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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Judge Superville attempts to explain his ruling (note that I said "attempts" )

Superville, the judge in the Shaquanda Cotton case, says he was only looking out for Shaquanda's best interest when he sentenced her to a possible seven years in prison, and that she holds the "key" to her own release if only she would admit guilt and if her mother wasn't so "uncooperative."

Here are some quotes from the article:

"Once I set the indeterminate sentence, Shaquanda holds the key to her jail cell," Superville said. "It is up to the child and TYC."

In explaining the juvenile process, Superville said after a jury makes it's finding, the judge determines the disposition.

"I am bound by law to ask lawyers whether or not reasonable effort has been made to prevent or eliminate the need for the child to be removed from her home," Superville said.

"I also must determine whether or not there is enough family support to assist the child in successfully completing terms and conditions of probation," Superville said.

"Thirdly, I must determine whether or not it is in the child's best interest to be removed from the home," the judge said.

"Both lawyers presented evidence on those points," Superville explained. "The county attorney put on a substantial amount of evidence that Shaquanda had been a persistent behavior problem at school and that the mother failed to cooperate at every turn."

"I asked if there was anything that could be done that had not already been done and the repeated answer was 'no,'" Superville said.

Superville said reports from Lamar County Juvenile Probation Department also weighed on his decision. Before a juvenile trial which could result in probation, the probation department conducts a fact-finding survey.

"The juvenile officer said the mother refused to cooperate and said he had no reason to believe the mother would cooperate if Shaquanda received probation," Superville said.

"That theme was repeated witness after witness--that the mother made it impossible to help Shaquanda," Superville said. "She blamed everyone except the child for misbehavior."

I wonder what witnesses were called in for the firebug who was given probation.


Sharon Cullars Coffee Talk at 3/27/2007 10:55:00 PM Permanent Link     | | Home


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