story is sickeningly sad, but the original verdict made it intensely worse. A reader writes:
Marta Corvi was grateful when the Juarez family in Dallas, Georgia, told her she could live with them until she found a job. All she had to do in exchange was cook, clean, and watch their 5 year old, Sophia Juarez. One day in June of 2012, Corvi brought her granddaughter Mia, also age 5, Â over for a sleepover. The girls giggled, played and woke up early the next, rainy morning eager to start all over.
They asked if they could swim and Marta said no. Instead, she told them to play dress-up in their room while she cleaned up the mess they’d made in the kitchen. She started to feel dizzy, and told Sophiaâ€™s 13-year-old brother that she was going to the basement to take her diabetes medication. She called a friend, and at the end of a 45-minute phone call, Mia and Sophia were dead.
Yes. This story is as sad and Â horrible as it gets. Turns out the two girls had snuck, fully-dressed, past Sophiaâ€™s brother, who had fallen asleep on his bed with his headphones on.
Meantime, Corvi had done something all parents do. She’d left the two children to play in their room. She knew that swimming unattended was dangerous — that’s why she told them not to do it and asked the teen to keep an eye out, just in case. Nonetheless, Georgia prosecutors treated it as a crime. They charged Corvi with cruelty to children, a felony. When she was convicted, they asked for a 10-year prison sentence, but a compassionate judge sentenced her to time served. Still, Corvi, a Uruguayan national, was deported after more than a year in jail.
On February 16, amazingly, the Supreme Court of Georgia held that Corvi was not criminally negligent. She was acquitted by all seven members of the court.
While this was a good outcome for Corvi, the fact remains that prosecutors are getting more and more comfortable with charging caretakers as criminals for behavior that would have been normal 20 or 30 years ago.
No one is suggesting that adults allow children to play near a pool, unattended! Of course not! Only that sometimes, in even the most loving and attentive of families, things go wrong. A perfect storm brews and tragedy ensues, not due to cruelty or negligence. Due only to the fact that not every parenting moment can be perfect, and once in a while, when it’s not, fate intervenes.
Blaming us for being cruel when we’re only being human has to stop. We canâ€™t expect parents or kids to live under the threat that any accident can lead to a prison sentence. – Free-Range Reader