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Old 5th November 2012, 06:17 AM   #41
Psi Baba
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I was on the observation deck at the top of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse once and a father started to pick up his small child so that he could look over the railing. A park employee immediately rushed over and stopped the idiot from lifting the kid all the way up. I hope he was sufficiently embarrassed. I couldn't believe the stupidity. Why do so many parents have this exaggerated sense of confidence when holding their children in precarious positions?
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Old 5th November 2012, 06:25 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Psi Baba View Post
I was on the observation deck at the top of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse once and a father started to pick up his small child so that he could look over the railing. A park employee immediately rushed over and stopped the idiot from lifting the kid all the way up. I hope he was sufficiently embarrassed. I couldn't believe the stupidity. Why do so many parents have this exaggerated sense of confidence when holding their children in precarious positions?
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Old 5th November 2012, 06:29 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Caper View Post
I am also surprised the mother didn't jump in after her son..... I really can't think of many parents that wouldn't have done it.
Neither article I read went into any detail as to how the mother reacted, whether or not she tried to go in after the child. It's quite possible that she did and people stopped her. It's also possible that she froze in a state of panic, or she tried and couldn't get over the wall.
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Old 5th November 2012, 06:31 AM   #44
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No matter what folks say from the comfort of their computer screens, you really can't know how you would react in a situation like this. Things that could have kept the mother from jumping in the exhibit in an attempt to save her child:

Shock - for all we know, she passed out or was otherwise incapacitated after seeing her child fall. Not every person becomes Superman in a crisis.

Tried and failed - perhaps she did try to get into the enclosure but couldn't. For example, there are a lot of obese people in this country, and some of them would be unable to climb a fence and get into a zoo exhibit on their best day.

Tried and thwarted - perhaps she tried but was stopped by other folks at the scene. It might have been completely obvious to all on hand that the child died on impact and any heroics on the mother's part might have only led to her death too. For all we know, she had another baby with her.

This is hardly an exhaustive list of the possibilities. We need to be careful about rushing to profess our bravado with statements like "Well I sure would've jumped in there to fight off those dogs!"
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Old 5th November 2012, 06:34 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by korenyx View Post
No one had done it before so maybe the zoo thought no one could.
I still blame the kid; he could read and he was old enough to know better. I also blame the teacher for not keeping better track of him.

Seriously? A three year old? You don't spend much time around little kids, do you?

Anyone who depends on a three year old to "know better" about anything shouldn't be taking care of them. That's exactly the age where they experiment with the newness of the idea of disobedience but have not yet learned the consequences.

Two to three years old. The little rug-biters learn to say "No!". It is among the more memorable periods in the career of every new parent. It's also the period which presents the greatest hurdle to child-rearing without corporal punishment.
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Old 5th November 2012, 06:41 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
The boy probably climbed over the fence. I would like to know what sort of fence they did have that allowed for this accident to happen.
I would like to know what sort of parents he had that allowed for this accident to happen.
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Old 5th November 2012, 06:52 AM   #47
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There is something called 'contributory negligence'. It's not either the zoo is to blame or the parent is. If mum propped her kid up on the barrier and dropped him this does not absolve the zoo.

Mind you, thinking about Amsterdam zoo, it would be easy for a kid to fall off the wall that separates the public from the moat that separates the lions from the wall. I have always thought a really determined lion could get out of that enclosure and hope I'm not there when one of them tries.
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Old 5th November 2012, 07:00 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Seriously? A three year old? You don't spend much time around little kids, do you?

Anyone who depends on a three year old to "know better" about anything shouldn't be taking care of them. That's exactly the age where they experiment with the newness of the idea of disobedience but have not yet learned the consequences.

Two to three years old. The little rug-biters learn to say "No!". It is among the more memorable periods in the career of every new parent. It's also the period which presents the greatest hurdle to child-rearing without corporal punishment.

I'm pretty sure korenyx was referring to the story in his own previous post, involving an older child on a school trip, rather than to the 3-year-old child in the OP.

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Old 5th November 2012, 07:01 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Halfcentaur View Post
This is a terrible thing, but it's a shame things like this cause people to say such moronic crap as they desperately try to blame and claim what they would do in the situation and why the parents deserve to die or be imprisoned. People seem to just hate the idea that accidents can happen.
Hopefully the parents remember that when they try to blame the zoo instead of themselves.
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Old 5th November 2012, 07:02 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
<snip>

African wild dogs are nasty nasty nasty, basically eat their prey to death.

Do you think this is notably unique among carnivores?

I expect that the ones who kill their prey first do so mostly because that's just how their hunting techniques evolved. An accident, in other words.

Compare to house cats, who delight in tormenting their prey even when they aren't even hungry ... and when in a magnanimous mood they bring in the half-dead bodies to try and teach their stupid humans how to do it too.

