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Mary Barnett Cse

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My Thoughts Regarding the Mary Barnett Case
Amanda Feeley
Westwood College
Ethics and Critical Thinking
Dr. Henderson
01 November 2010

My Thoughts Regarding the Mary Barnett Case There are a few reasons in why I have concluded that Mary Barnett is guilty for second-degree murder of her child, Alison. Those reasons include: awareness of right and wrong, selfishness, and neglect. First, I would like to recap the case of Mary Barnett and some of the main details of the crime that she committed. On January 23, the defendant, Mary Barnett, left Chicago to visit her fiancé in San Francisco. She left her six month old daughter, Alison, unattended in the apartment. Seven days later, Mary returned to her apartment to find her daughter dead, she died from dehydration. Mary called the police and told them that she had left the child with a baby sitter, but later changed her story and said that she knew Alison would die in a day or two, and that she did not intend on returning home. She was charged with second-degree murder: intentional murder without premeditation. If convicted, she could face up to eighteen years in prison (Chaffee, 2009, p. 65). Next, are the key testimonies of the witnesses that spoke against and on Mary’s behalf during her trial. The witnesses and their testimonies played a key part in my decision of a guilty, verdict, of Mary’s actions. Mary was mentally evaluated by two different psychiatrists; one was her own personal psychiatrist, Dr. Bloom and the other was a State appointed psychiatrist, Dr. Parker. In cases such as Mary’s, the defendant is mentally evaluated to see if they are mentally capable of standing trail. Dr. Parker was the evaluator in her case and concluded that she was mentally competent to stand trial. He concluded that Mary was aware of her actions and although she was remorseful of her actions, she knew that the child would eventually die from improper care. In my opinion, Dr. Parker is a credible resource in determining the actions of criminals and why they commit such acts of negligence or violence. He has been involved in many judicial hearings and is very familiar with the testing; therefore he is very experienced, especially in these particular situations. On the other hand, Dr. Bloom felt the opposite. Dr. Bloom felt that Mary did not know what she was doing and was not mentally competent to stand trial. However, he was her personal psychiatrist and had only spent four months treating her depression. On the other hand Dr. Parker had spent three months with Mary, so the time difference that they treated Mary is not by much. I felt that Dr. Bloom’s testimony was more sympathetic towards Mary, because he had more of a personal-patient relationship with her; and was probably more bias towards her situation of depression as well as negligence to her child. I can support this opinion by Dr. Bloom’s testimony in which he stated “The woman is emotionally disturbed. She needs professional help, not punishment,” he also said he had not been involved in judicial hearings of Mary’s type (Chaffee, 2009, p. 68). Mary also changed her story twice when she talked to police officer Mitchell, who responded to the call. Officer Mitchell testified at the hearing that Mary first told him, that she left Alison with a sitter before she left for California. Furthermore, he also stated that she said upon returning a week later she found her daughter dead, and that the babysitter was nowhere to be found. Following Mary’s first alibi, she proceeded to tell the officer shortly after that, that she knew she had left her child alone and was in a frantic state of mind, so therefore she decided to leave and go to California. All the testimonies at the hearing, whether they were on Mary’s behalf or on her child’s behalf, determined that Mary still knew right from wrong and was very much aware of her actions.
In conclusion, my final thoughts on the case against Mary Barnett, she knew what the outcome would result in. Mary Barnett knew that leaving her child alone and going to California would result in the death of her child. She was selfish and forgot her role as a mother, which is to care for your child. She preferred to go see her fiancé in California. Needless to say, I do not think that she thought her decision through, but I do think she was well aware that her child would die within a few days of being alone without food, water, or a nurturing person. Just like every other criminal, who commits crimes of negligence, she should have to pay the consequences. There are several ways of solving the mental issues that Mary was going through, but she decided to take the easy way out and run away. She had a personal doctor helping her with her mental issues, but still chose to leave her child alone to escape from her own taunting mind. This trial is not about Mary, it is about her daughter, who was a victim of child neglect. I think Mary should pay the time for her crime; this closes my argument, opinion and thoughts of why I chose the verdict of guilty for Mary Barnett.…...

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