Mom Who 'Cooked' Baby Shouldn't Get Death Penalty

Sasha Brown-Worsham

There is only one word for the kind of "mother" who would put her infant in the microwave, turn it on, and cook her to death: despicable. Actually there may be more. Deplorable, disgusting, deranged. And those are just the ones that start with D.

China Arnold, 31, was convicted of aggravated murder last Friday in the August 2005 death of her 28-day-old daughter Paris Talley in Dayton, Ohio. Now the jury is set to decide whether she should be punished by death. As much as she deserves to rot and pay for what she did to that defenseless baby, her death won't fix it.

According to prosecutors, Arnold put the child in the microwave after a fight with her boyfriend. According to medical experts testifying at the trial, baby Paris was likely in the device for more than two minutes before she died.

There is no punishment that can ever fit that crime. It's just too horrific to contemplate. And so the woman who sobbed as the verdict was read should pay for her crime with guilt. A lifetime of it, in fact. Death will only make it easier for her.

The Assistant Prosecutor Dan Brandt called her actions "even more purposeful" than if she had killed the baby with a knife or gun, and there is no doubt that is true. It's hard to even imagine what that baby went through at the hands of her own mother.

Since 2005, Arnold has been tried three times for her crime. Her first trial ended in a mistrial after a 5-year-old boy came forward and said he saw another child put the baby in the microwave. In the second trial, he testified and she was convicted but the jurors couldn't decide whether to give her the death penalty. The judge sentenced her to life without parole, and then on appeal, her conviction was overturned, so she was tried a third time and found guilty again.

Whatever the jury decides, the judge makes the ultimate call, but no matter what they decide, little Paris died in a horrific, inexcusable way. Nothing they decide as to how to punish Arnold will bring the baby back. But living with her crime for another 50 to 60 years seems a far worse life than being put to death peacefully and getting to escape it.

She should live with what she did her whole life.

Do you think she should get death?


Image via SmartGoat/Flickr

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