Post Looks Back at Balfour Case

In Sunday’s Washington Post, Gene Weingarten has a long, detailed, nuanced look at how 15-20 young children die each year after being left in a car accidentally. The main subject of the article is Lyn Balfour, the JAG school employee who accidentally left her nine-month old in the car two years ago. She was found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter by a Charlottesville jury last year, after just ninety minutes of deliberation (including a lunch break). Weingarten explains the perfect storm of circumstances that made her forget, including emergency babysitting duty for a friend, staying up with her sick baby, the baby being in a different car seat than usual (and not visible in the mirror), driving her husband to work that day (unusually), dealing with two small crises via mobile phone on the way to work that morning, and her babysitter having a new phone. Balfour simply believed that she had dropped off her son at the babysitter’s, as she did every morning.

I’m ashamed and upset to have discovered that the author even quotes the single worst comment ever posted to, one that I’d managed to forget, and now hope that I can forget again:

If she had too many things on her mind then she should have kept her legs closed and not had any kids. they should lock her in a car during a hot day and see what happens.
stupid people need to no longer exist when they do stupid things like this. she killed her kid, she should be punished and put away.

This article is awfully hard to read; consider yourself warned.

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