Outrage and a Disturbing Comparison

As all of Oshkosh, I found myself unable to believe the headlines this morning:
Couple charged with locking girl in bedroom for nearly two years

Girl spent 22 hours a day in a room for almost 2 years

The complaint states the girl was locked in a small bedroom for 22 hours a day for nearly two years. The bedroom was secured with a dead bolt accessible only from the outside and an alarm system that went off if the door was opened. There was a camera in the room that recorded what the girl was doing during at all hours of the day and night and the only furnishings in the room was a urine soaked mattress, a blanket, a pillow and an empty dresser.
The description of her mistreatment continued:
..the room were the girl was confined had no toys, books or other things associated with a child, the complaint states. Detectives also noted the room contained a single light bulb..

..(she) was not allowed to read any books, including the Bible..
And as a result:
Officers from the Oshkosh Police Department were called on Jan. 12 to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Appleton, where the 13-year-old girl had been brought because she was hearing voices.
As horrible as this is, my mind kept wandering to other things I have read recently:

The accused was held in extreme isolation for 1,307 days. Held in a nine-by-seven-foot cell. The only window blacked out. He was the lone prisoner on the two-tier cellblock. He was given food through a slot in the door. He slept on a steel mattress. No reading material. No calendar. No clock. Nothing to connect him to the outside world.

According to court papers filed by Padilla's lawyers, for the first two years of his confinement, Padilla was held in total isolation. He heard no voice except his interrogator's. His 9-by-7 foot cell had nothing in it: no window even to the corridor, no clock or watch to orient him in time.

Sometimes it was very cold, sometimes hot. He had nothing to read or to look at. Even a mirror was taken away.

The isolation was so extreme that, according to court papers, even military personnel at the prison expressed great concern about Padilla's mental status.

The Oshkosh parents that decided to treat their child with such cruelty deserve to have the full weight of the law brought down on them. They are monsters. I hope for their convictions and the daughter's recovery.

That said, we cannot from one side of our mouth condemn the actions of this couple while accepting the same from our government.

Both are wrong.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've met the father in a professional setting before. I can't say he seemed "normal," but he didn't seem like the type. So much for impressions.

~Bob (Roberts) Knudsen