There are family tragedies that are accidents, bad luck or just the result of unavoidable events. Then there are horrific things that happen as an outcome of the actions of family members and caregivers. And when those things happen, it’s hard to feel compassion for those that inflicted the harm, especially when what they did defies logic and what most would think is rational thinking. Take the grandmother in Queens, New York who set fire to her grandchild as part of a voodoo ritual.
Apparently back in 2009, Sylvenie Thessier, a 71-year-old grandmother (along with her the child’s mother ) poured rum over her six-year-old grandchild and then set her on fire. The reason? They believed the ritual would cleanse the child who they thought was possessed by the devil. They then extinguished the flames with water and sent her to bed, but they did not seek any medical treatment for the girls burns. The Haitian native realized she was negligent for not taking the girl to the hospital but stated that she “didn’t do it on purpose.”
But this week, justice was served. The grandmother was sentenced to three years in jail and it’s been reported that she will be deported back to Haiti after she is released from prison. The mother is set to go to court soon on charges of assault and endangering a minor, and her daughter (who had second and third degree burns from the attack) will testify against her mother during the trial.
This does beg the question, if someone’s religious beliefs lead them to do what most consider a crime, should it be judged on the same level as someone who did a dastardly deed out of sheer maliciousness?
Photo: Flickr Brookcondolora