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Old 05-09-2007, 11:36 PM   #1
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Vegan couple sentenced to life over baby's death

ATLANTA - A vegan couple were sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for the death of their malnourished 6-week-old baby boy, who was fed a diet largely consisting of soy milk and apple juice.

Superior Court Judge L.A. McConnell imposed the mandatory sentences on Jade Sanders, 27, and Lamont Thomas, 31. Their son, Crown Shakur, weighed just 3 1/2 pounds when he died of starvation on April 25, 2004.

The couple were found guilty May 2 of malice murder, felony murder, involuntary manslaughter and cruelty to children. A jury deliberated about seven hours before returning the guilty verdicts.
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Defense lawyers said the first-time parents did the best they could while adhering to the lifestyle of vegans, who typically use no animal products. They said Sanders and Thomas did not realize the baby, who was born at home, was in danger until minutes before he died.

But prosecutors said the couple intentionally neglected their child and refused to take him to the doctor even as the baby’s body wasted away.

“No matter how many times they want to say, ‘We’re vegans, we’re vegetarians,’ that’s not the issue in this case,” said prosecutor Chuck Boring. “The child died because he was not fed. Period.”

Although the life sentences were automatic, Sanders and Thomas begged for leniency before sentencing. Sanders urged the judge to look past his “perception” of the couple.

“I loved my son — and I did not starve him,” she said.

When the judge told the defendants they could ask for a new trial, Thomas hung his head low.

“I’m dying every day in there,” he said, “and that could take three years.”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18574603/?GT1=9951

Do you think they deserve life in prison? Personally I think it's ridiculous that they didn't notice their own child wasting away and that they deserve to be in prison.
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Old 05-09-2007, 11:51 PM   #2
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Re: Vegan couple sentenced to life over baby's death

While they do deserve to serve time for inadvertedly causing their kid's death, a life sentence seems a little harsh, in my opinion.
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Old 05-10-2007, 01:02 AM   #3
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Re: Vegan couple sentenced to life over baby's death

It's not really 'inadvertently' killing the little guy if you intentionally feed it next to nothing and don't take it to the doctor when it's obviously under-weight.

Extreme stupidity and deciding to force your fairly stupid lifestyle on an infant aren't justifiable excuses for killing a little kid. I think their sentences are pretty fair.
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Old 05-10-2007, 04:32 AM   #4
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Re: Vegan couple sentenced to life over baby's death

Mmm, I would conclude this as irresponsibility and should have known that just a simple diet for a kid that young would result in malnourishment. It's just a misunderstanding of raising children. Personally, I kind of feel sorry for the couple but then again, it's common sense that a kid that young needs intensive care and giving him food that doesn't suit children at that age is never acceptable. Life in prison is harsh, but what is done is done.
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Old 05-10-2007, 12:59 PM   #5
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Re: Vegan couple sentenced to life over baby's death

thats a heavy punishment unlike australia, very lenient on their sentencers.

life in prison...the judge/jury might be subjected to the influence of subjectivity but i believe not, they go through alot of work and are scrutinized heavily to archieve impartiality.

The couple very well could of been sick bastards but it is not portrayed in this article. The media has a habit of twisting the truth in many ways to attract an audience so not much faith can be trusted in this news article for the whole story.

My conclusion atm, they deserved it.
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Old 05-10-2007, 01:31 PM   #6
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Re: Vegan couple sentenced to life over baby's death

how they didn't know that he was not dying is amazing to me.

6 weeks old???
while I understand soy milk (i babysit kids that use that) feeding a 6 month old baby apple juice is NOT a good thing. There is TOO much sugar in apple juice, let alone it is TOO harsh on their stomach.

I could not say whether prison or not...but not knowing about feeding him properly (intentionally or unintentionally) is a TRUE sign of lack of responsiblility AND maturity...

this story is just sad....V_V
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Old 05-11-2007, 01:41 AM   #7
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Re: Vegan couple sentenced to life over baby's death

I don't think the vegan lifestyle is stupid, but the way these parents went about it is. Well, more like they were under-informed as to how to care for a vegan baby. If the couple had asked for nutritional help on their first visit to the doctor (months before the child was born, going vegan isn't a choice you make overnight), the child would have been fine. A vegan baby requires many supplements to it's diet, and should have little to no fruit juices, escpecially citrus, as the acidity is bad for their stomachs and developing teeth.

As for getting the life sentence, if malicious intent is proven then it is well deserved.
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Old 05-11-2007, 02:20 AM   #8
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Re: Vegan couple sentenced to life over baby's death

I think that couple would try drinking just soy milk and apple juice everyday; see if they feel full after every meal.
Honestly, even if they didn't mean to kill the baby, they should've been more aware and such. >_>
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Old 05-11-2007, 10:16 AM   #9
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Re: Vegan couple sentenced to life over baby's death

Wow. Just... Wow. Mammals NEED THE BREAST MILK OF THEIR MOTHER. Each mammal has a specific kind of breast milk that contains just the right amount of fats and sugars to keep a baby healthy and for them to grow as quickly as possible.

These parents are morons. You cannot treat a baby to a "vegan" lifestyle! For fuck's sake, soy milk even has a warning on the side that says it is not to be used for infants in place of breast milk! (I know, I drink soy.) These people deserve life in prison just for their stupidity.
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Old 05-11-2007, 12:52 PM   #10
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Re: Vegan couple sentenced to life over baby's death

I don't think the death was intentional. They were trying to keep their baby healthy, that is not a crime. Although they could've fed the baby a little more. The fact that they kept the baby on a strict diet clearly states they deserve to be punished but i think life imprisonment is too much.
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Old 05-12-2007, 09:52 PM   #11
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Re: Vegan couple sentenced to life over baby's death

They defently deserve jail time, I don't think it was intentional, however it was defently neglagent.Not sure about the life sentence though, a softer sentence maybe.
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Old 05-17-2007, 02:39 PM   #12
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Re: Vegan couple sentenced to life over baby's death

While believing that these two should serve some jail time, I think that serving life in jail is just too much. 5 or 6 years would've sufficed...
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Old 05-17-2007, 03:24 PM   #13
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Re: Vegan couple sentenced to life over baby's death

i think they shouldnt have made him vegan that young,heres my reasons
1.being vegan is a choice that a baby cant make on its own
2.the baby was severly deprived of nutrition,even as a vegan there are ways to supplement a baby other than soy and apple juice.
3.even though your vegen you still use hospitals,the parents should have taken the baby to the hospital when he was fading away into malnutrition

Because of this I beleave they deserve it,but I am sad they lost there baby
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Old 05-17-2007, 07:37 PM   #14
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Re: Vegan couple sentenced to life over baby's death

Uhm, honestly, even I knew that you had to feed the baby its mother's milk. Seriously, thats not something you need to learn, that should come naturally.
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Old 05-23-2007, 05:53 PM   #15
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Re: Vegan couple sentenced to life over baby's death

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Uhm, honestly, even I knew that you had to feed the baby its mother's milk. Seriously, thats not something you need to learn, that should come naturally.
There are other ways to feed a baby other tan breast milk,even at the early stages.But breast milk is without a doubt the best way to feed a child.Regardless of breastmilk and it's nutritional values,It's clear the parents had no idea what they were doing.
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