Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Assistant State's Attorney Julie Drake said the sentence was compassionate but fair."

A woman who starved her 1-year-old son to death at the behest of a religious cult leader was given a sentence Wednesday that won't require her to serve any more jail time.

Ria Ramkissoon, 23, pleaded guilty last year to child abuse resulting in the death of Javon Thompson. She admitted denying food and water to the 16-month-old child when he did not say "Amen" before a meal. Javon wasted away over the course of a week before his heart stopped beating.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Timothy J. Doory suspended the balance of Ramkissoon's 20-year sentence and ordered her to report to a residential treatment facility for young women. The treatment program includes Bible study, and Ramkissoon will be required to complete the program, which doesn't have a specified length, before she can live on her own....

Assistant State's Attorney Julie Drake said the sentence was compassionate but fair.

"The state has always seen her as something of a victim in this case," Drake said.

Doory reminded Ramkissoon that she would have to live with knowing she was partly responsible for Javon's death, but added, "You were misled and did not do this with any ill will to your son."


Can you imagine the sentence if the defendant was a man and had starved his child to death? Would the judge feel all compassionate and think that a man could be brainwashed by a cult into killing his kid? Of course not.

The judge recognized that this woman was responsible in part for killing her child but he (probably due to his chivalry) is letting her go? Sorry, but having to "live with knowing she was partly responsible" for this boy's death is not the same as paying for it. A residential program for something this cruel? In terms of justice for this boy, it seems a bit cruel itself. (Thanks to Trey for emailing this story.)

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53 Comments:

Blogger Cham said...

I think that if the judge had been female this would have turned out a bit differently. Myself, I'm not so forgiving and understanding.

8:14 PM, April 21, 2010  
Blogger Master Doh-San said...

Well, 99% counts as "partly".

Too bad the "residential treatment program" won't be taking place in the state pen.

8:35 PM, April 21, 2010  
Blogger BobH said...

Doory reminded Ramkissoon that she would have to live with knowing she was partly responsible for Javon's death, but added, "You were misled and did not do this with any ill will to your son."

"Partly" responsibility for the kid's death? Did it without any ill will? Give me a break!

8:36 PM, April 21, 2010  
Blogger MarkyMark said...

Recently in the news, there was a guy who took his baby girl out of the car, and threw her on the highway. Folks were calling for his head...

8:49 PM, April 21, 2010  
Blogger Slow Joe said...

You would have to REALLY hate women to think they are much more vulnerable to being brainwashed into killing their kids, and too stupid to be held accountable.

How amazing that the victim's lawyer, the prosecution, actually defends the killer.

When I started law school, some awesome old man told me to consider being an ADA if I was shaky on how to be a zealous advocate because you can't be sued for incompetence. It's shame this baby can't demand accountability.

You cannot be competent to stand trial and also be able to do this for an entire week to a baby.

9:03 PM, April 21, 2010  
Blogger DADvocate said...

How can you send this woman to jail? Her infant son died!!

Pathetic. What would a woman have to do for people not to feel sorrow for her?

9:19 PM, April 21, 2010  
Blogger I R A Darth Aggie said...

I'm all for giving her a fair trial, and a fine hanging.

Would be downright merciful compared to being starved/dehydrated to death...

And people tell me I haven't got any mercy in my heart.

9:51 PM, April 21, 2010  
Blogger RLB_IV said...

In California, she would have been charged with felony assult on a child under eight years old and if convicted received 25 years to life.

11:08 PM, April 21, 2010  
Blogger kmg said...

What would a woman have to do for people not to feel sorrow for her?

Stand up against misandry, as Helen is.

5:06 AM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger randian said...

How can a woman who kills her kid be a "victim"?

6:16 AM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

She didn't kill her kids, the mother stood by and watched while others killed her kid. She didn't nothing to protect him.

The judge, the prosecutor and the defense team decided this lady was brainwashed, and therefore deserved sympathy. If anything, we have a cultural problem. As a society we have to make a decision. Are the attributes we look for in women to be kindness, niceties, sweetness, compliance, compromise and naivete OR do we expect them to be intelligent, responsible and righteous. Please don't insult me by saying that women should be both. In this particular case the mother could have at any point grabbed her kid, ran down the street straight to a police station, hospital, fire house or even a stranger on the street and asked for help. Instead she decided to go the sweetness and compliant route and it got her son killed. The judge, the prosecutor and the defense team is rewarding her for her womanly qualities.

