How much prison time should be considered appropriate for the murder of an infant? Yes, there must be consideration for intent, maliciousness, premeditation of this act . . . but what is the ballpark? Five years? Ten years? Twenty? Maybe life?
Well, how about ninety days in prison for the death of a six-month-old girl? That is the sentence handed down to a teen dad in Colorado after his actions were shown to have caused the death of his daughter.
Nineteen-year-old Dylan Kuhn originally told authorities that he had found his baby girl with a blanket wrapped around her neck. Upon further questioning, Mr. Kuhn eventually admitted that he had forcefully put his daughter down on a bed when he didn’t know why she was crying. This was consistent with the medical examiner’s findings that the baby had been slammed against a “soft but unyielding surface.”
Kuhn admitted that he had not been straightforward from the beginning because he was scared and because he thought his girlfriend would hate him for what he had done. He pled guilty to manslaughter and the judge, citing Kuhn’s age and lack of previous criminal record, decided that ninety days in jail would be adequate to punish Kuhn for his daughter’s death. The judge agreed with the argument made by Kuhn’s attorney that jail is where many young men learn to be repeat offenders. And, at sentencing, both Kuhn’s mom and his girlfriend spoke on his behalf.
It is difficult to fathom that any human life is equated to only three months of jail time, particularly when the victim is an innocent and defenseless baby. I hope that, at least, this young man uses the opportunity at freedom to “honor his daughter,” as the judge advised in his ruling. In my opinion, he should receive counseling and anger management in addition to his prison sentence.
What are your thoughts on this sentencing?
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