-------------------------------------------------------------

(Poor Mrs. qg. One of our dear kittehs, the midnight black one, came up once and gifted her with the body of a blue-tailed skink it had caught on the porch. Still twitching.

Then she turned and saw the innocent blue eyes of our little Siamese half-breed beside her. That one had the skink's tail in her mouth ... also still twitching.

I managed not to laugh at her reaction, which forestalled what could have been an ugly episode. I also had to explain to her about skinks and break-away tails, which she found almost as disturbing as the dying lizard itself.)
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Old 5th November 2012, 07:10 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
I'm pretty sure korenyx was referring to the story in his own previous post, involving an older child on a school trip, rather than to the 3-year-old child in the OP.

Respectfully,
Myriad

Ahh. Okay.

You are quite right.



The anecdotes were starting to run together. I lost track.

Also lack of coffee.
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Old 5th November 2012, 07:14 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Seriously? A three year old? You don't spend much time around little kids, do you?

Anyone who depends on a three year old to "know better" about anything shouldn't be taking care of them. That's exactly the age where they experiment with the newness of the idea of disobedience but have not yet learned the consequences.

Two to three years old. The little rug-biters learn to say "No!". It is among the more memorable periods in the career of every new parent. It's also the period which presents the greatest hurdle to child-rearing without corporal punishment.
Please re-read my post. I was not talking about this case; I was talking about a middle-schooler in Wichita. The boy in Wichita climbed a barrier and got too close to a leopard.
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Old 5th November 2012, 07:16 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
Would you feel the same if the parent had killed the kid driving drunk? Left a loaded gun in the crib?
The drunk driving example is an analogy fail since the drunk driver is likely to re-offend and put more kids at risk. That needs to be addressed.

The loaded gun in a crib is an analogy fail because it crosses a line from stupid accident to gross negligence or willful indifference.

While I understand your point, stupidity is not necessarily considered a crime. Society tends to draw a line of distinction between stupidity and gross negligence.
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So high a degree negligence that it shows a reckless disregard for one's legal duty, the safety of others' life, limb, property, or a conscious indifference to the rights of others. Gross negligence, however, does not have a precise legal meaning except in involuntary manslaughter (causing death through reckless driving, for example).
Would you seek criminal charges for the parent whose child runs in the street and is struck by a car? The child who accidentally drowns? Should we criminalize leaving the battery out of the smoke alarm (not counting landlords' responsibilities)? Yes, these can be outrageously irresponsible behaviors, but society doesn't have a consensus these are criminal acts.
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Old 5th November 2012, 07:19 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by korenyx View Post
Please re-read my post. I was not talking about this case; I was talking about a middle-schooler in Wichita. The boy in Wichita climbed a barrier and got too close to a leopard.

Got it. Mea culpa.
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Old 5th November 2012, 07:20 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
There is a crocodile enclosure I visited once. You could easily lean over the top of the rail and look down at the crocodile. There was a notice that said if you fell in and the fall did not kill you then the crocodile would!

The trouble with putting a high fence in so that parents cannot put their children on top is that the fence ruins the view for the rest of us.

I think any parent whose child dies from the parent's own stupidity should not be allowed to have any more children.
The Seattle zoo (Woodland Park) has glass windows on their viewing platforms rather than open railings. They work quite well.

The Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma has a couple really great exhibits with through glass viewing. The polar bear exhibit is fantastic.
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Old 5th November 2012, 07:22 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Very hard to take decent pictures through glass. Glass gets dirty easily and also reflections light.
Not with digital photography that doesn't require a flash as often. And you can keep glass clean.
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Old 5th November 2012, 07:25 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
So parents who kill their children through their own reckless negligence should never be charged with a crime?

Can't win an argument, no problem, just add a few straw qualifiers to the fight.
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Old 5th November 2012, 07:27 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by The Shrike View Post
No matter what folks say from the comfort of their computer screens, you really can't know how you would react in a situation like this. Things that could have kept the mother from jumping in the exhibit in an attempt to save her child:

...

This is hardly an exhaustive list of the possibilities. We need to be careful about rushing to profess our bravado with statements like "Well I sure would've jumped in there to fight off those dogs!"
While I do agree that judgmental morons behind a computer screen don't really have a clue, let me add this as a parent who regularly takes his two boys, both under the age of 4, to the zoo.

1) Those who claim that it's crazy to let the kids crawl on the railing - no. That's idiotic. Yes, that's what kids do.
2) That being said, as a parent whose kids do that, I try to be extremely diligent about watching, and even holding them to make sure they don't overdo it. Second, while I can't guarantee that I know exactly how I would respond, it's not as simple as "you don't know what you would do," because as my kids are there, I am extremely aware of a potential problem, and am absolutely on my toes and have a plan in the back of my head. I am prepared to act if something were to happen. And if he fell in, you damn straight I would be in the pen right behind them.

