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Old August 6th 08, 01:52 AM posted to alt.parenting.spanking
Ivan Gowch
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Default Some Thoughts on the Dooley Verdict

--Found on the Internet -- good reading--

Some Thoughts On The Dooley Verdict
By Richard van Abbe
April 19, 2002

If a city can be said to sigh, Toronto heaved a big one on Thursday.

Finally, after three days of awful suspense, relief.
The jurors marched in, sat down, and did what they were supposed to
do, what we needed them to do. They found Tony and Marcia Dooley
guilty of murder in the death of Tony's seven-year-old son, Randal.

And what a relief it was. During the jury's three days of
deliberations, it had become possible to imagine that the good
citizens on the panel might, somehow, let the monstrous Dooleys off
the hook. That would have been unthinkable.

The nightmarish testimony at the trial showed that the Dooleys took
turns inflicting on the slight, reputedly sweet-natured kid a torrent
of assaults that left him in the space of one year malnourished,
sickly, incontinent and, finally, on Sept. 25, 1998, dead.

Besides the brain damage that was the immediate cause of death, the
autopsy revealed other injuries, including 13 broken ribs and a
lacerated liver. One of his teeth was found in Randal's stomach. He
weighed 40 pounds -- probably because in the last weeks of his
pitiless life he was unable to hold down food, a transgression for
which, of course, he was punished.

So the wretched Dooleys are bundled off to the prison cells they have
so richly earned. They are out of our sight, justice has been served,
and tonight Toronto sleeps soundly once again.

But it's the sleep of the self-satisfied. The slumber of the

Because despite the judgment of the jury and the stern condemnation of
the community, the Dooleys are not really so different from the rest
of us.

We are a people, after all, who believe that it is within a parent's
rights to inflict pain on a child whenever and wherever the parent
deems it advisable, as long as the parent can say it is for the
purpose of "correction."

We believe this so strongly that we have enshrined it into law,
codified our determination to retain the right to hurt our children in
something called Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

The fact is that we believe it would have been all right if the
Dooleys had just hurt Randal a little. The reason they're going to
prison is that their concept of little was different from ours.

But make no mistake. The Dooleys thought that what they were doing to
little Randal was disciplining him. When Tony Dooley whipped the boy
so hard and long one day in the August before his death that the
leather belt he used actually shredded, and Randal had to start school
late that year to give the bruises and welts time to heal so they
wouldn't be noticed, he thought he was correcting him.

As so many other parents do. As the law empowers them to do.

Most parents don't kill their kids. The Dooleys went too far.
But like the Dooleys, our society believes that children do not
deserve the same protections against assault, against the deliberate
infliction of pain, that the rest of us take for granted.

And that gives aid and comfort to those dolts who believe that threats
and blows are essential elements of child-rearing.

So, while Toronto sleeps the sleep of the justly avenged tonight we
can be certain that there is a child somewhere nearby who inhabits the
same nightmare world in which Randal Dooley lived before his body
succumbed to the merciless discipline of his tormentors.

And like the Dooleys, that child's tormentors are also comforted by
the knowledge that when they hurt that child, when they make him or
her cry, they have the law on their side.

I haven't seen the cells in which the Dooleys will, I hope, spend the
rest of their unnatural lives, but I do know this:
Those cells aren't nearly big enough to hold all those who bear
responsibility for Randal's death.

Sleep well, little guy. It would be good to be able to tell you that
you're the last kid in Canada who will ever be disciplined to death,
but now's the time for tears, not lies.

(c) 2002 Richard van Abbe
All rights reserved

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