Virtual Voices

No prison time for infanticide

Life

When she was 19 years old, Katrina Effert secretly gave birth to a baby boy at her parents' home near Edmonton, Alberta. She then strangled the infant with her underwear and threw his body into a neighbor's yard.

Effert was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years. But she appealed the ruling.

A few days ago, five years after killing her baby, the Edmonton Court of Queen's Bench (the appeals court) downgraded the charge to infanticide. For that, Effert received a suspended sentence and will serve no jail time.

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According to a CTV report, the judge in the case, Joanne Velt, said that while the public grieves for the baby, "Canadians also grieve for the mother. This is a classic infanticide case-killing a newborn after a hidden pregnancy by a mother who was alone and unsupported." LifeSiteNews quotes the judge's argument that people "generally understand, accept, and sympathize with the onerous demands pregnancy and childbirth exact from mothers, especially mothers without support."

CTV reports that while the maximum sentence for infanticide is five years, according to Justice Velt, prison time is rarely served.

But Effert also violated the law by improperly disposing of a corpse, and for that she may have to serve 16 days in jail.

As LifeSiteNews so rightly put it, "Killing a child? Meh. Improper disposal of the victim's body? Outrageous!"

Oh, and she'll have to inform "officials" if she becomes pregnant again, so she can receive counseling. I wonder why, since the legal system is making it clear that she did nothing wrong, other than improperly getting rid of her dead child, of course.

Marcia Segelstein
Marcia Segelstein

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