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Ontario court upholds infanticide law

Infanticide conviction carries lower sentence than murder


 

The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled on the conviction of a woman who killed her two children, saying the Superior Court was right to convict her of infanticide, which carries a much lower sentence, instead of murder. The ruling was made on the basis that mothers who kill their infants while mentally ill deserve leniency and do not deserve a mandatory life sentence for murder. Infanticide is punishable by up to five years in jail, and very few such sentences are handed out each year. The appeals court was ruling on the trial of a woman known as L.B., who was acquitted of first-degree murder. Crown prosecutor Jennifer Woolcombe argued that L.B.’s trial judge should not have been found guilty of the lesser offence, but Mr. Justice David Doherty concluded that infanticide was introduced by Parliament in the 1940s to exist as a compassionate “safety valve” that protected new mothers who had become unbalanced.

The Globe and Mail


 
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Ontario court upholds infanticide law

  1. so women can now use hormones as a defence
    sickening.

  2. so women can now use hormones as a defence
    sickening.

    • It's not about 'hormones'.

  3. From what I gather this is the second time the accused has been up for infanticide. The first occuring in 1998.

  4. From what I gather this is the second time the accused has been up for infanticide. The first occuring in 1998.

  5. I do not understand the need for the distinction between murder and infanticide. If a woman is mentally ill with postpartum psychosis wouldn't see be found not responsible for the murder?
    I could possibly see charging infanticide if a very depressed new mother jumped off a bridge in an attempt to take both her life and the life of her new babe and she survived and the babe did not. Otherwise, I am not sure where it would be appropriate.

  6. I do not understand the need for the distinction between murder and infanticide. If a woman is mentally ill with postpartum psychosis wouldn't see be found not responsible for the murder?
    I could possibly see charging infanticide if a very depressed new mother jumped off a bridge in an attempt to take both her life and the life of her new babe and she survived and the babe did not. Otherwise, I am not sure where it would be appropriate.

  7. These judges give me the hibbies.

  8. These judges give me the hibbies.

  9. It's not about 'hormones'.

  10. As the parent of two younger children whom I love dearly and would do anything to protect, I gotta say…there have been some long long nights where the brain stops functioning properly and rationality goes out the window.

    We never dealt with infant colic, post-partum depression, or any health-related issues, and even with all of those benefits there were plenty of nights where we just had to leave the child screaming inside and stand out in the backyard for five minutes to collect ourselves.

    I don't condone anything she's done, of course, and I don't think parents should be exonerated from such actions, but I do certainly feel pity for her. I can only imagine what kind of pre-existing mental issues she had that led to this horrible outcome.

  11. As the parent of two younger children whom I love dearly and would do anything to protect, I gotta say…there have been some long long nights where the brain stops functioning properly and rationality goes out the window.

    We never dealt with infant colic, post-partum depression, or any health-related issues, and even with all of those benefits there were plenty of nights where we just had to leave the child screaming inside and stand out in the backyard for five minutes to collect ourselves.

    I don't condone anything she's done, of course, and I don't think parents should be exonerated from such actions, but I do certainly feel pity for her. I can only imagine what kind of pre-existing mental issues she had that led to this horrible outcome.

  12. Postpartum psychosis she isn't responsible. She had mental illness which needs to be treated in a psychiatric hospital and not prison which will make things wors.

  13. Postpartum psychosis she isn't responsible. She had mental illness which needs to be treated in a psychiatric hospital and not prison which will make things wors.

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