Killing a rabbit no ticket to freedom

In New Hampshire, a 224 24-year-old woman has just begun serving a 3 1/2 – 7-year prison term for killing her then-boyfriend. Caryn Acevedo pled self-defense after stabbing William Burns in the back, but the jury didn’t buy it and found her guilty of negligent homicide.

While still out on bail before sentencing, though, Acevedo found herself a new boyfriend and decided to get the most out of her freedom. Consequently, less than four months into her sentence, she discovered she was pregnant.

Now she wants to have her sentence modified so she can get out of prison.

I have a great deal of sympathy for abused women, and for pregnant women. She’s definitely the latter, and argues that she is the former as well.

But in this case, she literally made her own bed and now ought to lie in it.

She knew — or ought to have known — that she was facing a stretch in prison when she conceived. Maybe she saw the baby as a “get out of jail free” card to play, maybe she was careless, maybe she was unlucky, or maybe she just didn’t care. Regardless of all that, she ought to fulfill her sentence.

New Hampshire, like (I’m sure) pretty much other state, deals with pregnant inmates all the time. It’s not the best situation, but it’s hardly an impossible one.

The article indicates the baby’s father is seeking custody. Sounds like an ideal situation — when her due date comes, Ms. Acevedo will be taken to a hospital (under guard) and deliver, and then the father can take care of the child. And once Ms. Acevedo has paid her debt to society, then she can — if they choose — join the father and child and try to make it as a family.

But she can’t escape her sentence by simply getting herself knocked up. It doesn’t work that way.

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  1. Dave September 23, 2006
  2. Scrapiron September 23, 2006
  3. 914 September 23, 2006
  4. Chris September 23, 2006
  5. Kevin (a different one) September 24, 2006
  6. nhmind September 25, 2006