Monday, July 22, 2013

Repost: How would you respond if someone harmed your kid in front of you?

I've contributed to the Orlando Sentinel's Moms at Work blog since 2010. The blog is changing content management systems and my old posts will no longer be available to the public, so I'm reposting them here, in the order that they were originally posted.

Feb. 20, 2013

I'm not saying it was right, but let's just say I understand why David Barajas, a Texas man, killed the drunk driver who killed his sons.

The drunk driver killed both of his sons with one crash -- just steps from their home! Barajas, who obviously was overcome by grief in the moment, shot the driver, 20-year-old Jose Banda, in the head.

He now faces a murder charge.

So here's the question: Should he get a break?

I'm sure I'm not the only nonviolent parent who can imagine being filled with unrestricted, unquenchable rage at the idea of someone deliberately doing harm to my child.

I know I would not have responded well had I been Barajas, or even the mother whose child was slapped by a fellow passenger on an airplane recently. As I told my husband after reading about that incident, were I that mom, federal marshals would've had to arrest me after the flight because of the way I would have viciously assaulted that man.

I genuinely hope Barajas doesn't have to serve much prison time. When I initially posted this story on my Facebook page, I mentioned that although I knew what Barajas had done was wrong, I'd never be able to vote to convict him, were I on a jury.

An attorney friend then suggested that he should be convicted, with a sentence of probation or time served, which sounds like a more legally and morally justifiable option to me.

How do you think the criminal justice system should handle Barajas? If you served as a juror in his murder trial, how would you vote?

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