Shocking crimes against children deserve severe punishment

December 10, 2009 — by Girish Swaminath

Recently, a 5-year-old girl named Shaniya Davis from Fayetteville, N.C., was reported missing by her mother Antoinette Davis. Her body was discovered on Nov. 16, when police determined that she was raped, murdered and asphyxiated. After further investigation, police arrested Mario McNeill, 29, as the perpetrator and charged him with first-degree murder. However, in an appalling twist, Shaniya Davis’s mother Antoinette Davis was later charged with putting her extremely young child into prostitution for additional income.

The traditional role of a mother is to give nothing but love and care for her child and do the best possible for him or her. But situations like this show how depraved parents can be and how important it is that they receive severe punishments in cases of abuse—maybe even the death penalty.

The sexual exploitation of young children blurs the line separating humanity from brutality, and there are other instances of unforgivable behavior equally deserving of punishment. For instance, in a case in Florida last summer, 2-year-old Caylee Anthony’s mother, Casey, murdered her and provided police with wrong information before being caught. At the least the mother should face a long-term prison sentence as a result of her barbaric crime. To their credit, prosecutors for the case are seeking the death penalty for Anthony.

Perhaps more than any other crimes, those committed against minors are deserving of the death penalty. Minors are considered more vulnerable to physical harm and are less able to defend themselves than adults. Parents such as Antoinette Davis who feel that they can take advantage of their children must be prosecuted for their malicious intentions. Furthermore, youth comprise the future generation. By ruining their lives, these parents deny their children an opportunity to lead a prosperous, happy life. Consequently, they must receive a harsh punishment for serving as a detriment to society so that they can reflect upon their unjust and unethical actions.

This kind of unthinkable abuse also goes on in countries as as Sudan and Thailand, where parents sometimes sell their children into prostitution as a result of economic desperation. Even here these parents should face severe consequences of actions that cripple the following generations.

The Davis case is a reminder that teaches an important lesson to all parents: to always pursue the best interests of their children and to know that a long prison sentence or death awaits those who so thoroughly betray their own children’s best interests.

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