A 21 year-old university student in Ohio, US, has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murder of her newborn baby. Emile Weaver, a student at Muskingum University, gave birth to a live baby girl in the toilet of the sorority house in which she lived on April 22nd, 2015, and subsequently tied the baby and placenta up in a garbage bag and threw it out in the rubbish.
Friends of Weaver had suspected the pregnancy, but she denied it despite having received a positive test result from her doctor after attempting to get contraception.
The evidence against Emile Weaver was overwhelmingly damning, and she was last month found guilty of aggravated murder, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence. Naturally, the murder of a newborn baby gets people angry and emotional, and after reading through articles on the case I see reader comments along the lines of “Give her the death penalty”, “Scum”, and “I hope she rots in Hell”.
I understand it, newborns are defenseless, innocent, and need protection. But you know what? I feel sorry for Emile. A twenty one year old, who wasn’t even of legal drinking age when she gave birth alone in a bathroom, is now facing life in prison without parole.
I do not think she deserves prison time, let alone a life sentence. She already has a life sentence; she will forever be the girl who killed her baby, shunned by her friends and community.
To be able to do what she did, she clearly has some psychological issues which need to be treated, and won’t be resolved in prison. I can’t help feeling that the blame has been unfairly placed on this young girl.
Yes, she did it, but why?
In Ohio, although abortions are legal, laws which require clinics to have transfer agreements with a private hospital within thirty miles of the clinic make access extremely difficult, not to mention the throng of anti-choice protesters hurling abuse that a young, frightened woman would be forced to walk to in order to gain entry. Money is also often a deciding factor in accessing an abortion, and I imagine that as a student money probably wasn’t in abundance.