Angry New Yorker

Thursday, May 27, 2004
New Jersey Is Worse. ;-)

This rush to criminalize everything bad that happens is getting very scary. At least N.J.'s insanity is limited, for now, to the dead garden state. See

May 26, 2004
Dad Charged for Not Using Enough Sunblock
Filed at 7:01 p.m. ET

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, N.J. (AP) -- A man was charged with child abuse for not applying enough sunblock to his mentally disabled 12-year-old for a day at the beach, leaving the boy with severe burns, authorities said.

Walter McKelvie Jr., 43, of Vineland was indicted Tuesday and charged with one count of child abuse and neglect. Authorities were alerted by the boy's mother, who has custody of the child but was not with him at the beach, prosecutor Meghan Hoerner said.

She took the boy to the hospital, then reported the July 20 incident to authorities. The son, identified only as R.M., suffered large, bleeding blisters on his back and face. He'd been at the beach more than seven hours.

McKelvie told investigators he put sunblock on the boy, but the indictment said he failed ``to apply enough sunscreen causing severe sunburn to R.M.'' while he had custody of him.

If convicted, McKelvie could face up to 18 months in prison.

Another prosecutor, Rob Johnson, said the boy's injuries were ``over the top.''

``If you expose your child to that type of risk, you will be prosecuted. It's clearly negligent,'' he said.

Notice especially the idiocy of Johnson. I expect prosecutors to know the difference between mere negligence and criminal behavior, since the two are, with a few exceptions, NOT interchangeable. What next? What social goal is served by jailing him and throwing the family into chaos? Being an fool is not necessarily criminal -- but it's getting close in New Jersey, where fools apparently abound at all levels of government.

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