Quite often you see on these comment section that men are complaining that women are too strong and too bitchy. Women aren't sweet and compliant enough. Yet, it is the strength in women that would enable one to protect themselves, their kids, their loved ones and even complete strangers. It's one way or the other, it is impossible to pull off both personalities simultaneously, men certainly aren't expect to either.

7:17 AM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger MikeT said...

Cham,

Women expect men to be resolute, stoic, in charge and all of those other manly attributes, but also loving, attentive and concerned for the well-being of their women and children. Both men and women are expected to do a balancing act.

8:14 AM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

Mike T, you see "stoic", "in charge", "loving", "attentive" and "concerned" in your manly definition, but you don't see "sweet", "compliant" and "compromising". Sweet, compliant, and compromising are in direct conflict with 'in charge'. I think everyone has the capacity to be loving, attentive, concerned and also 'in charge' as the needs arise. I have a bit of an issue with 'stoic'. I'm no fan of stoic.

8:21 AM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger HMT said...

She was brainwashed, fine. IMO you win psychiatric treatment to make sure there's no residual programming and sterilization. If you were are a participant in the death of your own child you've lost the right to try and create another.

8:51 AM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

firstly, those who would allow religious programming to over-ride thier basic human desire to protect thier children needs to be dashed off a rock...and secondly, cham, stoic is necessary when your child is screaming for something he isn`t going to get as you carry him from the store.

9:01 AM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger TMink said...

This sentencing is very difficult for me to accept. I was starved as a teenager, so the issue is frankly too close to my own life for me to have any sort of objectivity.

But I was stunned and speechless when I read the article. I keep wanting to believe that the woman was developmentally delayed, and that would explain the sentence, but I have found nothing stating that is so. Does anyone else have any information on that?

Otherwise, trying to consider the loss of that baby's life as he was starved to death for not saying "Amen" is simply too much.

Trey

9:46 AM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger USMaleSF said...

In the world after feminism, the woman is always the victim. Always always always. That's just the way the Big Lie gets played out.

10:49 AM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger Becky said...

What I imagine is that the child was actually tortured before dying, and it almost makes me think when a parent shoots a child it is kinder.

I do think from what I have read about the incidence, the judge determined the woman to be weak minded, not abused or coerced.

We don't allow men to be weak, either physically or mentally, and shouldn't. Chivalrous men (and women when presented with the situation) do protect the vulnerable. The judge cannot be chivalrous to both the woman and child in this case. In the masculine/feminine relationship, in this situation the woman was masucline (authoritative) to the child's feminine, so she should have been punished like a man.

11:23 AM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger Dr.D said...

It appears that the major blame was assigned to others for this death, while the mother was let off very lightly. I find that very hard to understand. Under all circumstances, I would think that it is the mother who bears the greatest responsibility (since there is no father present as in this case) for the child. It is HER child, not theirs, flesh of her flesh, and she is going to allow it to be starved? I think she bears the full responsibility for that.

11:25 AM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger TMink said...

I have heard and read about how chivalry affects men's decisions regarding women, so I looked up the codes of chivalry. Most of it has nothing to do with women and was actually inspiring.

The material that did cover women assumes a distinction between a lady and a woman I think. This distinction has been totally lost. Today, all women are assumed to be ladies in the way that all men are assumed to be rapists (in some circles.)

But there would have been a difference between how ladies and women would be treated by the code of honor. Now obviously too much of the criteria for a lady were economic and not based on character, but it might still be a useful distinction, as is the one between a man and a gentlman.

I have much more to think on this, but check out some of the codes of chivalry, perhaps like me you will be surprised by what you find.

Trey

11:38 AM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

The mother was a lady. She didn't raise her voice, she didn't show any hint of discontent with those in leadership, she didn't complain, she didn't cuss and she exhibited a great deal of grace as she watched her son die. A perfect lady.

11:55 AM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

Coldly accurate, Cham. Spot on. Says what I was going to, but much better.

Reminds me of an observation I made many years ago, though: A gentleman is defined by what he does; a lady by what she doesn't. I doubt it was always that way, and it may be the source of many of our problems. Just a thought.

12:22 PM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger TMink said...

Wow, good perspectives Cham and PJ. More to think about. Thanks.
Trey

12:56 PM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger Quasimodo said...

Cham's idea of what it means to be a lady is twisted, distorted and stunted ... probably by modern feminism, which in most forms is also twisted, distorted and stunted. Coincidence? I think not.

12:59 PM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger TMink said...

Quasimodo, it is an interesting coincidence, but the description Cham gave is almost exactly what my daughter told me yesterday about Athenian women and their cultural expectations. Now I will give you that what she shared may be feminist hogwash, but it is interesting that it was so similar to Cham's response.

