The Philadelphia couple, Herbert and Catherine Schaible, who were charged with murder in the death of their 7-month-old son after they refused to seek medical treatment for his pneumonia because of their religious beliefs, have been sentenced to jail after pleading no contest. Although we initially heard that the pair -- who are third-generation members of a small Pentecostal community -- would likely spend 20 to 40 years in prison, the couple will actually only serve three to seven years! CRAZY!
Considering how many warnings the Schaibles were given -- having already been on probation for 10 years and ordered by a judge to seek medical treatment for their children after their 2-year-old son, Kent, had come down with the same virus and died the exact same way -- it's gut-wrenching to think that they may only be spending three years in jail for their crime.
As the Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner reportedly told the couple:
You've killed two of your children. Not God, not your church, not religious devotion ... you.
That's something they HAVE to wrap their heads around and truly own. And I'm not sure whether three to seven years in prison is going to be enough to accomplish that. Then again, is jail time the solution at all? Would even 20 to 40 years have fully opened their eyes to the error of their ways? It's hard to say.
But ultimately, understanding the gravity of their actions and being forever sorry and reformed is the only thing we can hope they'll do. No matter how much time they spend behind bars.
Do you think the Schaibles' sentence is long enough?