In what appears to be an astounding miscarriage of justice, an Australian court has shown leniency after a vicious, unthinkable crime. From the country’s 9 News:
A Queensland man whose “systematic and persistent” torture of a defenceless newborn led to her death has been jailed for nine years after pleading guilty to manslaughter.
Baby Paige was only 31 days old when she died from blunt force trauma in September 2012 after suffering almost a lifetime of “gratuitous” violence at the hands of her mother’s partner Michael John Humphreys.
Nine years? Manslaughter? Consider the details of the crime.
There weren’t many parts of Paige’s body that weren’t injured, Justice David Boddice said on Friday.
The Brisbane Supreme Court heard she’d endured repeated blows to the back of her head, a blunt object had been forced into her mouth like a finger or pacifier, her limbs had been either twisted or shaken and a hand print shaped bruise was found on her spine.
“It is inconceivable that one human being could do that to a baby of that age,” Justice Boddice said.
“It is more than inconceivable that a person in a position of trust and a position of care could do that to a defenceless baby.
“There is no doubt that the offence is properly to be described as callous, cruel, calculated, deliberate and inexcusable.”
Despite this Justice Boddice found a jail sentence of 10 years was “not justified”.
“I do not doubt that you now seriously regret your conduct,” he said.
Yeah, I bet he does. It’s easy to regret your conduct after being caught and convicted. Aside from the most hopeless of sociopaths, it seems likely that anyone standing before a sentencing judge would regret their crime. So what? Are we therefore to forgo justice?
Humphreys tortured and murdered a precious baby girl. It matters not whether he regrets it now. He did it. It wasn’t a crime of passion. It was a series of unthinkable acts carried out intentionally in a sustained manner. What he did was nothing less than a manifestation of evil. A sane society would put him to death, or at least sentence him to life in prison.
As it stands, he could be out on parole in 2021. Will he still regret his crime then?