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Cruel and Unusual Punishment

October 25, 2012 permalink

When a teenaged boy killed two-year-old Aniyah Batchelor, the judge knew how to make him sorry for his crime. The boy was sentenced to therapeutic foster care.



13-year-old killer sentenced to foster care

A judge on Tuesday ordered that a 13-year-old Fort Washington boy who pleaded guilty to beating to death his 2-year-old foster sister in July be placed in therapeutic foster care.

The boy, who was 12 at the time of the killing, was charged as a juvenile. He pleaded "involved" -- the juvenile equivalent of guilty -- to involuntary manslaughter in September for the death of 2-year-old Aniyah Batchelor.

On July 3, Aniyah was found unresponsive at her foster family's Fort Washington home, and she was pronounced dead later that day. Prosecutors said that investigators found 53 bruises on Aniyah's body, 14 bruises on her head and severe internal injuries.

Family members of the toddler spoke about their pain during Tuesday's court hearing.

"I miss her every day," said the victim's mother, Stephany Cunningham.

"It has really torn my heart apart," said Aniyah's grandmother, Pamela Knight. "She was so young."

The Department of Juvenile Services recommended that the boy be placed in therapeutic foster care. An investigator with the department said that it was recommended that the boy not be put in a facility where he would be with boys with severe psychiatric issues.

But prosecutor Yvonne Cunningham asked that the boy be placed a more restrictive facility, saying that both the respondent and his parents are "in denial" about the incident.

Judge Sherrie Krauser said that the boy's family should not be held responsible for their foster child's actions.

"These are not uncaring parents," she said.

The case is unique because the boy hadn't exhibited behavior that served as a warning for parents and teachers, Krauser said, adding that it is not clear that the boy had an understanding of the harm he was inflicting.

"This situation is disturbing and troubling to all of us," she said.

Krauser said the boy should be placed in a foster home with no other children under the age of 18. Both he and his family members were recommended to undergo therapy.

The boy, wearing a red hooded sweatshirt and khaki-colored pants, sat in between his much-taller lawyers during the proceedings and did not speak.

Source: Washington Examiner