Judge Allows Couple Charged with Abuse To See Children During the Holidays – Asinine or What? [POLL]
I always say, “you be the judge!”
And in this case, the judge may have her head up her ass – or maybe not – in allowing a couple charged with abusing their foster and adopted children to see them during the upcoming holidays.
I know, sounds crazy, but according to this:
A federal judge ordered that an Army major and his wife charged with abusing their foster and adopted children and training their biological kids to take part in the abuse can see their biological children during the upcoming holidays.
The judge granted Army Maj. John Jackson and his wife Carolyn the right to see their three biological children on Thanksgiving, on the Dec. 12 birthday of one of them, and on Christmas, despite a prior restriction on visits and the anticipated testimony of the children in their parents’ trial, scheduled to begin April 1.
Judge Katherine Hayden issued her ruling during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Newark, saying the holidays and birthday would be “critical family time.”
The Jacksons live in Mount Holly.
A 22-page indictment unsealed when the couple were arrested in May alleges they conspired to abuse their adopted and foster children from 2005 to 2010 — while living at the Army’s Picatinny Arsenal in Morris County.
The indictment said they had engaged in a constant course of neglect and cruelty toward three children they fostered and then adopted. One of the children died in May 2008, though the couple has not been charged in the child’s death.
Authorities allege the Jacksons – who now live in Mount Holly – told their three biological children not to report the physical assaults to others, saying the punishments and disciplinary techniques were justified, as they were “training” the adopted children how to behave.
One of the federal prosecutors handling the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Jampol, told Hayden the government “strongly” objected to the Jacksons’ being able to see their children, even if they were required to be accompanied by their temporary guardians, out of concern that the accused couple would try to influence their testimony.
Hayden said she did not believe that holiday contact with their parents would affect the children’s testimony this spring.
The couple has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Their lawyer, Rubin Sinns, declined comment after the hearing. Jampol said the Jackson case is the only child abuse case in the state of New Jersey being tried in federal court because the abuse occurred on federal property at the arsenal, a weapons research and testing facility.
The Jacksons do not have custody of their children, following determinations in state Family Court.
I’m kind of surprised, and maybe it’s because I’m jaded after hearing about a good many of these cases – but it’s ironic that state Family Court got it right and a Federal Judge makes, what I’d consider, a boneheaded decision.
“Critical Family Time” indeed! That’s the last thing these kids need!