Manage episode 372731241 series 3444923
Faddis, a legal expert, was asked to ponder over the question of whether Vallow's religious beliefs should play a part in her sentencing process. In his words, "a person's religion typically should not have bearing on what sentence they receive." He added that it's a complex issue in Vallow's case, as her religious convictions were notably entwined with her actions. However, he noted that the defense might argue mitigating circumstances, such as Vallow's mental health issues, being brainwashed or coerced by religious dogma, rather than the court penalizing her based on her spiritual beliefs.
Brueski also explored how religious belief can sometimes place children in dangerous situations, as he mused, "There's obviously plenty of examples, and that's the majority, very peaceful people who are not out using religion as justification for murdering their children...there are other versions of religion...that are not the greatest judge of characters and end up putting their children into very dangerous situations with dangerous people."
This segued into a deeper conversation about potential gaps in child protective services and how authorities often give parents the benefit of the doubt when it comes to religious beliefs, even when child safety may be at risk.
The conversation highlighted the classic tension between freedom and safety in society. Faddis highlighted past cases where parents had withheld medical care from sick children due to religious beliefs, resulting in tragic outcomes. He suggested there should be a line drawn when physical safety risk for a child arises, irrespective of religious considerations. "I think it is appropriate for the state to intervene and the parents can plead their case and plead their religion, in court," Faddis stated.
Both Brueski and Faddis lamented the missed opportunities for intervention in Vallow's case, despite the authorities having followed the rules and laws at that time. "There could have been intervening 50 different ways," Brueski said, adding, "is this something where the system really did fail these kids?"
Faddis agreed, saying, "I think there were failures in many respects, in this case." He cited the example of Lori Vallow's ex-husband, who, in a recorded interview, expressed his fear that she might harm someone. Sadly, his concerns weren't heeded, and he later turned up dead. This highlighted an urgent need for authorities to re-evaluate what tips are credible and actionable and when they should intervene for child safety, even if it means disturbing a personal home environment.
The discussion concluded with the hope that Vallow's case will be a case study for future improvements in child safety protocols where religion is involved. The dialogue underlined the necessity for legal and child protective authorities to scrutinize the potential for harm more critically and intervene proactively when religious freedom infringes upon a child's safety.
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