Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mother of Sandra Cantu's Playmate Arrested in Her Murder

On Friday, March 27, eight year old Sandra Cantu of Tracy, California was reported missing. The entire community was on alert and everyone seemed to be looking for "the creepy guy" who must've abducted little Sandra. Sandra Cantu's body was found in a suitcase dumped in an irrigation pond. Someone had killed her and disposed of her tiny body in a terrible way, just two miles from her home. When someone was arrested for her murder, everyone was shocked to find out it was a female. Not only was it a woman, but a 28 year old mother who taught Sunday school and lived just five doors down from the young girl. Melissa Huckaby has a 5 year old daughter who often played with the victim. She was formally charged on Tuesday, April 14 in the death of Sandra Cantu. To make things more heartbreaking, Huckaby is being charged with rape with a foreign object, lewd and lascivious conduct with a child, and murder in the course of a kidnapping. Police say they believe the woman acted alone. This case is so unique because less than 3% of murders have female to female ratio, and less that 7% involve sex. When females are the perpetrators of female victims, it is almost always with a male accomplice. While everyone was looking for "the creepy man, the monster" who did this, a disturbed young woman is believed to be responsible. Her only other criminal history is theft related, and that just adds to the mystery as to why she would've committed such a horrendous crime. How could a mother do this you wonder? How could anyone?

Thousands have attended a memorial for this young girl. The case has been closely followed for the last three weeks by the entire nation. Huckaby is facing the death penalty if convicted. Let's hope that this case is resolved, that Cantu's family receives some answers. They deserve justice.

Suspect In Girl's Slaying Heading To Court
The woman accused of killing 8-year-old Sandra Cantu will appear in court today for the first time.

Former U.S. Soldier Being Charged For Murder, Rape

Steven Dale Green is being charged as a civilian for crimes he allegedly committed while serving in the United States Army in Iraq. Green is facing 17 charges after being accused of raping a 14 year old Iraqi girl and then burning her body. A law was passed in 2000 called the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act that allows an ex military man (or woman) like Green to be charged on U.S. soil for crimes committed while serving in another country. There are arguments that possible jurors will not "understand" the situation that Green was in, so therefore will not be able to make an informed decision...What do you need to understand that raping someone is wrong? That raping a child is wrong? Burning their body and killing their family is okay if you're in a battlefield in Iraq? Just because those jurors are civilians, and not military does not mean they do not know right from wrong, even in the most difficult circumstances. Nothing justifies those actions.

Former soldier faces civilian trial in Iraq rape
The first former Army soldier to be charged as a civilian under a 2000 law that allows him to be prosecuted for alleged crimes committed overseas faces a trial of his peers - in a federal courtroom in Kentucky.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Todays Technology Hosts New Problems to Figure Out

Whether it's "sexting" or posting inappropriate images online, cell phones and the internet make it easier to exploit our youth and overwhelming to keep track of. Sexting is when you send sexually suggestive text messages with your cell phone. It is becoming a huge problem with teenagers and now they are even looking at charging some with child pornography. There is also the case of a 14 year old girl in New Jersey who posted over 30 pictures of herself on MySpace that were sexually explicit, all becuase she wanted her boyfriend to see them. She was arrested and charged with child pornography and distribution. If she is convicted, she would have to register as a sex offender under Megan's Law. The woman behind Megan's Law, whose daughter it is named for does not think this is right. The law was not designed for people like her. Maybe she shouldn't be charged under Megan's Law, but what should happen? She probably does need some counseling, but mostly a lot of parenting. There needs to be a punishment of some sorts or a procedure in place to deal with this problem. It's scary how many cases there are, and no one knows how to deal with them. Three young girls in yet another state are facing the same issues after sending photos to the boys at school with their cell phone. Another girl committed suicide after her ex boyfriend shared racy photos of her with others. We should know what our children are posting on the web, what networking sites they are using and checking their cell phones. Not only is this risky behavior, but the emotions involved are intense. The humilation behind someone sseing the pictures or messages who wasn't supposed to can be too much, especially as a teenager. Trying to monitor what are children are doing can be time consuming and stressful, but look at the alternatives.

Her teen committed suicide over "sexting"
The perils of teens electronically exchanging suggestive messages were driven home by Cynthia Logan, whose daughter Jesse took her own life at 18 after being taunted over a photo meant only for her boyfriend. "She was being tortured," said the teen's heartbroken mom.

DNA Evidence Frees Innocent Man

Ronald Cotton spent 11 years of his life in prison for a rape he did not commit. His accuser, Jennifer Thompson-Cannino had helped police draw a sketch of the man who had assaulted her and he had fit the description. The sketch she helped with was her last visual of the man who had raped her. During the police line up, she picked Ronald Cotton out and had no doubts about her decision. He was the one who fit the sketch the best. It just so happens that he closely resembled the actual perpetrator. Jennifer was consumed with guilt when she found out DNA evidence had proved he was not her attacker, but Cotton had already forgiven her. They are now good friends who wrote a book together, "Picking Cotton: A Memoir of Injustice and Redemption". When they speak and appear together, they stress the importance of how our memory can trick us, and how your subconscious works. They would like to see a few changes in the way police do their lineups. It's amazing that they have moved past the terrible crime that connects them, and honorable to see how they have turned a bad experience into something positive.