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September 30, 2003

No Jail for Parker Jensen

In a stunning reversal, the Utah Attorney General announced that the State will not seek custody of Parker Jensen. The State now claims it would be "too difficult" and traumatic to force him to receive chemotherapy without the consent and support of his parents.

They also claimed, with a straight face, that the public pressure had absolutely nothing to do with their sudden change of heart. It was all about the child, you know.

Of course, everyone who has been following the case from the beginning knows that ripping Parker away from his parents, strapping him to a gurney, and forcing anti-neoplastic drugs into him against his will was exactly what the State intended to do before the Jensens fled to Idaho. Their spinning further erodes their credibility on this issue.

Look for a similar flip-flop on the criminal charges. Indeed, even Governor Leavitt has expressed public disapproval of charging the Jensens with kidnapping. The fix is already in; along with felony kidnapping charges, the Salt Lake County DA charged the Jensens with misdemeanor custodial interference. I predict a deal will soon be announced where the DA drops the felony charges, while the Jensens plead guilty to the misdemeanor, and get probation or a suspended sentence.

Hopefully, the Jensens will be able to reconstruct their lives. Mr. Jensen had to quit his job when he fled, and the Jensens have been forced to sell their house because of mounting debts. All because some people in the DCFS and the Guardian ad litem's office failed to exercise basic compassion and common sense. The frightening thing about all of this is that had the Jensens not broke the law and fled the state, Parker would be in the custody of the State right now, undergoing chemotherapy.

I understand that sometimes the State needs to step in. I have seen parents who are so drug- or alcohol-addicted they can't take care of themselves, let alone their children. However, the State should not be in the business of ripping apart healthy families over a disputed doctor's diagnosis. Perhaps the DCFS will learn from this and modify their attitudes. But somehow, I doubt it.

Posted by Captain Holly at September 30, 2003 07:49 PM | TrackBack
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