A horror story from Cowlitz County, Washington:
When she was was 11 years old, Cassandra Ann Kennedy decided that her father didn’t love her enough, and that she would have a happier life if he wasn’t around any more. So that she made up a story that her father had raped her, told police, and..voila! In 2002 her father was convicted of rape and sent to 15 years in a Washington state prison.
In January of 2012, Cassandra, now 23, confessed that it was all a lie. “I did a horrible thing,” Cassandra told detectives. “It’s not OK to sit and be locked in this horrible place for something you didn’t do. It’s just not right.”
Figured that out all by yourself, did you, Cassie?
Her father, Thomas Edward Kennedy, now 43, was released from prison last week after serving nine years as the case against him was dismissed. He declined to comment when contacted by reporters. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
And as for Cassandra? Authorities say they won’t prosecute her, so as not to discourage future Bad Seeds from admitting their vicious acts. After all, she says that as a child she didn’t understand the consequences that her false accusation would have for her father.
Your Ethics Quiz is, then, this:
Do you agree with the decision that is correct, fair and in the best interest of all is to allow Cassandra to go unpunished?
My considered, calm and rational answer, for the record is…
ARE YOU KIDDING ME???
I sure don’t agree. I think they should throw the book at her. I think it would be far more effective to deter future monster-children like Cassandra by letting them know before they frame Dad that they will be sentenced to be tied naked to a fire anthill, or something similar that won’t run afoul of the 18th Amendment, than to hope such spawn of Satan grow consciences before their fathers are given shivs in the kidneys.
Kennedy says that she “didn’t understand” what sending her father to prison for 15 years meant when she was 11. Okay…so she was a moron. But what about when she was 13–could she figure it out then? How about when she was 17? Are we supposed to believe that it took this awful woman until she was 23 to put it all together and say, “Wait…I bet Dad isn’t having much fun in the Big House. Gee, now I feel kinda bad. I suppose I should say something..”??
I think a court should determine exactly when a normal person should be able to understand what falsely accusing one’s father of rape means, and from that moment until Thomas Kennedy was released should be the period for which she is sentenced to hard time. Letting her, or anyone, escape punishment for such heinous conduct is indefensible, muddle-headed and wrong. When one confesses, it is supposed to also represent an acceptance of just punishment. Some crimes, and this is one, simply are too horrible to shrug off and say, well, at least you finally did the right thing. Admitting your father has been rotting in prison for nine years because you haven’t told the truth isn’t doing the right thing.
It’s stopping the wrong thing nine years late.