When is 15 years to life in prison a lucky break? How about when you were convicted of second degree murder in the death of your 2-year-old daughter who happened to have cerebral palsy? Brandy Lee Rose Devine of California was apparently on a meth binge when her daughter, Stephanie Torres starved to death.
The child, who'd been left alone for the weekend, weighed just 13 pounds. Devine apparently told investigators she thought her 6-year-old would take care of the toddler ... and that she didn't think the little girl would die without food or water.
All that and she only got 15 years to life?
It sounds like a gift!
The horror of this crime is such that I was expecting Devine to rot in prison for the rest of her life, not have the opportunity to get out in 15 years. Her little girl wouldn't even have reached adulthood if you added 15 years to the 2 she got on this planet.
Devine's excuse -- that she didn't know the baby would die without food or water -- just sound so ridiculous that I can't understand how she managed to get to 26 years old. Of course you need food and water to survive. That's how human beings function; of which she is one (at least technically ... monster may be a more fitting term).
I suppose this is why I could never work as a judge. Idiots frustrate me, and people who hurt kids infuriate me. Put the two together, and the sentences I handed out to people like Devine would ensure the prisons were at standing room only capacity.
What do you think the punishment should have been in this case?
Image via Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office