As a parent, I know that I can't control everything my kids do. However, it is because of that that I prepare myself if something were to happen when they do crazy things. It is always in the back of my mind - watch for this, be careful about that, BE PREPARED.

Kids are unpredictable, therefore, as a parent, you need to be prepared for the unpredictable.
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Old 5th November 2012, 07:29 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
Even worse is people scratch graffitti in it, and after a few years you can hardly see through it.
Glass enclosed viewing is a very common zoo structure. Works fine. It can even be more fun because you get much closer to the animals.
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Old 5th November 2012, 07:35 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Glass enclosed viewing is a very common zoo structure. Works fine. It can even be more fun because you get much closer to the animals.
Sometimes the animals breathe on the glass then write messages. Last time I was at the zoo, a baboon did so, and he advised me to invest in stock index funds.
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Old 5th November 2012, 07:38 AM   #61
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Viewing can be much better through glass:
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Even if the glass isn't perfectly clean:
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Of course, this guy broke the glass, so there's no perfect system :
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Old 5th November 2012, 07:52 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
The drunk driving example is an analogy fail since the drunk driver is likely to re-offend and put more kids at risk. That needs to be addressed.

The loaded gun in a crib is an analogy fail because it crosses a line from stupid accident to gross negligence or willful indifference.

While I understand your point, stupidity is not necessarily considered a crime. Society tends to draw a line of distinction between stupidity and gross negligence.
Yes, and placing a 2 year old on top of a fence over an African wild dog enclosure is gross negligence and willful indifference.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Would you seek criminal charges for the parent whose child runs in the street and is struck by a car? The child who accidentally drowns? Should we criminalize leaving the battery out of the smoke alarm (not counting landlords' responsibilities)? Yes, these can be outrageously irresponsible behaviors, but society doesn't have a consensus these are criminal acts.
It depends if any of those instances involved gross negligence and willful indifference by the parent. Like if the kid ran out in the street because mommy passed out drunk on the curb.
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Old 5th November 2012, 07:54 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Glass enclosed viewing is a very common zoo structure. Works fine. It can even be more fun because you get much closer to the animals.
I know, my anecdote comes from my experience at the Lincoln Park Zoo. There's a plexiglass window so you can observe the lions, but it's so scratched up you can hardly see through it.
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Old 5th November 2012, 07:57 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post

Can't win an argument, no problem, just add a few straw qualifiers to the fight.
I'm just trying to define the limits of his statement. Just because the stupid parent is sorry doesnt mean they shouldn't be charged with a crime.
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Old 5th November 2012, 08:06 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
The drunk driving example is an analogy fail since the drunk driver is likely to re-offend and put more kids at risk. That needs to be addressed.

The loaded gun in a crib is an analogy fail because it crosses a line from stupid accident to gross negligence or willful indifference.

While I understand your point, stupidity is not necessarily considered a crime. Society tends to draw a line of distinction between stupidity and gross negligence.

Would you seek criminal charges for the parent whose child runs in the street and is struck by a car? The child who accidentally drowns? Should we criminalize leaving the battery out of the smoke alarm (not counting landlords' responsibilities)? Yes, these can be outrageously irresponsible behaviors, but society doesn't have a consensus these are criminal acts.
This woman didn't accidentally lose sight of her child and have them run into the road, she lifted the child on top of high safety railings to get a better view.

If that doesn't count as a prosecutable example of gross negligence then we might as well scrap the very idea of personal responsibility.

She is an idiot who killed her child by doing something personally that put the child in extreme danger.
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Old 5th November 2012, 09:09 AM   #66
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My experience in zoos: They are all flush with money, pay their staff way too much, and can pretty much retrofit any exhibit they want any way they want.

Sorry, scratch that, and replace it with the diametrical opposite for all but a tiny subset of the most successful zoos.

It's possible that zoos recognize that state of the art in exhibit design includes glass barriers, moats, safety nets, etc., but they simply don't have the money to make those changes. Many (most?) zoos are still involved in the slow crawl of exhibit improvements that get the animals out of tiny cages and cement floors that were standard designs 100 years ago.
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Old 5th November 2012, 09:10 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
<snip>

While I understand your point, stupidity is not necessarily considered a crime. Society tends to draw a line of distinction between stupidity and gross negligence.

Would you seek criminal charges for the parent whose child runs in the street and is struck by a car? The child who accidentally drowns? Should we criminalize leaving the battery out of the smoke alarm (not counting landlords' responsibilities)? Yes, these can be outrageously irresponsible behaviors, but society doesn't have a consensus these are criminal acts.

Well ... sometimes.

We had a thread about this last year.

Raquel Nelson, who just had her appeal turned down about two months ago.

