Society's Child

Heart - Black

Without Conscience: Pennsylvania woman gives birth in bar, suffocates newborn, returns to watching wrestling match

Amanda Catherine Hein
© Amanda Catherine Hein via Facebook
Amanda Catherine Hein has been accused of killing her newborn son — and she could face the death penalty if she is guilty as charged.
Amanda Catherine Hein, 26, of Allentown, allegedly delivered the healthy baby boy at Starters Pub and then continued watching a pay-per-view wrestling match with three male friends.

A Pennsylvania woman gave birth in the bathroom of a sports bar, smothered the baby boy in a trash bag and then left him to die in a toilet tank - a crime punishable by death.

Amanda Hein, 26, of Allentown, has been ordered held without bail. She was charged with criminal homicide. In Pennsylvania, the intentional murder of a child under 12 is a capital offense.

The baby boy was alive and healthy - carried from 33 to 36 weeks - when Hein delivered him at Starters Pub in Bethlehem, Pa., on Aug. 18, the coroner said.

Archbishop of Canterbury: Christians must repent for their homophobia

 Archbishop of Canterbury
© Screenshot
Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Church of England, has warned Christians that their views on sexual orientation were beginning to look like an "atrocious injustice".

Justin Welby spoke at the opening of the Evangelical Alliance on Wednesday. During a question and answer session after his speech, the archbishop was asked why he voted against same-sex marriage legislation.

"What I voted against was what seemed to me to be the rewriting the nature of marriage in a way that I have to say within the Christian tradition and within scripture and within our understanding is not the right way to deal with the very important issues that were attempted to be dealt with in that bill," he replied.

Medical treatment trumps religious beliefs, courts say

When the religious beliefs of parents conflict with the medical needs of the child, medical care trumps religion.

In Pennsylvania, and most other states, the law allows health and government officials to get court approval to provide medical care to save a child's life over the parents' religious objections.

But in Akron, Ohio, where Amish parents removed their 10-year-old daughter from the hospital to avoid further chemotherapy, the issue enters a legal gray area.

"I think this is a more heartrending question," said Wes Oliver, associate professor of law and director of the Criminal Justice Program at the Duquesne Law School. "Do you require parents to take extraordinary measures to give a child a percentage chance of survival, or do you leave that decision for the parents?"

In the Amish case, the parents took their daughter to the hospital in May for chemotherapy before removing her from treatment in June.

Atheists, government square off over clergy tax break

© Todd Richmond / File / Associated Press
Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation
The federal government wants to give Annie Laurie Gaylor a clergy tax break for leading an atheist group.

Gaylor, head of the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom from Religion Foundation, wants to stop it - and she's asking a federal judge for help.

The standoff is the latest twist in a court battle over the parsonage exemption for clergy, a tax break that allows "ministers of the gospel" to claim part of their salary as a tax-free housing allowance. Gaylor's organization says the exemption gives religious groups an unfair advantage. That makes it unconstitutional, the foundation's lawsuit contends.

But government lawyers say atheist leaders can still be ministers, because atheism can function as a religion. So leaders of an atheist organization may qualify for the exemption after all.

No thanks, says Gaylor.
Bizarro Earth

Montana judge defends handing down 30-day sentence to teacher in rape of student

© Billings Police Department
Stacey Dean Rambold is shown in this booking photo.
A Montana judge who sentenced former teacher Stacey Rambold to 30 days in the rape case of a 14-year-old student is defending his decision as outrage grows over his comments that the girl was "older than her chronological age."

In 2010, the girl killed herself at age 16 as the case was pending, and her mother told District Judge G. Todd Baugh Monday her relationship with Rambold was a "major factor" in her suicide.

Baugh handed down the sentence Monday after former Billings Senior High School teacher Rambold, 54, was terminated from a sexual offender treatment program that was part of a deal to have his prosecution deferred. The judge said he wasn't convinced that the reasons for Rambold's termination from the program were serious enough to warrant a 10-year prison term recommended by prosecutors.

In handing down the sentence, Baugh also said the 14-year-old victim was "older than her chronological age" and "as much in control of the situation" as the teacher. The girl's mother, Auleia Hanlon, stormed out of the courtroom yelling, "You people suck!," the Billings-Gazette reported.
Eye 2

Fairfax, Virginia boy steps on copperhead snake in doorway

A Fairfax Station boy is undergoing emergency life-saving treatment at Inova Children's Hospital after he stepped out his door and into the fangs of a copperhead snake.

Michael Alford, 12, ran out of his house around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday wearing sandals. He says he stepped on something and when he lifted his foot, a snake tore into it.
© Kara Allan
This snake bit the boy in Falls Church.
"[I] opened the door and I stepped on a snake, a copperhead. I don't know whether I stepped on his tail or his head, but I took my foot off and he bit me."

