Like many, I was saddened last week to hear about the 2-year-old boy who died in Atlanta after his dad left him in a hot car all day. 

I was saddened by the tragedy and felt some sympathy for the father. At first, I thought about how our children can get quiet in the back seat, and I couldn’t imagine the guilt that father must be feeling by

“accidentally” forgetting him. I even figured that prison would have nothing on this father’s pain of knowing what he did and having to live with it for the rest of his life. Even his wife and family stood by him.

However, days later, more details are coming out in the case where Justin Ross Harris has been charged with his son’s murder. It appears having a child and a wife wasn’t what Harris wanted. In fact, during the initial court proceedings, detectives introduced evidence of the dad sexting multiple women throughout the day while his child was suffering in a burning-hot car.

Adding to his extra-marital affairs, early evidence shows Harris did some research online on how hot a car would need to be to kill someone. 

While he has pleaded not guilty and Harris will have his day in court, the initial findings in this case have me asking why. This isn’t the first time either. I ask why these parents, spouses or family members oftentimes choose murder? Why can’t they just leave?

In Harris’ case, it appears the family was having financial troubles, and there were two separate life insurance policies worth $27,000 on his son.

Is $27,000 really worth killing your child for? If it’s a matter of not wanting to be married or have children because you want to have affairs, then just leave. 

These cases frustrate me. Look at the Casey Anthony case. Anthony was found not guilty of first-degree murder and the other most serious charges against her in the 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter.

While she was found not guilty, it’s still hard to think that verdict was the correct one. In this case, there are plenty of families out there who would have taken that beautiful child. Why does murder have to be the only way out?

The other case that comes to mind is the murder of Laci Petersen - A mother and child had to die tragically here. Her husband, Scott Peterson, is now on death row for killing Laci and her unborn child, Conner. Laci was seven and a half months pregnant when she went missing in 2002.

Scott Peterson was found guilty of the murder after it was disclosed that he was having an affair at that time and wasn’t interested in married life or having a baby.

It’s another instance where it’s hard to fathom why death was the only way out. Why not leave her? Why not tell her to leave or face death?

While every case is unique, and every one of the defendants have their reasons, it would be great if there was some way to get them help before they commit the crime and we lose innocent lives, especially young children.

(1) comment

John Flanagan

You have put your finger on the words many others are speaking as well. None of us can really understand why crimes like this happen all too frequently. Parents kill their children with little remorse, and for what? Money? It is just evil, and though lawyers are adept at victimizing and exonerating perpetrators of egregious crimes, it remains in many of our minds as willful, vicious, evil acts.....for which the death penalty is fully warranted. But the sympathies of defense lawyers are remote from the cries of the innocents, those slain with malice and premeditation. This case, like the Anthony case, and others, will be watched by Americans, and no doubt a legal team will be actively seeking some technical mistake, some small procedure overlooked, some evidence of police misconduct, real or alleged, and will desire to see the case thrown out. Those who arrogantly attest that the American justice system is the best in the world are really in denial of the truth. The system is in need of reform in too many areas to list, but we could start by refusing to put trials on television or allow defense lawyers to corrupt the system with false narratives as they do at present.

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