driving through the neighborhood and had "accidentally" killed him by shooting 20 rounds into his house. It makes me sick.

But, from what I can gather she is making the most of her time in prison, her husband and church are standing behind her. Let's all pray that in two weeks they'll agree to accept her appeal. I'm also going to find out where I can send her some cards and letters. Her website is asking that you submit your letters online in the contact us portion, they print them out and deliver them to Hannah that way. I'll contact someone here locally and see if we can send actual cards and letters. Let me know if you are interested. In the meantime let's all pray for them.


hsmomma5 said...

All I can say is AMEN, SISTER!!!!

I am definitely interested! My husband and I are praying for Hannah. I hope there is somewhere we can send her a card.

Bri said...

Hubbs and I watched this last night. The thing that struck me so much about this is that if one of her bio kids had died, everyone would just feel terrible for her, but since it was a foster child, it is automatically assumed that she didn't love him enough and wanted him to die. It is complete crap! There are a lot of kinda weird little tid bits - like the zatarans in water and the burned sheets - but who doesn't have a little unusual parenting technique in their past? It in no way indicates that she didnt love him and even less that she wanted him to die. I wanted to slap that prosecutor in the face! All smug and certain like that! People will tell themselves anything to make it easier to sleep at night!
I'm with you on this one for sure! I have to believe that they will be granted the appeal. How could they not?

D said...

The whole time I was watching it, my heart went out to her. IS IT NOT every foster parents worst nightmare? Her story REALLY, really made me think twice or thrice before taking another placement. As a foster parent, you are always the bad guy, no matter what. No ONE has any idea what it is like dealing with this broken system except other foster parents, who no one listens to anyway. I will be praying for her and her family.

Maury said...

Ugh, I had not heard of this until now, and it just makes me SICK. And Scared. I pray she does get her appeal.

JustTheFactsMa'am said...

This is so sad. And also sad is that nothing NOTHING about foster care surprises me anymore. There is no justice in the system.