What Do You Do With An 80 Year Old Murderer?

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Today, I happened to stumble upon one of those great crime shows I love. Only thing was, this was no ordinary crime…

Here’s the scenario: A woman and her husband in Philly had their first baby in 1949. That baby died of SIDS before it reached six months of age. This happened two more times-SIDS both times. Then again. And again. And again. In total, said woman had 10 children, two of which died during the birth process. The other 8? According to her? SIDS.

When the last baby died of SIDS in 1968, there were major complications. An emergency hysterectomy was performed. This ended the saddest picture of motherhood in American history.

Thirty years later, this mother admitted to police she had, in fact, murdered the eight surviving children. It goes without saying this is a very, very sick woman.

Still, 30 years after the last murder was committed, what do you do with the murderer? She’s a physically impaired woman pushing 80 years old. She’s not a threat to society, she can’t really run from the police, what do you do? Do you even charge her? These are questions the prosecution had to determine.

I was very, very glad to hear the D.A. say, “What do we do? We prosecute her for the crimes she committed.” Good. In fact, murder is such a heinous slap in the face of humanity, it should be prosecuted no matter what. Even if the crime is 80 years old and the murderer’s picture was just held up by Willard Scott, prosecute.

Think if this happened today, in 2008. An immediate plea of insanity would be heard. The murderer would likely spend the next 30 years in a psychiatric hospital and society would chalk it up to the sad state of mental illness.
research-and the state of PA dropped the ball.

What really happened in the Marie Noe(sp?) case? She was sentenced to 30 years of probation, the first five of which were to be spent under house arrest. Marie’s plea bargain included her evaluation by psychiatric specialists, too. Yet, in one of the worst cases of female serial killings in U.S. history, the study of this killer was barely done.

I absolutely, positively believe the prosecution did the right thing. And I absolutely, positively believe sending an 80 year old woman to a maximum security prison accomplishes nothing. More than that, though, is the missed opprotunity to study and evaluate this woman’s psychiatric condition. So much could be learned for future

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