Alford's mother asked him to run to the car to get a token. What he came back with left her frightened and frantic.

"He just ran up the steps and looked at me and was like 'A snake just bit me!' so I was a little freaked out," Kara Allan says.

The family came to Inova Children's, which is equipped to administer the series of anti-venom shots. Dr. Minal Amin says copperhead bites can be serious. They have seen several in the past few weeks at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

"We would recommend for someone to get away from the snake and elevate the extremity and come to the nearest hospital," Amin says.

Meanwhile, Alford watches the swelling, which is slowly receding.

"I'm doing better. The anti-venom is pushing it back to where it started," he says.
Eye 2

Woman finds large snake in her apartment's shower fan

A young woman taking a shower inside her Westland apartment this week was shocked to find a large snake in an overhead exhaust fan.

"She screamed and I was like, 'what's the problem?'" said Reggie Johnson, the woman's boyfriend. But when he entered the bathroom, he immediately knew. Staring down at them was a 4-foot snake believed to be either a python or a boa constrictor.

Johnson was frightened for his girlfriend and her kitten Clyde, who happened to be in the bathroom at the same time. "It was probably wanting to get him," said Johnson. "I just took him out and put him in his cage."

Johnson says he called friends and they pulled the snake out and security at the Hunters West Apartments, near Wayne and Warren, released it into the nearby woods.

It turns out, the snaked belonged to a neighbor and it had escaped. But no one bothered to tell Reggie, his girlfriend or Clyde the kitten.

"It was a big surprise to us," said Johnson. "We're just happy it's gone."

Double amputee sues Nebraska city and the police he says brutalized him

Police forced an innocent, double-leg amputee to get out of his car at gunpoint, with hands up, then beat and ridiculed him as "a cripple crawling around," the African-American man claims in court.

Leroy Duffie claims Lincoln city police handcuffed and beat him and left him lying on the street for half an hour before they finally "removed the handcuffs and allowed the plaintiff to crawl under the van to retrieve his prosthetic legs." Duffie sued the City of Lincoln in Lancaster County Court.

Duffie describes himself in the lawsuit as "an African American ... with a diagnosis of depression and post traumatic stress disorder and ... a double amputee with prosthetics." He says Lincoln police pulled him over for no discernible reason on Sept. 3, 2011.

The complaint states: "When plaintiff was stopped, he was confronted by LPD officers with their service revolvers drawn and pointed at him and he was immediately ordered to raise his hands and get out of the van. Plaintiff politely responded that he couldn't raise his hands and get out of the van at the same time due to his being a double amputee and needed his hands to help lift his improperly fitted prosthetic legs that were only duct taped to the upper remaining portions of his legs.

Comment: No amount of money can compensate Mr. Duffie for what these pathological police officers put him through, and whatever monetary award, if any, he receives will be paid by working class taxpayers, not the cops who assaulted him. The psycho police who committed this heinous act have not been disciplined and continue to swagger around wearing badges that entitle them to commit crimes any ordinary citizen would be imprisoned for.


Man stole father's body from Detroit cemetery 'to bring him back to life'

© Associated Press
Vincent Bright pleaded guilty to stealing his father's body from a Detroit cemetery in exchange for avoiding a jail sentence.
A man accused of stealing his father's body from a Detroit cemetery with the hope of bringing him back to life has pleaded guilty in exchange for avoiding prison.

Vincent Bright, 49, stole the body of 93-year-old Clarence Bright from Gethsemane cemetery on 14 January and stored it in a home freezer.

Police, acting on a tip from other family members, found the corpse in Bright's home on Detroit's east side. Police said Bright took the body in the hope his father would be resurrected.

Bright pleaded guilty on Monday to a charge of disinterring a body and faces sentencing on 24 September.

"He seems to be doing well," his defence lawyer Gerald Karafa told the Associated Press on Tuesday.

A conviction on the charge of disinterring a body could have brought up to 10 years in prison.

Prosecutors sought a mental health examination for Bright, which found he was competent to stand trial.

Source: Associated Press

Bald eagle crashes into window as crowd chants 'USA! USA!'

A special spirit day at Oral Roberts University took a tragicomical turn last week when a bald eagle released into the school's Christ Chapel by a professional handler crashed into a window just as students began chanting "USA! USA!"

The eagle was unharmed, but many of the students could be heard screaming at the sight of America's national animal wiping out in metaphorical fashion.

The bird had apparently become disoriented from the crowd's patriotic hollering.

"It was a bit shocking to see, but we're thankful the eagle is OK," an ORU spokeswoman told Tulsa World.

After the eagle's trainer recovered the bird, university president Dr. William M. Wilson continued with the service, at one point urging students to become "eagles for Christ."

In other words, get led astray by the mindless repetition of an arrogant conviction until you eventually crash into an invisible construct.