Well, how was your weekend?
If one reads the Boston Herald about the news this past weekend, one might walk away with a bit of a sickened feeling…and a desire to avoid parties and other places where kids might be.
Let’s first turn to Springfield.
The Herald tells us about two men stabbed at a house party early Saturday. Police Lt. Richard LaBelle said that one of the men had serious stab wounds and had been rushed to Bay state Medical Center. He was in “stable condition” at the time of the story. The second man stabbed had non-life threatening injuries.
The incicdent apparently took place on Manhattan Street at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday. The men were found outside by police. One was in a car, and the second was lying on the ground.
A woman who police say had been at the party arrived to the hospital by private car. Police said she apparently was hit or struck her head.
Sounds like a hellava time! Happy summer!
Of course, the city of Boston is not to be outdone. There, three bleeding children were seen running down a street Saturday.
Apparently, they, too, had been stabbed.
The police surmise that this stabbing took place as part of a domestic violence incident. There were witnesses and an alleged stabber was later arrested.
Officer Stephen McNulty said the children’s injuries were non-life-threatening, but one is more seriously injured than the others. All three were treated at a hospital. He added that an adult male suspect was taken into custody in the attack, which was reported just before 1 p.m.
In its story about one adult being arrested after three children are stabbed in Boston, witnesses are said to have told reporters in the Hyde Park neighborhood that the children are two boys, one appearing around 6 years old and the other a preteen, and a girl who appeared to be a teenager.
One witness said she saw the two boys running down her street with bleeding gashes on their arms, the older boy holding the younger boy’s hand. She said the older boy was screaming, “He’s going to kill me!” The girl, who also had stab wounds, then ran to the witness’ house. The witness apparently called 911 but the children kept running.
Other witnesses said they then stopped at a corner store.
Witnesses at the store told The Boston Globe that the older boy went inside and asked employees to “save my life” as the other two children waited outside. A store employee said a customer called 911 and an ambulance came for the children.
According to another Herald story about the children being stabbed in Hyde Park, the police say that an adult male believed to be in his 50s was arrested in the incident and officers plan to notify social workers with the Department of Children and Families.
Notifying DCF in such an incident is nothing unusual. The police are “mandated reporters” and must file a “51A” with the Department for an investigation into the children’s’ welfare to be initiated.
Attorney Sam’s Take On Domestic Violence Involving Children
So, there you have two incidents during which folks were stabbed. Same day in fact. Both incidents are similar injuries and even the same number of apparent victims.
Do you think that both cases will be treated the same in court?
Of course not.
There are two obvious reasons for this. The second incident has been deemed a domestic violence incident. Secondly, it involved children.
“Sam, are you saying that if the children were stabbed out in the street that the matter would be prosecuted the same as in the first incident?”
No. I am saying, however, that if the children were not present for either incident, then the fact that the second matter has been deemed a “domestic incident” would mean that the two matters would be treated differently.
I invite you to watch as the cases go down into the trenches of the criminal justice system. Or, if you find the presence of the children too distracting, find another domestic incident.
I remind you that the injuries in the first incident are, if anything, more serious than those suffered by the children.
The fact that the victimization of children is unacceptable and should be treated with special care is unarguable. However, as we have discussed many times in the past, once a matter is deemed a “domestic incident”, the case suddenly becomes much more serous as far as prosecutors are concerned.
We have discussed the reasons for this in the past as well. We are riding the pendulum as it swings back and forth. For years, we did not treat such matters seriously enough.
Now, I would opine, we have swung so much to the other end that common sense once again has been the ultimate casualty.
Tomorrow? I am told that the great legal mind Ian Keefe will finally be continuing his writing on the so-called “insanity defense” he began a week or so ago.