Quote:
Nelson’s son was struck and killed by an admitted drunk driver – Jerry L. Guy – on the night of April 10, 2010, as she returned home on the bus after a day out with A.J. and her two daughters.

They crossed Austell Road’s northbound lanes to the median rather than walking a half mile in either direction to crosswalks.

Witnesses told police that A.J. pulled away from his mother and darted into the path of Guy’s oncoming van, trying to follow his older sister, who had already made it safely to the other side.

Nelson and her toddler, whom she was holding while trying to save A.J., were also hit but were not seriously injured.

In addition to second-degree vehicular homicide, a jury also found her guilty of crossing outside of a crosswalk and reckless conduct.
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Old 5th November 2012, 09:16 AM   #68
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I'm reminded of a trip I took with my family to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison in Colorado when I was 4 or 5 years old. My primary memory of the trip was my Mom yelling at me not to lean over the railing. I can't imagine either of my parents holding me on top of the railing in such a dangerous location.
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Old 5th November 2012, 09:25 AM   #69
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I always want to puke when I see parents holding squirmy kids over the barriers at the Boulder Dam. But I've seen it more than once, so I guess the parents don't think it's too risky.
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Old 5th November 2012, 09:26 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
I'm just trying to define the limits of his statement. Just because the stupid parent is sorry doesnt mean they shouldn't be charged with a crime.
"Sorry" doesn't begin to describe how this woman must be feeling. Mixing a little compassion with logic isn't a crime, either.

As for jumping down into the pit after the child, 11 feet? Probably onto concrete? How many bones would she have had left to stand up again with? Not that I think she was thinking that rationally at the time.
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Old 5th November 2012, 09:26 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
Would you feel the same if the parent had killed the kid driving drunk? Left a loaded gun in the crib?
Excellent analogies.
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Old 5th November 2012, 09:27 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
This woman didn't accidentally lose sight of her child and have them run into the road, she lifted the child on top of high safety railings to get a better view.

If that doesn't count as a prosecutable example of gross negligence then we might as well scrap the very idea of personal responsibility.

She is an idiot who killed her child by doing something personally that put the child in extreme danger.
Exactly.
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Old 5th November 2012, 09:48 AM   #73
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This story just sucks on all levels.
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Old 5th November 2012, 10:31 AM   #74
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The mother also ignored the warning signs about "Please don't feed the animals".


Somebody had to say it.
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Old 5th November 2012, 10:43 AM   #75
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The need to blame and make someone pay really bothers me sometimes. We need to identify why things happen to avoid future danger, but sometimes the thirst for revenge just seems like masturbation to me.

This woman seems like an idiot though.
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Old 5th November 2012, 11:20 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by Halfcentaur View Post
The need to blame and make someone pay really bothers me sometimes. We need to identify why things happen to avoid future danger, but sometimes the thirst for revenge just seems like masturbation to me.

This woman seems like an idiot though.
If I was the prosecutor's office, I'd offer not prosecute, as long as she didn't sue the zoo or otherwise try to profit from her kid's death.
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Old 5th November 2012, 11:24 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
I'm just trying to define the limits of his statement. Just because the stupid parent is sorry doesnt mean they shouldn't be charged with a crime.
On a continuum from stupid to criminal I doubt many people would draw the line where you've drawn it. It's all opinion, WC, you are welcome to yours.

As for the straw "never" how does that define the line between stupid and criminal?
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Old 5th November 2012, 11:29 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Well ... sometimes.

We had a thread about this last year.

Raquel Nelson, who just had her appeal turned down about two months ago.
I agree there would be exceptions. So far in the thread it appears WC and MarkCorrigan vote for criminal, and Scrut agrees with anyone who disagrees with me.

I think 'stupid' is not always 'criminal' and this is a case of stupid. In the end, it's all just how people see things and there's no way to say it is definitely X or Y.
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Old 5th November 2012, 11:35 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
So far in the thread it appears WC and MarkCorrigan vote for criminal, and Scrut agrees with anyone who disagrees with me.
I agree with people making rational arguments in this thread.
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Old 5th November 2012, 11:59 AM   #80
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It really irks me when people say "Haven't they suffered enough!" If an employee had done the same thing they would have been arrested. Why are children treated like "possessions" of parents rather than people who have rights that need to be the same as anyone elses. The right to life is pretty basic. (Let's not derail into any abortion arguments for grawds sake) The woman was criminally negligent.

This also goes to people who leave their kids in a car on a hot day and have them suffocate. To me, criminal. What is to stop a parent from pretending it was an accident? Oh I was just trying to show him the view.....whoopsie~! I'm so devastated.

I cannot stand the lack of logic people have when looking at this. If you took the emotional woo out of the equation the woman caused the death of another person. Crime.
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