Trey

3:32 PM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger JG said...

TMink, people today use "chivalry" to mean something different than your codes.

It's the inclination of men to protect women - and deny their responsibility in anything - and to compete with other men.

So the "little lady" is going to smirk as she gets a pass once again.

If you bother to look, you can see "chivalry" (the new definition, the one meant here, which is also in some dictionaries now) everywhere in society.

I DO bother to look, and it sickens me. And I sometimes think I'm the only one who doesn't give women this pass.

5:58 PM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger JG said...

On a side note, I have had very aggressive reactions from men when I DON'T defer to women - when I actually treat them like equals. Women have no idea how much they are truly coddled in society, and how much other men enforce this.

6:00 PM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger Xiaoding said...

Without knowledge of this womans mental state, her IQ, etc., this discussion is meaningless.

I bet 85. She is not fully to blame. We, as a socity, allow, and even encourage and celebrate, the use of the less intelligent by the more intelligent...as though it's all on a level playing field. It's not.

6:18 PM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger JG said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:35 PM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger Xiaoding said...

"By the way, if women are so stupid, and so incompetent, and so removed from reality ... that they constantly have to be helped and coddled and supported and let off and given a pass and all the rest "

I think you raise a good point. My reply would be, that women are not thus, as you argue...but, this particular woman, may be.

6:41 PM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger JG said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:56 PM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger JG said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:12 PM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger fred said...

I have nothing to add but do note that every issue is here turned into a male and female thing. In this instance, the real question seems (to me) to be: is the sentence fair or unfair?
Dear Helen: much as I admire you, you seem to turn just about any issue into a situation whereby women somehow do in men and you always side with the males. Aren't there instances where the opposite is true too?

7:26 PM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger vivek said...

@Cham

The judge isn't rewarding her on womanly qualities; he's rewarding her on delusional qualities.

"Are the attributes we look for in women to be kindness, niceties, sweetness, compliance, compromise and naivete OR do we expect them to be intelligent, responsible and righteous. Please don't insult me by saying that women should be both. "

Insulted you shall be.

Of course they can be both.Everyone is both; one set doesn't simply negate the other, what matters is which one of them takes precedence over other.
Kindness with kids, righteousness with responsible adults.

As Becky points out well in terms of m/f.

The qualities you outline don't make sense.
For one, it's possible to be naive while being intelligent; it's impossible to be naive while being wise.

And being bitchy has got nothing to do with either manly or womanly; it's simply being a bitch.
Men want femininity is their women wrt them, not the false front of masculinity that they can't pull off and in reality is bitchiness.

7:29 PM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

If this mother had firmly told the other 2 women to step aside then grabbed her kid demanded somebody open the door and bolted, I promise you that the other women would have enthusiastically labeled her a bitch. The definition of a bitch is any woman who won't go along with the status quo.

7:38 PM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger randian said...

She didn't kill her kids, the mother stood by and watched while others killed her kid

So when the article says "she admitted denying food and water to the 16-month-old child", it was wrong? She tried to give the child food and water and somebody physically restrained her from doing so?

7:49 PM, April 22, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

Randian:

That is what that particular article says. I've been reading about this for months. The mother claims she wasn't able to override the decisions by the other women in the house.

8:02 PM, April 22, 2010  
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2:30 AM, April 23, 2010  
Blogger Tether said...

Cham sez: "The definition of a bitch is any woman who won't go along with the status quo."

-----

Cham, do you know how silly you sound? Seriously?

You are one oppressed, victimized woman.

3:20 AM, April 23, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

Tether, need I say more. QED

6:37 AM, April 23, 2010  
Blogger TMink said...

JG wrote: "TMink, people today use "chivalry" to mean something different than your codes."

While technically not my codes, you are of course correct. My interest is how the concept of chivalry crept from what it was, a behavioral code with a lot to recommend it, to the present manifestation which infantalizes women and treats them like beings closer to angels than sinful human beings like men. Somehow, the entire thrust of the world view went from how to be a moral man to how women are moral and women are immoral.

That change really interests me.

Trey

8:18 AM, April 23, 2010  
Blogger Helen said...

fred,

"Aren't there instances where the opposite is true too?"

Yes, and you hear about those cases on the web, on most television shows, in 99% of the media and in academic settings, which is why I have a place to discuss what happens when men are discriminated against, how they feel and how they manage. The other side has more than its fair share of attention already. Why are you bothered that the male view is brought to light?

1:14 PM, April 23, 2010  
Blogger dcap said...

