Sunday, December 5, 2010

What's Wrong With California?

One of my favorite PajamasMedia columnists is Zombie.  She reports on a horrifying crime in the Bay Area--horrifying in not only its depravity, but in its blatancy.  The man accused of raping a two year old was doing so in an aisle of a store--apparently completely oblivious to the fact that people would find him partly undressed, and having undressed her for that purpose.  That's horrifying--but I'm guessing that he is mentally ill.  (What sane person would attempt a crime this repulsive in plain sight?)  The real shocker is the December 3, 2010 San Francisco Chronicle coverage of his history:

Ramos attacked a 7-year-old child in Hayward in 2003 and was convicted of assault with intent to commit rape, sodomy or oral copulation, authorities said.
So he commits a crime like that seven years ago and he is already out?  What would you have to do to get a serious prison sentence?

Many years ago, one of the secretaries that I worked with in California explained why she and her husband have moved from San Francisco to Sonoma County.  She had been on a jury that convicted a man of second degree murder.  He had beaten his wife to death with a baseball bat in front of their kids while high on crack.  I asked what sentence he received.  She looked at me with this look that told me why she had moved.  "Probation.  The judge was concerned that the kids would end up in foster care, and not have a positive male role model."  This had given her reduced confidence in San Francisco as a good place to live.  Unfortunately, from what I saw of Sonoma County justice, and this travesty aforementioned, this problem was not limited to San Francisco.

8 comments:

Rorschach said...

"Unfortunately, from what I saw of Sonoma County justice, and this travesty aforementioned, this problem was not limited to San Francisco. "

Probably because of the influx of insanity from San Fran.

Jim Horn said...

Then again, while California Law requires children in foster care to be returned to their families as soon as possible, legal precedent in Sonoma County holds that:
1) The best interest of the children comes first.
2) It is not in the best interest of the children to subject them to unnecessary trauma.
3) If they are not given everything they want, it could traumatize them.

The result of this is that if the County takes children for any reason, there is no appeal - but if for any reason the children decide they like foster care, there isn't anything the *parents* can do to get them back. Ever.

Oh, and California Law requires any parent that doesn't have his or her children living with them to pay child support to whereever they are living. So parents in the above situation must pay Sonoma County for the privelidge of having their children taken away.

Yes really.

Karl said...

What would you have to do to get a serious prison sentence?

Smoke a cigarette? Fail to recycle your plastic grocery bag? Vote Republican?

mollo said...

We have family in Hawaii that are dealing with the sexual assault of their 11 yr old daughter. According to their victim "advocate", their case probably won't even go forward, and even if it did, the worse he could get was 5 yrs. Most likely, the perp will just get probation. She apologized for her "liberal" state laws to the family.

Sigivald said...

The result of this is that if the County takes children for any reason, there is no appeal - but if for any reason the children decide they like foster care, there isn't anything the *parents* can do to get them back. Ever.

Well, I'm not sure I see the problem with the second half of that, from the child-welfare point of view.

(The lack of appeal is, however, problematic.)

Jim Horn said...

The problem with the children deciding their own fate is that institutional foster facilities (*not* foster families) can warehouse the children while letting them run rampant. If the accusations against the parents are found to be groundless and some children returned without conditions, the others can choose to live where they want even though they can't vote, drive, smoke, etc.

For an analogy, what jurisdiction allows children of parents who must move to find new jobs decide to stay put and have their parents forced to pay for their care instead of moving with them?

And, as I mentioned, all this is in direct violation of the State's code on foster care.

"Nanny State"? It's here.

Mauser said...

"She"? I thought Zombie was purposely genderless to aid in avoiding identification.

Clayton said...

If I described her hair color, age, and race, that might make her easier to identify. (I don't know any of those details.) I do know that Zombie is she from some conversations we've had.