NJ Legislature Asked to Consider Introducing “Autumn’s Law” Holding Parents Responsible – Would You Support It? [POLL]
One year has elapsed since the senseless murder of 12 year old Autumn Pasquale at the hands of two boys who lured the girl with the promise of exchanging bicycle parts.
Since that time, healing for the Pasquale family has been hard to come by.
Last month, Justin Robinson, 16, who admitted killing Autumn, was sent to prison for 17 years. His brother, Dante, 18, initially was charged with murder as well, then pleaded guilty to an obstruction charge and was released last month.
In a civil lawsuit Pasquale filed last month, he cast blame squarely on Saunders and Justin’s biological father, Alonzo Robinson, claiming they were negligent parents who taught their son to be violent.
“I don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” he said. “It’s about accountability.”
And that’s the reason why the family is hoping the Legislature will introduce a bill to hold parents of juvenile offenders accountable.
Dubbing it ‘Autumn’s Law,” the bill, according to the petition on change.org:
would hold responsible parents/guardians who neglect, abuse, abandon or ignore the warning signs of their children’s propensity toward violence are direct contributors to their minor children’s murders.
If the minor who murdered my daughter was properly treated, parented, disciplined and supervised my daughter would probably be alive today.
Accordingly, I and everyone who signs this petition are asking for consideration of “Autumn’s Law.” A law that would make abusive and/or neglectful parents/guardians who have custody of their children CRIMINALLY responsible for murders committed by their minor children, when they know or should have known the propensity toward violence existed.
When a parent/guardian knows or should have known that their child may pose a threat to third persons, it is the parents/guardian’s responsibility to minimize that risk. A child’s issues are not the responsibility of his/her school, state, teacher, counselor, law enforcement, community, neighbors or church, but instead, the primary responsibility of the child’s parents/guardians.
When the parents/guardians of a minor murderer are proven to have failed in their parental responsibilities by ignoring warning signs, failing to treat their children’s mental/emotional/behavioral issues and by fail to ensure proper supervision of their child, the parents/guardians actions/lack of actions becomes a contributing factor to the loss of life and lifelong devastation inflicted on their victims and their victims’ families. As such, they should be held criminally responsible.
WE ARE ASKING OUR GOVERNOR & STATE LEGISLATORS TO CONSIDER “AUTUMN’S LAW.” A LAW THAT WOULD MAKE NEGLECTFUL AND/OR ABUSIVE PARENTS/GUARDIANS WHO FAIL TO TREAT, CONTROL AND SUPERVISE THEIR MINOR CHILDREN, HELD CRIMINALLY RESPONSIBLE WHEN THEIR CHILDREN MURDER.
Much like in the case of 12 year old Rebecca Sedwick who committed suicide due to the relentless bullying allegedly at the hands of a 14 year old, there have been calls to hold the parents of the 14 year old accountable for her actions.
In that case, if there had been documented proof that the parents were aware of the child’s bullying and still allowed it to continue; they could possibly be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
That might also be the case here. Of course there would have to be a substantial paper trail in order to bring such criminal charges against the parents.
Point is – do we have laws now on the books that would address such parental neglect?
No one wants to see another tragedy happen like the one that’s befallen the Pasquale family a year ago.
And if you feel a measure like Autumn’s Law is the answer, then please sign the petition here.
However, do you support a measure like Autumn’s Law holding the parents of juvenile offenders responsible for their children’s crimes?