Unbelievable...no more jail time...how about no more breathing time for her! I wish the legal system would work...hmmm if I'm thinking of starving my child, do I see a deterrent in this case?...of course not, there is none! ONLY ONE VICTIM HERE! And the mother is the one that should be held accountable the most; as a PARENT, because you die fighting for your children. She should have fought with malicious intent to feed her child. She didn't and now she should be given that chance in the next life. And the judge...gullible idiot. Why even listen to the circumstances?..the baby is dead!...should have dropped the death penalty on all involved = future deterrent and justice. Maybe we can save her next baby.

2:21 PM, April 23, 2010  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

as a parent myself it is impossible to reconcile the judges decision in this matter. the signal here is that it is ok to do the most vicious, horrible things to a child, as long as you are a woman.

and jg makes an interesting point about chivalry when he says that it is to compete for the attention of women.


the wry smile on a blokes face as he holds the door for my girl as we walk into a shop tells all.

should i then challenge him to a duel?

pistols at ten paces on a foggy morning?

3:49 PM, April 23, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

One additional note regarding the case. The judge was bound by the terms of a plea agreement. The villain here is the prosecutor who put the plea agreement together. Why the prosecutor decided to do this I will never understand. IMHO, The mother should be looking at a life sentence.

4:25 PM, April 23, 2010  
Blogger Art Deco said...

The judge was bound by the terms of a plea agreement. The villain here is the prosecutor who put the plea agreement together

The situation likely varies from state to state, but I do not think judges are generally compelled to approve plea agreements. That aside, the judge in question used his discretion to suspend part of the sentence. Cases like this are why legislature have incrementally excised the discretion judges have over sentencing.

5:29 PM, April 23, 2010  
Blogger randian said...

One additional note regarding the case. The judge was bound by the terms of a plea agreement.

Last I checked in most states judges are permitted to reject plea agreements and ask the prosecutor to come back later with a new one. The agreement is binding though, the judge must either accept it or reject it in its entirety.

If I recall correctly, plea agreements in a few states (I thought New York was one) aren't legally binding on the judge. It is in effect a recommendation, which the judge can ignore if they want to. As a bonus, since you already pled guilty, you can't object when the judge turns your 2-5 into 15 years without parole. Most of the time the judge will honor a plea, but since they don't have to it's somewhat of a crapshoot if you're a defendant.

6:02 PM, April 23, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

Sure the judge can ignore a plea agreement, but that would render all plea agreements useless because neither the prosecutors or the defense attorneys to trust any judge or any plea agreement. That would turn every case into a trial, nobody would be motivated to plead guilty for anything. The court system would bankrupt the country.

10:27 PM, April 23, 2010  
Blogger dcap said...

Maybe we are letting them plea to reasonable agreements because we law abiding citizens are too reasonable. But let's say it was looked at like this....The facts are that the mother starved the baby to death. She was there, she didn't run for help or put up a fight...any marks on her? no, guilty...one hour trial at most. So, then the plea deal can be how she wants to die (slow or slower) for her testimony against others. Give them an hour each to dispute the investigators work. Bet the truth comes out a lot quicker This scenario scares me!

I just wish we could try hard justice as the current system doesn't deter anyone but good people.
I agree Bankruptcy of the country will be there if we allow trials like the OJ trial. If you allow a mockery like the phase "if the glove don't fit, you must acquit" in the courtroom, then your current system deserves no respect and probably is already leading to bankruptcy...OJ case: one hour trial and he hangs. Really, Really was there any doubt? That is a waste of our money that needs to be addressed.

11:37 PM, April 23, 2010  
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12:11 AM, April 26, 2010  
Blogger pockosmum said...

"She didn't raise her voice, she didn't show any hint of discontent with those in leadership, she didn't complain, she didn't cuss and she exhibited a great deal of grace as she watched her son die. A perfect lady."

This is no definition of a 'lady' but like many other words used to evoke formerly good qualities in men and women (lady, nice guy, patriarch) they've been twisted to mean something entirely different. Purposely.

"
"Are the attributes we look for in women to be kindness, niceties, sweetness, compliance, compromise and naivete OR do we expect them to be intelligent, responsible and righteous. Please don't insult me by saying that women should be both. "

This is the false dichotomy that feminism presents. Be nice and stupid or intelligent and strong. 'Strong' and 'intelligent' are never paired with 'nice' 'sweet', niceness and sweetness, any positive qualities are seen as 'weak' and symbols of 'oppression'. Abrasive attitudes, and tough stances are good because they represent 'freedom'. Women can emulate the worst examples of men and call it being strong and independent. There is NO reason you cannot be both!

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