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A "noble experiment?"

A particularly ugly case is drawing attention to a legal experiment carried out in New Hampshire.

Back in 2001, Chad Evans was living with his girlfriend, Amanda Bortner, and her 21-month-old daughter, Kassidy. One day Amanda rushed a severely injured Kassidy to her sister's apartment. A few hours later, when it was obvious Kassidy was in real trouble, the sister's boyfriend called 911. She was rushed to the hospital, but it was too late. She died. An autopsy revealed that the tiny girl had been beaten to death -- and had been abused for some time.

Amanda Bortner was convicted of endangering the welfare of a child and sentenced to two years in prison for knowing her daughter was being beaten and doing nothing. And Chad Evans was found guilty of second-degree murder and given 28 years to life. (He was also convicted on five counts of second-degree assault, one count of endangering the welfare of a child, and one count of simple assault against Amanda.)

That's when the experiment kicked in. The prosecution didn't think the sentence was adequate, so they appealed it. The appeal board looked at the case, agreed with them, and bumped it up to 43 to life.

Evans is now appealing those additional 15 years. His lawyer says that since the law went into effect between his offenses and the conviction, it shouldn't apply. Further, they are questioning the whole notion of allowing this board overturn judge's sentences.

It's a tough case.


Comments (13)

I hate to side with the low... (Below threshold)
OregonMuse:

I hate to side with the low-life child-beater, but it appears as if we're getting into some murky "ex post facto" waters here. If the prosecution wanted to hang a stiffer sentence on the swine, they had their chance to do it the first time around. If the law forbade it, they need to change the law so stiffer prison terms can be awarded to begin with so that these "revised" sentences aren't necessary.

I feel the same reluctance ... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

I feel the same reluctance that OregaonMuse does but from the legal angle OM is probably correct. But, man, child abuse is such a heinous act. I seem to always feel the penalties for this particular crime are never strong enough.

Just cut his hands and feet... (Below threshold)
jt:

Just cut his hands and feet off.
No prison.

It is absolutely an ex p... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

It is absolutely an ex post facto case. The law requires you be charged and sentenced under the rules in place at the time of the crime. It's as simple as that.

It's so hard to be objectiv... (Below threshold)

It's so hard to be objective in a case like this, but Steve L. is right. I hear, however, that child abusers don't do too well in prison, yes? Maybe he'll never make it out of jail.

Waste some time at <a href=... (Below threshold)
As far as I'm concerned, an... (Below threshold)

As far as I'm concerned, any punishment less than death is merciful.

And their still leinent tow... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

And their still leinent towards juviniles who commit serious crime becuase their softheaded

I don't see anything wrong ... (Below threshold)

I don't see anything wrong with it in the least (except that the death penalty was not applied).

Ex Post Facto should apply only to guilt or innocence. The punishment should be constantly under review.

Frankly, there are many in prisons now that should be "upgraded".

OK, I'll revise that last r... (Below threshold)

OK, I'll revise that last remark to be "within the limits of punishment prescribed by the law at the time of the offense".

I have a proposal for a "no... (Below threshold)

I have a proposal for a "noble experiment". Instead of sentencing animals like him to prison put them on a plane to Mexico to visit me. It'd only be a one-way ticket, I could take them on the fishing trip of their lives, the last one. Hey sharks, come and get it!

I figure he will win his su... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I figure he will win his suit.

That said, I think the mom got off rather lightly.

Put me in a room alone with... (Below threshold)
G:

Put me in a room alone with him and I could fix his problem permanently.




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